Corgi’s famous British-made model vehicles captured the imagination of millions of baby boomers and, what were once simply toys for boys, are highly sought-after in the expanding collectables market. Some models, in mint condition and complete with box, which originally sold for a few shillings are now fetching hundreds of pounds. Today, the majority of Corgi cars, trucks and buses are produced as once-only Limited Editions and are often sold out within weeks of release.
Although top prices grab the headlines, diecast scale model collecting is an easy hobby to start and many vehicles, both old and new, can be acquired for a few pounds.
The first Corgi models appeared in 1956 and covered British-built saloon cars of the period. Always at the forefront and to ensure a point of difference from other die-cast vehicles, Corgis were sold as the ones with windows. Other later innovations included Glidamatic spring suspension, opening bonnets and boots and diamond jewelled headlights.
Without doubt, Corgi’s best known model is James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. First produced in 1965 and featuring ejector seat and front-mounted machine guns, it was an instant success earning the UK Toy of the Year Award. Priced at around 10/- (50p), by 1968 more than 3.9 million had been sold.
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