|1933 - 1954||METTOY|
|1934||The first models were produced in Tinplate and formed the basis of the company which became Mettoy Limited.|
|1944||Due to shortages of raw material (WWII) the company joined in the war effort producing all types of shell and mortar carriers. The heavy demand placed on Mettoy in connection with the war effort led to larger premises being found in Swansea in 1944.|
|1950||The first forerunners of Corgi were introduced and appeared in the illustrated catalogue as "Entirely New Miniature Numbers".|
|1954||The first drawings for the new Corgi range were produced of an Austin Cambridge. With much trial and error with castings things started to come together early in 1956.|
|1954 - 1983||CORGI TOYS|
|1956||The launch date for the Corgi range was to be the 9th July 1956. The firm of Playcraft Limited (a sister corporation to Mettoy before they both merged) launched the Corgi name to the World. The name coming from a Welsh breed of dog, as both the Mettoy and Playcraft factories were based in Swansea, South Wales. Mettoy knew that to copy the Dinky product would not be enough to guarantee the success of the range. So, it was agreed that all the vehicles in the Corgi range would have windows. "The First with Windows" became one of the early selling slogans. December 1956 was the launch of the Corgi Model Club and a newsletter was published on a regular basis.|
|1957||Corgi produces its first catalogue and also entered the world of TV advertising. 1957 also saw the release of the first gift set and in its first full trading year reached nearly 2ĺ million pieces.|
|1960||The Chipperfields Circus range was first launched.|
|1964||To celebrate Mettoy's 30th Anniversary a new range was introduced under the name of Corgi Classics of veteran and vintage models.|
|1965||Along with the numerous amount of new models that was now expected of Corgi the company produced one particular model which would become the most universally known and remembered diecast model -"007 Aston Martin DB5".|
|1966||Two prestigious awards were given to Corgi (Mettoy) - the "Queens Award to Industry" and the National Association of Toy Retailers "Highest Standards Award". .|
|1968||November 1968 saw the release of a model which is still very much sought today - "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".|
|1969||On the 10th March 1969 a fire broke out in Swansea and gutted the warehouse with the total loss of at least a year's stock of Corgi models. As result a back-log of orders mounted and many retailers would turn to Dinky.|
|1971||The Mettoy Company was suffering in the hands of Mattel and as a result the Northampton factory closed with a loss of 900 jobs.|
|1974||£1.3 million was spent on new buildings, plant and tools as an extension to the existing Swansea site.|
|1977||A 1902 State Landau was designed and produced to coincide with the Silver Jubilee celebrations.|
|1983||With the company in serious financial difficulties the receivers were called in and it was thought the last Corgi Toy was produced. However a management buy-out was eventually formulated and the company was re-formed as Corgi Toys Limited in early 1984.|
|1984 - 1989||CORGI TOYS LIMITED|
|1984||Corgi Toys Limited was formed on 29th March 1984 from the assets of the former Mettoy Company. The new company decided to concentrate its efforts on producing and selling high quality diecast models. At the time of purchase, Corgi was rated number two in the UK diecast market. In the first year, Corgi set about winning back the confidence of the toy trade. The company appointed consultants to create a new corporate image with new packaging, a new roadwise logo and a revamped imaged.|
|1985 - 1989||Having concentrated its efforts during the first 2 years on regaining its market share in the UK, Corgi then turned to develop the overseas markets in both the toy and collector areas. Already exporting worldwide, extensive distribution arrangements were made, particularly in the USA and Australia and greater emphasis into the European markets was also realised. The collector area was encouraged by the introduction of a Corgi Collector Club with a worldwide membership. Corgi rapidly increased its market share and established itself as a leader in the competitive diecast toy market. The company's achievements were recognised in January 1987 when it was voted British Toy Company of the Year by the National Association of Toy Retailers.|
|Corgi Toys Limited was taken over by the US based toy company Mattel. Mike Rosser, Chief Executive for Corgi Toys Limited said that its Board had recommended the Mattel offer to Corgi shareholders as providing the best future for Corgi .|
|1990||The first Corgi model to be made in China is launched, the MGA in British racing green.|
Swansea factory and offices were closed and Corgi moved to Mattel's
UK headquarters in Leicester.
Mattel's backing enabled Corgi to launch many successful new toys on a worldwide basis. Running alongside the traditional toy markets, the Classics range developed substantially during the first half of the 1990's. Particular emphasis was placed on commercial vehicles of the 1950's and 1960's - the age of nostalgia .
launched the Original Omnibus range, with its 1:76 scale commercial
vehicles designed to complement OO gauge railway layouts. The same
year, the company invested in new tooling aimed at the American
market featuring commercials, fire vehicles and coaches.
The 1990's have also seen Corgi re-entering the world of TV and films, with successes such as Mr Bean's Mini, the Inspector Morse Jaguar and the Morris Minor from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.
Significantly increased investment in tooling, limited editions, authentically and great attention to detail have resulted in record demand and collectability. It is these factors which have driven Corgi to its number one position today.
|1995 - 1998||CORGI CLASSICS LIMITED|
|On the 7th August after five years of ownership by Mattel, Corgi was back in private hands, following a management buyout led by Chris Guest and venture capitalist Cinven. The connection with Mattel was finally severed when the new Corgi Classics Limited moved from the Mattel building into new premises, just a Ĺ mile away on the Meridian Business Park, Leicester, on 23rd October 1995.|
1996 expansion continued with the purchase of Basset Lowke
property and tooling and the launch of the First Corgi
Corgi also secured licences for the Beatles and Mr Bean products and launched the Hong Kong Product Range.
|1998||During 1998, Corgi moved to direct sourcing of production in Hong Kong and the Aviation Archive range was launched. ICON figurines were developed and the Corgi Collector Centre now stood at 35 locations.|
|1999 - 2000||CORGI CLASSICS LIMITED|
latest chapter in the history of Corgi Classics Ltd has been
written with the companyís acquisition in October 1999 by
US collectibles specialist and Nasdaq listed company
Zindhart introduces new investment and presents further opportunities for Corgi to apply its collectibles expertise to the US markets. Corgi has now introduced a dedicated Sales & Marketing operation based in the USA and is looking to establish a firm foothold in the US.
Corgiís acquisition of the UK die-cast collectibles company Lledo, including tooling plus the highly respected Vanguards and Days Gone ranges, further strengthens Corgiís offering in the die-cast model car sector.
Corgi has developed a world class collectible die-cast model vehicle business and continues to extend its product range and distribution into selected niches of the mass toy market. The company is also successfully exploiting opportunities to move the Corgi brand into the wider market for gift and collectible products.
|Other noteable events for Corgi during 1999 included the acquistion of Lledo Collectibles, the launch of ICON Figurines and the German Product Range. Collector Centres now standing at 45.|
|2000||Early in the new Millennium Corgi Inc. Sales and Marketing operation was established in the USA and a licencing deal secured for Noddy from Enid Blyton.|