Swansea Fforestfach factory
1934: Mr. Philip Ullman and Mr. Arthur Katz both Jewish, came from the German toy making firm Tipp & Co. They moved to Britain where they laid the foundations of Mettoy in 51 St. Andrews Street Northampton England.
1936: The Company now had premises in Stimson Avenue Northampton England with a workforce of roughly 50 people.
1937 : Larger premises were needed so they moved to Mettoy’s own factory in 14 Harleston Road, St James End Northampton England.
1938 Manufacture of toys was moved to Mettoy’s own factory in Northampton.
1939: WWII brought a temporary closure of toy manufacturing. At this point they were entrusted to make many essential tin-plated products for the war effort.
1944: The Ministry of Supply selected Fforestfach Swansea factory, with 28,000 sq. ft. for further production.
1948: Mettoy started to build a 115,000 sq. ft. new modern factory at Fforestfach, for at least two reasons; the area had a ready source of raw materials and a need for high employment.
1949: The factory was officially opened by King George VI on 2nd April.
The design department and management was in Northampton, but the main factory was in Swansea.
The company moved its headquarters to Swansea in 1952, although design and development remained in 14 Harleston Road, St James End Northampton.
1952: The factory was enlarged and now totalled 200,000 sq. ft. of working space, where they now housed the production and commercial sections. After this came the installation of the high-capacity injection-moulding machinery.
1952: Swansea now became the official company headquarters.
1956: Corgi Toys were introduced in the UK in July 1956 and were manufactured in a newly built factory at Swansea, Wales. A production plant was built at Fforestfach in Swansea to manufacture the new range of Corgi Toys providing many new jobs in an area of high unemployment following the scaling down of local coal mining operations.
The launch date for the Corgi range was to be the 9th July 1956. The firm of Playcraft Limited (a sister corporation to Mettoy before they both merged) launched the Corgi name to the World. The name coming from a Welsh breed of dog, as both the Mettoy and Playcraft factories were based in Swansea.
1961: In December there over 1,000 plus employees at its Queensway, Fforestfach factory and they became one of the largest toy manufactures in Britain, with a factory space of over 240,000 sq. feet.
1968: The Mettoy’s factories and warehouses were approximately 385,000 Sq. ft. and a workforce of 3,500 people.
1969: 10th March disaster struck with fire at the Queensway warehouse, many thought the company wouldn't survive. There was indeed a fire at the Corgi factory in 1969, march 10th to be exact, which destroyed the warehouse with over a years stock.
1973: An additional space of 48,000 sq. ft. is acquired at Skewen for assembly and storage.
1974: A new die-casting foundry was built in Fforestfach and later a new 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse was opened.
1981: In September Mettoy became a public limited company, but recorded record losses and closed warehouses in Northampton and Skewen.
1984: March of this year there was a management buy-out of The Corgi Toy Company, including the Swansea factory.
1986: A small collection of Corgi die-cast toys were donated to Swansea Museum.
Mattel purchases the Swansea factory in this year.
1991: The Swansea factory and offices close when Mattel moves to its headquarters in Leicester. In January, 1991 the Swansea factory and offices were closed and Corgi moved to Mattel's UK headquarters in Leicester.
All Corgi 267 Batmobiles were made at the Mettoy plant Swansea South Wales UK.
The image shows 4 Fforestfach Mettoy buildings - the 1, 2, 3 and 4 factories; built in that order (build in yellow line is not from Corgi).
In 1948King George opening of Mettoy Factory
In 1972Black and white oblique aerial photograph showing the Mettoy Factory, Fforest Fach Industrial Estate, dated 22/6/1972.
In september 2006
In september 2006
16 june 2011
The fire at the former Mettoys factory in Fforestfach has been burning for over a week and will not be fully extinguished until next month.
The former Mettoys factory where the shredded tyres were being stored was largely demolished so firefighters could gain access to the burning material.
A blaze within a Swansea factory containing some 5,000 tonnes of shredded tyres has been extinguished after three weeks. Fire crews had battled the fire at the former Mettoys factory since June 16 and gaining the upper hand required demolishing a good part of the building so that the burning waste could be removed an immersed in large tanks of water.