Although the name "Corgi Toys" was not introduced until 1955, the roots of the original holding company, Mettoy, go back to 1932 when a German toymaker called Philipp Ullmann arrived in Britain to form a new toy manufacturing company. This company produced many types of toys, both before and after the Second World War, mainly in tinplate.
In the 1950s Mettoy began to produce diecast metal toys and hence, in 1956 the first Corgi Toys were released to the children's toy market and proved an immediate success. Over the next 30 years hundreds of miniature vehicles would be modeled on contemporary vehicles such as Vauxhalls, Rileys, Hillmans, Standards, Commers and ERFs. Corgi also made daring and successful ventures into film-and-TV related toys with their versions of James Bond, The Saint and Batmobile cars selling millions. Life-long collector David Cooke explores the history of Corgi Toys, describing the various models and illustrating how these simple children's toys became valuable collectables. He also charts the recent financial problems faced by the company, and their resurgence based upon Limited Edition collectors' models sold direct to an adult market.