Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up
Mazda produced B Series pickup trucks from 1961 to 2006 across five generations. Corgi modelled the second generation truck produced from 1965 to 1977, by which time they were becoming a very familiar sight on British roads and beginning to take over from the Land-Rover as the go-to farmer's utility vehicle. they were rugged, cheap and reliable. This is a casting Corgi used over & over again, it is the 1975 Mazda pick-up but it was more indestructible then Top Gear's Toyota Hilux and came back even more often, surviving well after the Mettoy demise.
The first Corgi Toys release (493) was the simple blue and silver truck released in February 1975, sometimes referred to as blue and white, it was withdrawn in 1978. In August 1975 the Mazda was the tow vehicle in Gift Set GS28 paired with a matching red & yellow dinghy on a trailer with 'Sea Spray' tampo printed on the sides, there is also a plastic diver figure. There was an opening toolbox in the loadbed of the truck. I don't have an example of the full set, just the pickup. The gift set was withdrawn in 1978.
In January 1976 the pickup got the cherry picker from out the back of the Forward Control Jeep Tower Wagon (478) and became the Motorway maintenance Truck (413) remaining in the catalogue until 1978. The truck was supplied with some warning signs not included with my unboxed example. in June 1976 we got the rather inspired camper with a detachable cab-over back body (415) which remained in the Corgi Toys range until 1978. It returned in the post-Mettoy era. The Corgi Toys version is always red with a white plastic camper body.
The next release was in June 1979 (440). This one is a US Custom Pickup, painted yellow with a stars and stripes inspired design using labels on the bonnet and sides. It also has a vacuum plated tailboard and over-sized rear wheels. It was withdrawn in 1980. In July 1979 it became The Incredible Hulk truck (264), withdrawn in 1980. This version is metallic gold with a Hulk figure bursting out of a cage in the loadbed. It can be dark or light gold with the cage being either red or grey plastic, none of which affects the value.
In October 1980 the pickup formed part of GS2 Construction Gift Set, in this set the pickup is orange and has the toolbox in the back. It was in the set with a Massey Ferguson tractor with a loading shovel and the Corgi Juniors Site Cement Mixer. I don't have an example of this release.
The last release under Mettoy was the '4x4 Open Back Truck' (495). This one is blue with tampo printed designs. It has been given raised suspension with over-sized wheels and a roll bar behind the cab. It was released in June 1983 just as Mettoy was going into receivership. It came back though in the post-Mettoy era in a different colour scheme.
I've found three post-Mettoy releases shown below
|Corgi Toys 493; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; Blue & Silver||Corgi Toys GS28a; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; Seaspray, Yellow & Red||Corgi Toys 413; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; Motorway Maintenance Truck||Corgi Toys 415; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; Camper||Corgi Toys 440; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; US Custom|
|Corgi Toys 264; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; The Incredible Hulk||Corgi Toys 495; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; 4x4 Open Back Truck|
|Post Mettoy Era:|
|Corgi 495; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; 4x4; Tarmac||Corgi 57202; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; Camper, White, Green Trim||Corgi 57201; Mazda B 1600 Pick-Up; Fire Chief, Cherry Picker|