Marcel van Cleemput  2/5/1926  15/3/2013

Last month, just as we went to press we received the very sad news that Marcel van Cleemput, Chief Designer at Corgi Toys from 1956 to 1983, and author of 'The Great Book of Corgi', had passed away. Marcel was the undisputed genius behind the magical, innovative Corgi Toys that thrilled a whole generation of children and which today have become highly prized by adult collectors worldwide.

Back in 1956, Mettoy proudly launched the Corgi Toys brand, promoting the new models with the unforgettable slogan “The ones with windows!”; Marcel, of course, was the man behind this pioneering new feature. As Mettoy locked into battle to challenge then market leader Dinky Toys, Marcel kept the innovations coming thick and fast. The name Mettoy may have been printedon every Corgi box, but in many respects the choice of models and creation of so many novel features, was down to Marcel alone. We’re sure everyone in the toy/model industry, all those children who grew up almost certainly not knowing his name but enjoying the fruits of his incredible and imaginative talent and, of course, the global fraternity of classic toy collectors, will agree his legacy is an achievement beyond compare.

As well as being a legend in his own lifetime, Marcel was also a very dear man, as any of you who may have had the privilege of meeting him will be aware. At Model Collector, we had the pleasure of talking with Marcel on a number of occasions (an interview with Marcel appeared in the July 2011 issue of MC and you also can watch video footage shot during one of our discussions with online at

But while his loss will be felt by all familiar with his wonderful work, it is of course his much- loved family who our heartfelt condolences really go out, especially his life-long sweetheart and devoted wife, Molly.


Marcel van Cleemput with his wife Molly and the Corgi Book