The 1995 Hess Toy Truck and Helicopter are a prime example of the toyline introduced in 1964 as a way of rewarding the oil company’s loyal customers. Typically released in November, Hess trucks have become highly sought after collectibles for a number of reasons. To begin with, Leon Hess, the oil man who initially came up with the idea, insisted on producing toys that were as high-quality as the gasoline and other products upon which the company had built its reputation. Careful attention to quality and detail, as well as being one of the first toy trucks with working lights and sound, made Hess trucks almost instantly collectible. Additionally, the November release date has continued through the modern day, making Hess Toy Trucks the unofficial signal of the start of the Holiday Season.
hess truck 1995, 2
The 1995 Hess Toy Truck and Helicopter was released in November of that year with a retail price of $15.99. Approximately 1.8 million toys in this edition were produced, which is notable for being one of the first to include both a truck and flying vehicle. Although Hess produced vehicles other than the truck going back as far as the 60s, flying vehicles remain one of the rarer toys made by the company. The helicopter, in particular, has seen an appearance less than a handful of times over the toy’s almost 50 year history.
1995’s truck measures approximately 14” in length and came enclosed in a cardboard box with packaging and a helicopter. The freightliner style cab carries a flatbed on which the helicopter can perch for transport. Sticking with the familiar color scheme introduced in the late 1980s, both the truck and helicopter are white with a forest green lining. The truck features red lined hubcaps on the wheels, has one silver/chrome smoke stack on the back of the cab, and a silver/chrome grill. Like all trucks since 1991, the year of the toy is marked on the (rear) license plate.
Meanwhile, the removable helicopter that makes this one of the more prized collectibles, features flashing lights and battery operated blades on the top and rear of the vehicle. There is also a sliding green ramp from the flat bed to unload the chopper. The helicopter has red blades and, like the truck, features the words “Hess” and “Gasoline.”
1995 Hess Chrome Toy Truck and Helicopter
Of special note to collectors are the two alternate versions of the 1995 toy that feature a Chrome truck and helicopter. Made especially for a small number of Hess employees, it is believed that only between 600 and 3000 of this version were made. Of these, there are two versions available, one with a green velvet base and one with the regular cardboard base. Since they were not sold to the public, the 1995 Hess Chrome Truck and Helicopter are among the most highly sought after of all Hess toys.
Since their beginnings as a way to reward loyal customers, Hess toys have become a staple of the holiday season. With their high quality craftsmanship and collectibility, Hess has created a toy lineup that brings together generations of fans and collectors alike. The 1995 Hess Toy Truck and Helicopter set is yet another great example of what makes the toy line an American classic.