The Great Book of Corgi

Great Book of Corgi

page last updated: 27 October 2018

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I've arranged this part of the site chronologically, using Marcel van Cleemput's Pocket Book companion to the wonderful & essential Great Book of Corgi as a guide.

Each year gets its own page and on each of those pages I list all the new models released that year. If there's one I've had in my collection or through the web store there's a link to pictures of it, where I don't have one yet I'm open to offers if you have one for sale. Please browse and enjoy. You may make copies of anything on the site; all I ask in return is an acknowledgement and a link back to this website.

(September 2018) This section of the Museum is having a make-over. Most of it was written in the early Noughties and looks like it. I'm going for a cleaner look more in line with the rest of the site and my on-line store. I've got lots more pictures now too so they are all getting a review and where possible poorer pictures are being replaced and gaps are getting filled in. I'm working backwards from 1983 as there were most gaps in the later sections.

I no longer own any of these cars (well I kept just a few special ones) as they have been sold through Little Wheels

 

 

1956

Corgi 201; Austin Cambridge; Turquoise

  The Corgi Toys brand is launched by Mettoy with a fine range of British cars centre-stage supported by no less than 6 versions of the Bedford CA van.
       
1957 Corgi 208m; Jaguar Mk1 2.4 Saloon   Firsts in 1957: First Major, first foreign car, first racing car, first Land Rover, first Karrier shops, first Gift Set
       
1958 Corgi GS3; RAF Land Rover and Bloodhound Missile Set   The year of the missiles - two competing systems Bloodhound & Corporal, very realistic and the beginning of the military models.
       
1959

Corgi 223; Chevrolet Impala State Patrol

  Farm machinery arrives and the beginning of 'Glidamatic' suspension and detailed interiors, Chevy Impala debuts
       
1960

Corgi 417; Land-Rover Series 1 109 Breakdown Truck

  Bluebird, the first Chipperfields and the first opening bonnet, S upgrade models arrive and the Mini bursts on to the scene
       
1961

Corgi 224; Bentley Continental; Black & Silver

  Seats and spring suspension are the norm, the Bentley Continental, Ecurie Ecosse transporter, Fordson Major, Golden Guinea
 

 

   
1962

Corgi 1129; Bedford S Type MilkTanker; Blue, White

  Detail, detail, detail - opening everything, more Chipperfields, the Jag Mk 10, some very sexy Americans and new versions of old friends
       
1963 Corgi GS27; Bedford TK Machinery Carrier and Cub Shovel   Many more features, trans-o-lites, luggage in the boot, building kits & rally cars. The Ghia sets new standards in detail
       
1964 Corgi 431; Volkswagen Type 2 Pick-Up   The 'Classics', the London Bus and the first Monte Carlo Mini-Cooper, fine engineering with working wipers and the Simon Snorkel
       
1965 Corgi GS33; Tractor & Beast Carrier Set; Fordson Major & Trailer   One of the biggest years; James Bond, The Saint, musical Ice Cream vans, loads of military, VW Safari Rally, long long list, all good
       
1966 Corgi 494; Bedford TK Tipper Truck; Red, Yellow Tipper   Batmobile, the Avengers, Man from UNCLE, Rally cars, Cortina Estate - all classic mainline Corgi at their peak
       
1967 Corgi 156; Cooper-Maserati T81 Formula 1   Holmes Wrecker, Daktari, Green Hornet, Bertie Wooster, James Bond's Toyota, MGB, one of the best years ever
       
1968 Corgi 275; Rover 2000 TC; Metallic Green   Chitty chitty bang bang, the Monkees, take-off wheels and the Mini 'Magnifique' less newness, but every model is brilliant
       
1969 Corgi 302; Hillman Hunter London to Sydney Marathon Winner   London to Sydney Hillman and a few other great new models - the beginning of Whizzwheeels
       
1970 Corgi 375; Toyota 2000 GT; Mirror Blue   Whizzwheels take over, working features begin to disappear. There are still some great new products but the decline has begun.
       
1971 Corgi 163; Ford Capri - The Santa Pod ‘Gloworm’ Dragster   Dragsters & Beach Buggies, appearance of the 'Corgi Technocrats'. Mazak models begin a new era of poor modelling
       
1972 Corgi 1106; MACK R-Type Truck; Container Trailer, ACL   Products sourced from Hong Kong, Whizzwheels models, no clever engineering, nothing worth much at all.
       
1973 Corgi 397; Porsche Audi 917-10 Can-Am; White; L&M   More dumbed-down models and fewer recognisably 'Corgi' products, Nothing new, just rehashes of mediocre stuff.
       
1974 Corgi C155; Shadow Formula I Racing Car; UOP. Jackie Oliver   As last year, nothing new worth a mention.
       
1975 Corgi 314; Fiat X1/9; Metallic Green, Black Roof   Another fallow year with little fresh to see
       
1976 Corgi 411; Mercedes-Benz 240D Taxi   A few Corgi Majors showing newness here, but nothing much else to get worked up about at all
       
1977 Corgi 471; AEC Routemaster Bus; Queen's Silver Jubilee 1977   The year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee and there were still some decent new products being released, the brand hit a low point at the end of the year though with the release (escape?) of Corgi Cubs
       
1978 Corgi C429; Jaguar XJ 12C Police; White; Opening Doors & Bonnet   There was little new in 1978.
       
1979 Corgi C289; Volkswagen Polo; Racing, Gold Metallic, RN4   The year of character merchandise - almost half the new releases are TV, comic & movie themed and most of the rest are rehashed old models.

There are probably more gaps in my pictures for 1979 than any other year, probably because so few of these models were sold and consequently fewer survive

       
1980 Corgi 334; 1980 Ford Escort MkIII   There were some decent models in 1980, some new and some were warmed-over products from previous years, the move to 1:36 scale is almost complete.
       
1981 Corgi 457; Matra Rancho   The toys released in 1981 were showing a significant reduction in engineering and quality of modelling
       
1982 Corgi 314; Jaguar XJS; HE Supercat, Black   Corgi are struggling to survive against the unstoppable rise of electronic games, they even attempt to bring in some electronics themselves, not very successfully.

The products on offer have gone into a bit of decline now.

       
1983 Corgi Classics 803; Jaguar XK120 Roadster (1:36); Soft Top, Red, Black Hood   This is where it all came to an end for Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. Mettoy had been founded in 1933 by German émigré Philip Ullmann and launched the Corgi Toys brand in 1956. In 1983 after a few years of indifferent trading the company went bust.

The company was sold in 1984 with the assets of the company transferred to a new Corgi Toys company which folded shortly after.

       

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