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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.[1]

Buddy "L" toys were originally manufactured by the Moline
Pressed Steel Company, started by Fred A. Lundahl in
1910.[2] The company originally manufactured automobile
fenders and other stamped auto body parts for the automobile
industry.[2] The company primarily supplied parts for the
McCormack-Deering line of farm implements and the
International Harvester Company for its trucks.[2] Moline
Pressed Steel did not begin manufacturing toys until 1921.[2]
Mr. Lundhal wanted to make something new, different, and
durable for his son Arthur.[2] 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.[2]

Buddy L made such products as toy cars, dump trucks,
delivery vans, fire engines, construction equipment,[3] and
trains.[4] Fred Lundahl used to manufacture for International
Harvester trucks.[1] 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.[1] Many were
large enough for a child to straddle, propelling himself with his
feet.[1] 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.[1]

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.[1]
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,[1] a subsidiary of Empire of Carolina.[5]

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 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.[7]

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[5] (renamed as Gearbox
Toys and now owned by J. Lloyd International).
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