page last updated:26 March 2011
I'm puzzled by this word which appears on the base-plates of some of my Corgi models. I do know some facts though.
The earliest model I can find with this word stamped on the bottom is the Cortina Mklll GXL released in November 1970. The Adams Probe released the following month also had it. During 1971 it becomes commoner appearing on most of the new releases for the next couple of years.
More facts, Mazak is the name of a form of alloy used in die-cast model cars made from aluminum, copper & zinc.
Internet searches will return a list of die-casting companies which specialize in using this metal called 'Mazak limited' or something similar
There is also a die-cast tool making and engineering company which uses Mazak as part of its name.
The models which bear this stamp are typically less well engineered and finely modeled than we are used to with Corgis from previous years reaching a nadir with the Mercedes-Benz C111 from February 1971; in my opinion the worst Corgi ever.
In 1969 the Corgi factory suffered a huge fire. van Cleemput states on page 234 of his Great Book of Corgi that a whole years stock was destroyed in the warehouse but production was not affected.
I have a theory for which I can find no corroboration on the net or in the Book. I think Corgi needed to buy in stocks after the fire and outsourced some of their production to a business called 'Mazak'. This may or may not be true, but what is without doubt is that those models from the early '70s which bear the stamp have crudeness and heaviness which I'm sure hastened the decline of the brand.
If you know the meaning of the Mazak stamp on the base of Corgis please email me and tell me, if I can verify your story I'll publish it here with a credit to the author.