May 27, 2014
In the early 1960's, Leon Hess wanted his company to do more than just provide gasoline to their loyal customers. He wanted to create a high-quality, affordable, and detail oriented toy for families during the holiday season; thus, he created the Hess Toy Truck. Although, the Hess Truck isn't unique to my generation; it has been a family tradition extending across many generations.
The first truck was produced in 1964, modeled after the original Hess tanker trailer and retailed for $1.29. For over 40 years, a different version of the truck has been sold each year. Models have included police cars, fire engines, helicopters, and space shuttles. The most recent model was a truck with a bulldozer in the back and retailed for $27.99.
Last week, Hess announced that it is selling their gas stations and convenience stores to Marathon Petroleum Corp. for $2.87 billion. Over the next three years, Hess stations will be rebranded as Speedway. Hess' reason for selling the retail locations was to focus on oil production and exploration.
Toy truck collectors can breathe a sigh of relief. Despite closing their retail locations, Hess announced that they will continue the tradition of producing toy trucks for the holiday seasons. This year will mark their 50th anniversary. After 2015, Hess plans to sell the toy trucks online.
Only time will tell how this restructuring will benefit Hess' bottom line. Thankfully for collectors, grandparents, aunts and uncles, the collectible toy that has been a holiday tradition for nearly 50 years will continue to be produced and continue to provide our future generations with great memories.
Ethan Wade, Financial Advisor
(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).