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Buying Antique Buddy L Trucks & Cars Free Price Quotes
Buddy "L" Toy Museum
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Buddy "L" toys were originally manufactured by the Moline Pressed Steel Company, started by Fred A.
Lundahl in 1910. The company originally manufactured automobile fenders and other stamped auto body
parts for the automobile industry. The company primarily supplied parts for the McCormack-Deering line of
farm implements and the International Harvester Company for its trucks. Moline Pressed Steel did not begin
manufacturing toys until 1921. Mr. Lundhal wanted to make something new, different, and durable for his
son Arthur. He designed and produced an all-steel miniature truck, reportedly a model of an International
Harvester truck made from 18- and 20-gauge steel which had been discarded to the company's scrap pile.
Buddy L made such products as toy cars, dump trucks, delivery vans, fire engines, construction equipment,
and trains. Fred Lundahl used to manufacture for International Harvester trucks. He started by making a
toy dump truck out of steel scraps for his son Buddy. Soon after, he started selling Buddy L "toys for boys",
made of pressed steel. Many were large enough for a child to straddle, propelling himself with his feet.
Others were pull toys. A pioneer in the steel-toy field, Lundahl persuaded Marshall Field's and F. A. O.
Schwarz to carry his line. He did very well until the Depression, then sold the company.
From 1976 to 1990, Buddy L was owned by Richard Keats, a well-known New York toy designer who went to
work for Buddy L the day after he graduated from Brown University in 1948. By 1978 the company was
located in Clifton, New Jersey.
In 1990, Keats sold Buddy L to SLM International. SLM sold Buddy L off in 1995 under bankruptcy protection.
By 2010, Buddy L it was owned by Empire Industries of Boca Raton, Florida, a subsidiary of Empire of
In the 1990s, Buddy L made Splatter Up, a wet version of T-ball.
On 31 August 2000, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall for about 113,000
battery-powered children's riding vehicles, marketed as "Power Drivers" or "Buddy L", for repair. The vehicles'
battery chargers can overheat, presenting fire and injury hazards to children.
In November 2000, Empire of Carolina and its wholly owned subsidiary, Empire Industries, Inc., filed for
bankruptcy and, in July 2001, Empire Industries was sold substantially to Alpha International, Inc, also
known as the Gearbox Pedal Car Company, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa (renamed as Gearbox Toys and now
owned by J. Lloyd International).
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