Corgi International

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Corgi International Limited
Industry Consumer Goods
Founded 1956
Headquarters Hong Kong, China
Key people
Michael Cookson
Products movie prop replicas
Number of employees
Divisions Master Replicas
Cards Inc.

Corgi International Limited (formerly known as Zindart International Limited) is a company rooted in the old Welsh Corgi Toys started in the late 1950s. That company was later acquired by Mattel around 1990, then made independent. Today, Corgi consists of three distinct brands that manufacture movie prop replicas, die-cast collectibles, and gift and toy products. Corgi International also distributes trading cards and movie memorabilia through a separate brand.


In July 1977, Zindart International Limited was incorporated in Hong Kong as a limited company under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance initially to operate a manufacturing facility. In February 1997, the company’s ADSs were listed on the NASDAQ Global Market.

In July 1999, the company acquired Corgi Classics Limited, who made the classic diecast cars. Corgi was founded in 1956 in England as Mettoy. It is one of the oldest marketers of collectible die-cast models of lorries, buses, cars and aeroplanes in the world, with its principal markets of its products in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.

After renaming the company to Corgi International Limited, in December 2006 the company sold their Zindart Manufacturing division. Corgi also operated a book and paper division, Hua Yang, which Corgi acquired in February 1998 and had sold in May 2004. In December 2006, Corgi acquired Cards Inc. and merged with Master Replicas. After these acquisitions, Corgi began the process of reclassifying product categories and channels of distribution to be more closely aligned with the strategic direction and organization structure of the company.[clarification needed]

In April 2008, Corgi International sold the Corgi Classics brand, tooling and intellectual property rights to Hornby Hobbies Ltd.[2] This sale did not include licensed properties such as James Bond and Star Trek.

Corgi International Limited is a global Pop Culture company, which develops and markets licensed and generic toys, gifts and collectables distributed via direct, specialty, hobby, collector and mass retail channels worldwide. Marketed under the brand names Master Replicas, PopCo and H2go, the Company’s line of products range from entertainment prop replicas and limited edition memorabilia to traditional toys and gift merchandise.

The Company holds varying licenses for entertainment franchises including Disney, Harry Potter, James Bond, Star Trek, Nintendo, Halo and The Beatles, amongst others.

Master Replicas[edit]

The Master Replicas brand (also known as MR) produce movie prop replicas and high end collectibles.[3] Based in Walnut Creek, CA, the company was founded in 2003 by Michael Cookson.[4] Cookson has served as Chairman of Master Replicas since it was founded and chief executive officer since August 2004. Master Replicas develops and markets licensed collectables distributed via direct, specialty, hobby, collector and mass retail channels worldwide.

Master Replicas holds varying licenses for entertainment franchises including Star Trek, Disney, James Bond 007, Halo, Nintendo, and The Muppets Previous to January 2008, the company manufactured and sold product under the Star Wars brand before The Company chose not to renew the license upon expiration.[5] While many of their items are props at full-scale (particularly weapons like lightsabers, phasers, and swords), they also make many scale model items, like spaceships, and characters.

Master Replicas has also been commissioned to make items for corporations to resell on their own. For example, MR made a 1/6 scale Master Sword and Hylian Shield for Nintendo and Target Stores to coincide with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

Force FX[edit]

Master Replicas is known[citation needed] for their Force FX product line which recreated various lightsabers used in the Star Wars movies.

Master Replicas no longer produces this product line but has adapted the technology to replicas of other items including the Halo Energy Sword and Link's Sword from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda.


Master Replicas closed upon Corgi International expiry. The Master Replicas brand is now owned by Darren Epstein who bought it from the administrators.

Cards Inc.[edit]

Cards Inc., based in Watford, England, was founded by Darren Epstein in 1989 and was a distributor of trading cards and pop culture memorabilia principally in the United Kingdom and Europe. The Cards Inc brand name and its trading card game, sticker, and collectable trading card-based business was sold[6] in April 2008 the remainder of the Cards Inc business continues its distribution of pop culture collectibles under the name of PopCo Distribution.

On October 31, 2008, PopCo Distribution was placed into administration, which is the rough equivalent to Chapter 11 reorganization in the United States.[7]


  1. ^ "Company Profile for Corgi International Ltd (CRGI)". Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Hornby to buy Corgi in £7.5m deal". BBC News. 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  3. ^ "About Corgi International". Master Replicas. Corgi International. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  4. ^ "Master Replicas Team Info". Master Replicas. Corgi International. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  5. ^ "Introducing the eFX to Star Wars". Lucasfilm. 2008-01-10. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  6. ^ Dungan, Ronnie (April 11, 2008). "Corgi sells Cards Inc unit". Toy News Mag. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Corgi International Limited Announces That Two of Its Wholly Owned United Kingdom Subsidiaries Have Been Placed into Administration". 31 October 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2011.