The 1998 Hess Mini Tanker Truck is the first truck in the Hess Collectible Miniature Series. First produced in 1964, the Hess tanker trailer was produced to thank customers for their loyalty to their gas stations. Each year a specially designed truck has been sold at the companies gas stations when Christmas is approaching. The Miniature Series was started in 1998, making the Hess Mini Tanker the first in the series. Many of the trucks that have been produced by Hess are prized by collectors due to the high level of detail in the designs.
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History of the Collectible Miniature Series
New additions to the Collectible Miniature Series are being produced every year. Only 225,000 of the mini tankers were produced, making it the rarest truck in the series. To put it into perspective, there were 850,000 1999 Mini Fire Trucks produced the next year. There were so few mini trucks sold in 1998 because the company only sold them in seven states as a test run for the new line of trucks. The trucks were sold out in a matter of hours, making them the most valuable truck in the series.
Details about the Mini Tanker Truck
The design of the truck is a smaller scale of the 1990 Holiday Toy Tanker, which was very popular. The original truck was approximately 14” long compared to the mini which is only approximately 4” long. Originally the mini truck only cost $3.99. The truck came with a detachable display box. The lights on the truck are fully functional.
Best Storage Techniques for Collectors
The battery is the biggest concern with storage of the truck. While many people prize having unopened toys, the pre-installed battery will corrode over time so it should be removed before storage. The box with the truck inside should be placed into an air tight acid free bag to prevent discoloration. After that it should be placed into a box or storage location that will not be exposed to light. UV exposure from the sun can cause discoloration. The storage location should be dry and not exposed to overly hot or cold temperatures. If the location would be uncomfortable for a person, it will be bad for the long term condition of the collectible.
Seasoned collectors already know about the history of the Miniature Series and already have complete collections. The popularity of the toys continues to grow as the production numbers have continued to increase since the inception of the trucks. The mini tanker remains the most sought after truck Hess has produced in the past 20 years. Owning an original 1998 Hess Mini Tanker Truck is like owning a slice of the past.