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The Imperial Toy Corporation began operating in 1969. Their founder, Fred Kort, was a Holocaust survivor who emigrated to the United States after the 2nd World War. They were known for making a variety of different toy products. Including diecast vehicles and Kort's own patented items. Their American offices were located in Los Angeles, California. Their Imperial Toy Canada Ltd branch office was based in Mississauga, Ontario. Their products were also distributed by Titan Toys Intl Ltd (?) in the United Kingdom. Imperial had established relationships with several Hong Kong manufacturers and offering a variety of vehicles throughout their years of operation.

In the 1970s, they marketed Playart's "Freewheel Flyers", WT's "Mighty Mini", Universal's "Hiway Streakers", and Yat Ming's "Action Trucks".

In the 1980s, they marketed High Speed's fricton pull back series of "Hot Tire Peelers" and Yat Ming's "Cruisin' Classics" series. They also marketed Universal castings from the TV show "CHIPS." and a six-pack set called "Emergency Team". The CHIPS series listed Imperial on their base plates. The Emergency Team set vehicles had either Imperial or LJN identification on their base plates.

In the late 1980s, Imperial began using their "Imperial Diecast" crown logo on their own packages.

In the mid 1990s, they marketed High Speed's "Road Machine" and "Mighty Machines" models. The "Mighty Machines" line-up included "Hot Streakers", "Big Rig Truck", and "Mighty Classics". The "Hot Streakers" line were a neon painted version of the "Super Speed Wheelers" or themed emergency sets (?) from Ta Cheong with their TC #ed vehicles used. Playsets with plastic buildings and Sohbi brand castings were grouped by themes.

In 2000, the "Mighty Classics" series debuted with licensed Ford and Chevrolet vehicles. The Imperial name with the crown logo are used on their base-plates and include a 1998 copy right date. The actual maker of these vehicles is still unknown to this date. These were available in (2) packs, (5) packs and in a car transporter set. Around this same time Sahakangas, et al also notes that Sohbi provided their castings to Imperial for them to use in their themed playsets, but does not name them by brand/series. They also note that along with the Sohbi castings, plastic structures were also included in these sets.

In 2003, Imperial Toy purchased the venerable Buddy L name and began offering toy vehicles under this brand name. They also used both Summer and Mega Speed castings in their other offerings.

In the mid 2000s, a High Speed brand big rig was available exclusive to Albertson's supermarkets. The clear plastic trailer portion was filled with candy.

Known Series

Cruisin' Classics - 1993 to 2003; 1950s and 1960s American cars
Mighty Machines - 1998 to 2003;

See Unknown also.

Sourced references -

The Encyclopedia of Small-Scale Diecast Motor Vehicle Manufacturers by Sahakangas, Weber and Foster (2006)
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