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Buddy L (also known as Buddy "L" or Buddy-L) is an American
toy brand and company founded in 1920 as the Buddy L Toy
Company in East Moline, Illinois, by Fred Lundahl.

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

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 Carolina/

In the 1990s, Buddy L made Splatter Up, a wet version of

On 31 August 2000, the Consumer Product Safety
Commission issued a recall for 114,000 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,[8] also known as the Gearbox Pedal Car
Company, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa (renamed as Gearbox Toys
and now owned by J. Lloyd International).
Kingsbury Toys