Buddy L toys history

Buddy "L" toys are manufactured by the Moline Pressed Steel Company in East Moline, Illinois. The company was founded in 1910 by Fred A Lundhal and 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.

Buddy LMoline 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 guage steel which had been discarded to the company's scrap pile.

Buddy LThe other kids in the neighborhood loved the toy so much they got their parents to request that Mr. Lundhal make similar toys for them. The demand made Mr. Lundhal consider manufacturing toys for the toy trade. He designed and produced 3 samples of all steel toys under the name Buddy"L". The name Buddy "L" came from his son, Arthur, who was known in the neighborhood as Buddy "L", to distinguish him from another Buddy in the same neighborhood.

Mr. Lundhal took his samples to the 1922 New York Toy Fair and received a lukewarm reception. Toy buyers thought the prices were too high; however, the toys became noted for their size and quality and toy sales took off. Therefore, Lundhal went ahead and launched the first large American pressed-steel toys - Buddy L.

The toy business prospered so much that by 1923, Moline Pressed Steel stopped fabricating full-size auto parts in favor of toys. By 1925 the toy line expanded to 20 items, including fire engines, moving vans, tanker trucks, lumber trucks, overhead cranes and sand loaders.

Outdoor Railroad

In 1926, the fabulous "Outdoor Railroad" train appeared. It was soon followed by ice trucks, coal trucks, tug boats, airplanes and a bus. Highly detailed and functional construction toys were also introduced, including some of the most desirable Buddy L toys ever manufactured.

Buddy "L" Manufacturing Company

In 1930 the name of the company was changed to Buddy "L" Manufacturing Company. The toys underwent some improvements to make them more realistic. The Junior line of trucks and toys were introduced.

Buddy "L" continued as the leader of large pressed steel toys up until World War II. Because steel was unavailable at that time, a line of wooden cars and trucks was produced. After the war, Buddy L continued to manufacture toys; however, it was never the same as before as toy manufacturers began making plastic toys.

Buddy L links

Questions, comments, or sweet memories?
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Daniel - November 23, 2013

Hello buddy, Im Daniel from Mexico, I have one of your oldies toy, one military jeep, I have some troubles or problems to fix it,the car is very old, I wonder ask if maybe someone of you people have an electric diagram about the function of this car.
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Will be difficult... Maybe if you can locate your jeep through: Google images you can find more info.

Mike Dunbar - July 7, 2013

I have a Buddy L Army Combination Set #5561, I have box, trucks, cannon, 2 stretchers, but missing the army tent (field hospital) green pup style with red cross, not sure how many soldiers were with set, but anyone having any info on the field hospital would appreciate it, thanks Mike
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No idea Mike, sorry, you could search this site frequently with these terms: Buddy L army to see if someday one pops up.

Curt Riekhof - January 28, 2013

I have a 5pc Buddy L Fire Truck set. They are from the mid to late 60's. They are or seem to be about 1/32 scale or a bit larger. They are still in the original box and have never been played with, I was looking at you web page and did not see anything like it.Sorry, I have no pictures to sent at this time but will have soon if you wish I can sent them to you as soon as I get them.If this is something you are interested in, Please send me an E-mail.Thanks Curt R.
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Difficult to say because Buddy L made different kinds of fire trucks. Better to browse through ended Buddy L auctions to see if you can find yours and what it can fetch.

Gary - December 8, 2010

i have 2 1968 or 67 camaros 1 red 1blue metalliic both white stripe red mint blue is fair to good, also a rare ? mustang 1967 fastback friction state police, buddyl /japan 9 inch or so has buddy l mark camaros do NOThave buddyl mark but do believe they are buddyl as well cannot find police car anywhere and camaros only list blue 1 so can any one help me im intereted in selling if i can find out info on them no boxes just cars and for the most part they are well taken care of

Butch Mcreynolds - October 25, 2010

I have a nice '57-'58 set of two army trucks, the hospital, 41 soldiers and the 9" cannon that goes behind one of the trucks. Everything is in near mint to pristine condition. Any idea what they are worth?

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Vintage Buddy L Oil Truck
vintage buddy l oil truck6 bid(s)ends in 12h$299.00
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6 1 2 long pressed steel Buddy L Kitty
6 1 2 long pressed steel buddy$39.99
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Buddy L station wagon
buddy l station wagon$24.95
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Vintage Pressed Steel Buddy L Aerial Ladder
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ANTIQUE Vintage Toy Pressed Steel Buddy L
antique vintage toy pressed8 bid(s)$331.00
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1920 S BUDDY L MODEL T SERIES DELIVERY TRUCK
1920 s buddy l model t series21 bid(s)$535.00
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1920S REPLACEMENT BUDDY L PADLOCK FOR REAR
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Buddy L Toy Road Roller
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Buddy L Train Outdoor Railroad 963 Engine
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Antique Vintage Buddy L Wood Moving Van Semi
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vintage Buddy L Volkswagon bus
vintage buddy l volkswagon bus$100.00
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VINTAGE BUDDY L STEEL TEXACO TANKER TRUCK
vintage buddy l steel texaco$199.99
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1920 s BUDDY L PRESSED STEEL RATCHETING DUMP
1920 s buddy l pressed steel$374.95
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BUDDY L 1930s PRESSED STEEL EXPRESS LINE
buddy l 1930s pressed steel14 bid(s)$178.50
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VINTAGE BUDDY L TOY LOT VAN GAS PUMP
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Vintage Buddy L Texaco Service Station toy
vintage buddy l texaco service5 bid(s)$255.00
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Antique Buddy L Dump Truck 1940 s Large
antique buddy l dump truck$98.98
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OLD 1930 S 40 S METAL DUMP TRUCK METAL WHEELS
old 1930 s 40 s metal dump5 bid(s)$11.50
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Two Vintage Buddy L Pressed Tin Toy Gas
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Vintage Buddy L Dump Truck C1923 24 inch
vintage buddy l dump truck11 bid(s)$167.50
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Olg Vtg BUDDY L Pressed Steel Red Toy Fire
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BUDDY L PARTS REPRO GRILL FOR TEXACO TANKER
buddy l parts repro grill for$25.00
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Vintage 1930s wood folk art double decker bus
vintage 1930s wood folk art$349.99
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Motor Express Wood Semi Truck 24 Auburn
motor express wood semi truck$100.00
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Vintage Buddy L Red Pressed Steel Teepee
vintage buddy l red pressed14 bid(s)$20.49
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BUDDY L WRECKER TOW TRUCK 1930 s 1940 s
buddy l wrecker tow truck 19303 bid(s)$100.00
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Vintage 50 s Buddy L Traveling Zoo Red
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VINTAGE 1950 s BUDDY L SIT N RIDE DUMP TRUCK
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Rare Buddy L Merry Go Round Truck
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VINTAGE BUDDY L MERRY GO ROUND TRUCK NO 5429
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VINTAGE BUDDY L TOY TRAILER GOODYEAR 86
vintage buddy l toy trailer$7.99
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Vintage Steel Buddy L Toy Truck Texaco 1950 s
vintage steel buddy l toy$250.00
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