Budgie Toys was formed in 1959 by Sam and Harry Morris, who had tried unsuccessfully to market a range of model trucks in 1958. Unfortunately, while the models were good, the boxes were not eyecatching.
Morris had also been involved in marketing diecast toys under the Morestone brand since the 1940s, with the manufacturing handled by a company called Modern Products.
The Budgie Toys concept was to produce good quality diecast toys in eye-catching bright yellow boxes with an instantly recognisable identity. The new brand used the tagline “They Speak For Themselves” in their marketing.
By 1961 there were 37 vehicles in the range when Sam and Harry agreed to sell Budgie to the larger toy business of S Guiterman.
Guiterman changed the name of the range from Budgie Toys to Budgie Models and the range continued to thrive.
In March 1966, the Guiterman toy business suddenly collapsed and entered voluntary bankruptcy. The majority of the Budgie toy business ceased although various remnants later re-emerged under new ownership.
The remains of the business were advertised for sale, including a large number of moulds – reportedly 182 in total – but sadly these were destroyed in a fire before they could be sold.
In 1988 Autocraft purchased several of the old dies, tooling, machines, various part finished dies, and quantities of assorted castings. The company adapted several of the original dies for use on modern die-casting equipment and continues to produce models in the UK in limited runs aimed at the collector’s market.