Mettoy introduced Corgi Toys model cars, manufactured in South Wales

Monday 9th July 1956

Mettoy introduced Corgi Toys model cars, manufactured in South Wales. The name ‘Corgi Toys’ was chosen by Philip Ullmann in honour of the company’s new home, taken from the Welsh breed of dog, the Corgi, and the iconic Corgi dog logo branded the new range. The name was short and easy to remember, further aligning the range with their rival Dinky Toys. Corgi Toys also included plastic glazing,[4] which lent the models a greater authenticity, and they carried the advertising slogan “the ones with windows”. The 1956 releases were all familiar British vehicles. Six family saloon cars; Ford Consul (200/200M), Austin A50 Cambridge (201/201M), Morris Cowley (202/202M), Vauxhall Velox (203/203M), Rover 90 (204/204M), Riley Pathfinder (205/205M) and Hillman Husky (206/206M),[4] and two sports cars; Austin-Healey 100 (300) and Triumph TR2 (301). Initially, all models were issued in free-rolling form, or with friction drive motors, with the exception of the heavy commercials which would have been too bulky and the sports cars whose low slung bodies would not be able to accommodate the motors. The Mechanical versions, as they were known, were indicated by an ‘M’ suffix to the model number and were available in different colour schemes. They were issued with tougher die-cast bases to support the extra weight of the motor, and in far fewer numbers. Mechanical versions did not sell particularly well, partly due to a significantly higher purchase price, and were phased out in 1960 with Ford Thunderbird (214M) the last of the line. The die-cast baseplates were expanded across the range to replace the original tin plate at the same time. Today they are considered more collectable because of their relative rarity.

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