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Corgi Toys originally set out to compete in the die-cast toy vehicle market that was dominated by Dinky Toys, Meccano, and a host of other companies around the world. Production began in 1956 and continues today under different ownership. The company saw huge success through television-series model cars including the Batmobile, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and most of all, the Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond.
The design team at Corgi created cars with steerable front wheels, opening hoods and doors, and decorative jeweled tail and headlights. Several rare examples of Corgi cars were produced with rear-view mirrors and folding seats. One even had a corgi dog sitting in the rear window.
Mettoy, the controlling entity of Corgi, produced small-scale toys marketed under the Husky Toys name. The line was introduced in 1964 and was meant to compete directly with Matchbox. Corgi stayed competitive and produced stunning automotive miniatures far into the ‘80s. The company has changed hands several times and was wholly owned by Mattel at one time. Today, the brand is known as Corgi Classics and is owned by Hornby, a British model railroad brand.
The Corgi Toys name was chosen by Philip Ullman, inspired by the Welsh corgi breed of dog. The iconic corgi dog logo differentiated Corgi Toys from other toy companies on the market
Corgi is best known by collectors today for producing the best-selling toy car in history: the Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond in the movie “Goldfinger”
Collection of Corgi toys has flourished online, allowing collectors to find rare examples from the company’s nearly 85-year history