A holiday tradition is back, and this year the Hess Toy Truck is rushing to the scene earlier than ever before!

Usually revealed and available for sale on Nov. 1, this year’s Hess Toy Truck is now available while supplies last and it couldn’t be more timely. A featured pick in the Toy Insider‘s 15th annual Holiday Gift Guide, the 2020 Hess Ambulance and Rescue set pays tribute to first responders with a pair of rugged vehicles that will wow kids and collectors of all ages.

The focal point is Hess’ first-ever ambulance.

The heavy-duty Type I truck-style emergency medical transport is loaded with chrome accents and packs 70 bright LED lights into its body. A set of four controls on the top of the cab activate real emergency sounds, sirens, and flashing light patterns. For quiet play, the Ambulance features a mute mode so that kids can get all the flashing lights without the sirens blaring.

2020 Hess Ambulance and Rescue

Real rubber tires with chrome wheels give the Ambulance a heroic stance while an illuminated “HESS 2020” rear license plate marks the year we’ll never forget for added collectibility. Interior lights in the passenger cabin shine upon the companion Rescue vehicle, which kids can unleash by pressing a button near the back of the ambulance. The back doors drop down and become a ramp for the off-road pickup to emerge.

Like its larger counterpart, the Rescue is packed with LED lights — 26 in all — bringing the total lights in this set to nearly 100, the most-ever in a Hess Toy Truck release. The Rescue also includes a pull-back motor that kids can use to power epic wheelie action! There’s a flip-down tailgate on the rear and an illuminated engine blower atop the hood in front.

As I’ve noted in other reviews of previous Hess Toy Truck releases, perhaps the most impressive aspect to these is the high-quality design and construction. Hess Toy Trucks have a distinct look and feel that are so far ahead of other lights and sounds vehicles that they fit into that realm of timeless toys that are considered “heirlooms” by many families. This set is no exception and will no doubt inspire countless hours of heroic adventures for many kids for years to come!

The 2020 Hess Ambulance and Rescue comes with Energizer batteries and includes free standard shipping direct from the official site.

Related: First-Look Review: 2020 Hess Toy Truck Mini Collection

The Hess Toy Truck has been an East Coast holiday tradition since 1964, when Leon Hess first launched the annual series as an affordable, high-quality gift option for customers of his Hess gas stations. In 1998, after the holiday trucks (despite the name, not always a truck, specifically) had become sought-after toys and collectibles well beyond the East Coast, The Hess Corp. debuted the Hess Miniature Series — a collection of playable, collectible vehicles inspired by previously released, full-sized counterparts.

Released annually each spring (excluding 2015 and 2016 following the sale of the Hess Express gas stations to Speedway), the line was relaunched as the Hess Mini Collection in 2017. Each year, Hess releases a limited-edition collection of three scaled-down replicas fan-favorite vehicles from years gone by. This year’s Miniature Series included recreations of the 1987 Hess 18-Wheeler, the 2009 Hess Race Car, and the 2015 Hess Fire Truck and Ladder Rescue.

Hess Toy Trucks are meant to be played with and passed down through generations and were a 2014 nominee for induction into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, Hess released My First Hess Truck, a lights and sounds plush designed for babies and toddlers.

While actual production numbers are never revealed, Hess Toy Trucks tend to sell out quickly so get them early while you still can!

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.