The History of Corgi Juniors:
Corgi manufacturer was a toy company named Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. Which was founded in 1956 and had its base in Swansea, Wales. The name Mettoy actually meant “Metal Toy”.
Apart from the well known 1:43 cars we have shown many times, this company also produced smaller cars and vehicles under the brand Husky. This brand was launched in 1964 to compete against Matchbox 1-75 series. Husky had better prices and were initially available at Woolworht’s.
Husky’s cars were lighter and less durable than Matchbox, although they already included some suspension and other nice features.
The Husky line got up to 75 models (like Matchbox). Under this brand a few accessories were also released, like carrying cases.
Massey Fergusson Traktor Shovel
To Husky we will return some other time. What’s important now about them, is that Mettoy decided to change the name of the line to Corgi Juniors in 1970. Exactly that year, the contract with Woolworth’s expired, and Mettoy/Corgi was free to sell its smaller cars everywhere, and compete more directly with Matchbox and other manufacturers. The change of name reinforces the Corgi brand and expands the Corgi family, which at that time already had a big fame in the Great Britain and outside of the Great Britain.
Together with the change of name, some other news were the usage of new Whizzwheels to make the cars faster (and compete also with HotWheels! And Matchbox Superfast).
The Corgi Juniors name was left by the mid 70s, and replaced by just “Corgi” in vehicles at the same scale. Corgi would manufacture this product until the end of its existence in 1983, Between 1984 and 1990 there were more models made until the brand was bought by Mattel in 1989. Some casts were reused in the HotWheels! line.
The variety of Corgi Juniors was huge, including all types of cars, trucks, machinery, prototypes, public service vehicles… these three are just three examples of trucks and machines. Older models have great quality casting, but models by the end of the line are very different and to my opinion not very well finished.
All Corgi Juniors models are numbered with a number, and from 1984 to 1990 with J plus a number. Some extra long-lived models saw different versions and there could be colour variations or even slight differences in casting. The three models shown in this entry are:
- #43 (1970-80) Massey Fergusson Traktor Shovel v2 Corgi Juniors
- #48 (1975-79) Shovel Loader Corgi Juniors
- #54 (1972-78) Ford D1000 Container Truck v2 Whizzwheels
Ford D1000 Container Truck
We recommend this site to look for information of your Corgi Juniors (years of release, numbers, colours available…): (DEAD LINK, SORRY!) http://corgi.matchboxworld1-75.nl/Corgi_Junior_Index.html
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: TRACTOR SHOVEL (Nr. 43), SHOVEL LOADER (Nr. 48) and FORD D1000 C CONTAINER TRUCK (Nr. 54)
- Scale: Around 1:100
- Year: 1970, 1975 and 1972
- Company: Corgi Juniors (G. Britain)
- Size: approx. 6 cm