Established in 1965, the World of Groggs had a somewhat humble beginning. In what was first a desperate attempt to escape the rat race, founder John Hughes entered the world of ceramics via a back garden shed, and the first Groggs were born. From this makeshift studio came an army of weird and wonderful creations - mythical creatures from Welsh legend, small animal caricatures and ashtrays, along with the now unmistakable sporting 'Uglies', clay rugby figures which would become the template for the future.
With the increasing success of Welsh rugby a shed was no longer enough to sustain this developing ceramic community. The World of Groggs was growing fast and needed a suitable home. The derelict Dan-y-Graig pub on the Broadway in Pontypridd provided the space and location for the Groggs to flourish and became a permanent base in 1971. The building was converted, painted in Welsh colours and given a name. The Grogg shop gallery and studio had begun.
The following years saw the tradition of the Groggs develop into a family legacy. After choosing a career in ceramics over further education, Richard and Cathy Hughes followed their father into the business. In 1976, combining talent and years of paternal encouragement Richard, concentrating on the facial likenesses, joined forces with John to keep the Grogg Hall of Fame growing ever faster. As Welsh rugby entered the Golden Era, the World of Groggs followed, celebrating the Welsh team with figures of Wales' sporting heroes, including Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Gerald Davies, Phil Bennett, JPR Williams, Mervyn Davies and the legendary Pontypool Front Row. This won the Groggs global recognition, not to mention a few famous fans! The list of supporters become even bigger since, with a legion of avid collectors and an array of household names who love being a part of the World of Groggs' heritage.
Groggs are usually made of Popular Welsh rugby players, Welsh celebrities and the occasional non Welsh celebrity. They also create a vast number of international football stars including Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Chelsea captain John Terry. Whenever possible the person who is grogged is presented with the first Grogg produced. Examples of non welsh celebrities who have been grogged are Clint Eastwood and Pavarotti. One Welsh celebrity Catherine Zeta Jones looks unlikely to be grogged as John Hughes finds females particularly difficult to make, saying that a female can take as much as three times as long as a male to create.
In 2001 the founder of the business and the inventor of the Groggs John Hughes was presented with Chancellor's medal from the University of Glamorgan in recognition of his contribution to Welsh life.
Groggs are highly collectable and the figures are usually limited to 300 or 500 pieces, after which the mould is destroyed. In 2005, following Wales' victory in the rugby union grand slam, a limited edition Grogg was produced to commemorate the event. The production run was limited to 151 pieces, being the number of points Wales scored during the competition. The Grand Slam Grogg sold out within 2 days of going on sale.