The modern era of toy cars started in 1933, when the British company Dinky Toys first began manufacturing diecast miniature cars and trucks. Dinky Toys sat atop the British toy market for years, until Mettoy Playcraft Ltd. began producing its own in 1956.
Mettoy called its diecast miniatures Corgi Toys. Produced in Wales (and named after a Welsh breed of dog), Corgi Toys sought to compete with Dinky Toys by introducing more realistic models—the very first cars, for example, were advertised as “the ones with windows,” a phrase which became famous as the company ascended to market dominance.
Mattel purchased Corgi Toys in 1989, but Corgi Classics regained its independence in 1995 and continues to produce model cars today. In the meantime, Corgi Toys and their endless variety—from police cars to race cars to Batmobiles and everything in between—have become coveted items for collectors.