Corgi Toys (trademark) is the name of a range of die-cast toy vehicles produced by Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. in the United Kingdom. The Mettoy (Metal Toy) company was founded in 1933 by German émigré Philip Ullmann in Northampton, England, where he was later joined by South African-born German Arthur Katz, who had previously worked for Ullmann at his toy company Tipp and Co of Nuremberg. They decided to market a range of toy vehicles as competition to Meccano’s Dinky Toys model vehicles, which had dominated the British market for many years. Corgi Toys were introduced in the UK in July 1956 and were manufactured in Swansea, Wales, for 27 years before the company went into liquidation. A management buy-out re-formed the company as Corgi Toys Limited in March 1984. In 1989, the management sold the Corgi brand to Mattel and the factory was retained under the name of Microlink Industries Ltd. In 1995, Corgi regained its independence as a new company, Corgi Classics Limited, and moved to new premises in Leicester. The range was exported worldwide and sold in large numbers. Some of the best known and most popular models were of cars made famous in film and television such as the Batmobile, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 – which remains the largest selling toy car ever produced. Although the largest single vehicle type featured in the Corgi Toys range were models of cars from manufacturers around the world, this article sub-divides vehicles into genres, wherever possible, to allow a more detailed look at the variety of models produced by the company.
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