Hi Speed Range

There were five of them in this little range of trucks, introduced between 1974 and 1976, which represented a wish on Corgi's part to have a range of cheap to produce high volume toys. There was a minibus, an ambulance a fire engine, a tow truck and a security van. I'm glad now I included this capsule range in my collection because it illustrates the many ways Corgi got it wrong at the end, or was it trying anything in desperation in the face of a changing market? They did not just bastardise the heritage of the brand by dumbing down previously excellent models, they also went after nonsense like this. However what is striking about them, against all logic, is that they photograph really well. It could be that the ones I have had were all in very good condition, and that could be because their original owners didn't really want to play with them.

These are nursery toys, accurate and feature-rich models of cars and trucks appeal to older boys. Was the decline of the brand hastened by unintentionally narrowing the market to a younger age group? That is possibly unfair as Corgi were trying a range of strategies at this time which, while they disappoint the enthusiast many years later, were actually a reaction to the changing world back then.

When I was little in the late fifties & sixties Corgi Toys were about as exciting and glamorous as toys got. Later on in the seventies & eighties there were many more toy options to choose from. In the die-cast arena the arrival of Hot Wheels changed everything, but the real killers for traditional toy car makers were the electronic toys and computers which were beginning to appear, electronic games were the true competition and the reason that Corgi could never continue as they were. To be fair to Mettoy they did go down this route forming Dragon Computers in an attempt to get some of the electronic play market.

This little range did not save the brand, nor did the next attempt to enter the low-cost high-volume market two years later in 1977, the short-lived and horrible Corgi Cubs.

700 Motorway Service Ambulance

The Motorway Service Ambulance was introduced in 1974 and remained in the range until 1979. It is always white and red with red and white paper stickers and there are no listed variations.

701 Inter-City Minibus

The Inter-City Minibus was introduced in 1974 and remained in the range until 1980. It is always orange with yellow and green paper stickers and there are no listed variations.

702; Hi-Speed Breakdown Truck

The Hi-Speed Breakdown Truck was released in April 1975 and withdrawn in 1979

703 Hi-Speed Fire Engine

The Hi-Speed Fire Engine was released in December 1975

424 Security Van

The Security Van was launched in December 1976, it stayed in the range for three years and sold 142,000 pieces.

 

         
Corgi Toys 700; Motorway Service Ambulance Corgi Toys 701; Inter-City Mini Bus Corgi Toys 702; Hi-Speed Breakdown Truck Corgi Toys 703; Hi-Speed Fire Engine Corgi Toys 424; Security Van
Corgi Toys 700; Motorway Service Ambulance Corgi Toys 701; Inter-City Mini Bus Corgi Toys 702; Hi-Speed Breakdown Truck Corgi Toys 703; Hi-Speed Fire Engine Corgi Toys 424; Security Van

 


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Last Edit: 27/08/2022 Page Added 15/08/2022