Vintage Buddy L Traffic Signal.

Presenting a very RARE¬†Vintage Buddy L Traffic Signal….from the 1970’s.

The Set includes:

Vintage Buddy L Traffic Signal.

  • Buddy L (or 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.[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 BuddyL to SLM International and by 2010 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 T-ball.[6]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).



  • HO or H0 is a scale used in model railroading. It is the most popular scale of model railway in the world.[1][2]The precise definition of HO or H0 scale varies slightly by country. According to the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) standard S-1.2, predominantly used in North America, in HO scale 3.5¬†mm (0.1378¬†in) represents 1 real foot (304.8¬†mm). This is a ratio of 1:87.0857142, which is usually rounded to 1:87.1.[3] According to the MOROP standard NEM 010, which is predominantly used in Europe, H0 scale is exactly 1:87.[4]In HO and H0, rails are spaced 16.5¬†mm (0.64961¬†in) apart, which approximates the standard railroad gauge of 1,435¬†mm (4¬†ft¬†8¬†1‚ĀĄ2¬†in).

The name HO is derived from the fact that its 1:87 scale is approximately half that of O scale which was the smallest of the series of older and larger 0, 1, 2 and 3 scales introduced by M√§rklin around 1900. In most English-speaking markets it is pronounced “aitch-oh” and written with the letters HO today, but in German it is pronounced “hah-null“, and still written with the letter H and number 0.


After the First World War there were several attempts to introduce a model railway about half the size of 0 scale that would be more suitable for smaller home layouts and cheaper to manufacture. H0 was created to meet these aims. For this new scale, a track width of 16.5¬†mm was designed to represent prototypical standard gauge track, and a model scale of 1:87 was chosen. By as early as 1922 the firm Bing in Nuremberg, Germany, had been marketing a “tabletop railway” for several years. This came on a raised, quasi-ballasted track with a gauge of 16.5¬†mm, which was described at that time either as 00 or H0. The trains initially had a clockwork drive, but from 1924 were driven electrically. Accessory manufacturers, such as Kibri, marketed buildings in the corresponding scale.

At the 1935 Leipzig Spring Fair, an electric tabletop railway, Trix Express, was displayed to a gauge described as “half nought gauge”, which was then abbreviated as gauge 00 (“nought-nought”). M√§rklin, another German firm, followed suit with its 00 gauge railway for the 1935 Leipzig Autumn Fair. The M√§rklin 00 gauge track that appeared more than ten years after Bing’s tabletop railway had a very similar appearance to the previous Bing track. On the M√§rklin version, however, the rails were fixed to the tin ‘ballast’ as in the prototype, whilst the Bing tracks were simply stamped into the ballast, so that track and ballast were made of single sheet of metal.

HO scale trains elsewhere were developed in response to the economic pressures of the Great Depression.[6] The trains first appeared in the United Kingdom, originally as an alternative to 00 gauge, but could not make commercial headway against the established 00 gauge. However, it became very popular in the United States, where it took off in the late 1950s after interest in model railroads as toys began to decline and more emphasis began to be placed on realism in response to hobbyist demand.[6] While HO scale is by nature more delicate than 0 scale, its smaller size allows modelers to fit more details and more scale miles into a comparable area.

In the 1950s HO began to challenge the market dominance of 0 gauge and, in the 1960s, as it began to overtake 0 scale in popularity, even the stalwarts of other sizes, including Gilbert (makers of American Flyer) and Lionel Corporation began manufacturing HO trains.

Currently, HO is the most popular model railroad scale in both continental Europe and North America, whereas OO scale (4 mm:foot or 1:76.2 with 16.5 mm track) is still dominant in Britain.

There are some modellers in Great Britain who use HO scale. For them, the British 1:87 Scale Society was formed in 1994; it publishes a quarterly journal with news, views, and practical advice for modellers and collectors. A magazine, Continental Modeller, focuses on the railways of other countries, including America and Europe, and has extensive coverage of HO scale layouts.

Today, HO locomotives, rolling stock (cars or carriages), buildings, and scenery are available from a large number of manufacturers in a variety of price brackets.[7]


Most modern HO trains run on two-rail track powered by direct current (varying the voltage applied to the rails to change the speed, and polarity to change direction), or by Digital Command Control (DCC) (sending digital commands to a decoder in each locomotive to set the speed, change direction and activate sounds and lights while power comes from the track which is always energised). Some trains, most notably by M√§rklin of Germany, run on alternating current, supplied by a “third rail” consisting of small studs on each tie (sleeper) down the centre of the track.

On simple, usually temporary layouts, power is supplied by a power pack consisting of a transformer and rectifier (DC), a rheostat for regulating power to the track (and thus train speed), and reversing to control model direction. On permanent layouts, multiple power supplies are traditionally used, with the trackage divided into electrically isolated sections called blocks; toggle or rotary switches (sometimes relays) are used to select which power supply controls the train in a particular block. With the advent of digital command control, block divisions are largely eliminated, as the computerized controllers can control any train anywhere on the track at any time.


The “gauge” of a railroad is the distance between the inside edges of the railheads. It is distinct from the concept of “scale”, though the terms are often used interchangeably in model railroading. “Scale” describes the size of a modeled object relative to its prototype. As prototype railroads use a variety of gauges, several different gauges can be modeled in a single scale.

The gauges used in HO scale are a selection of standard and narrow gauges. The standards for these gauges are defined by the NMRA (in North America) and the NEM (in Continental Europe). While the standards are in practice interchangeable, they are not strictly identical.


Our entire Collection of Vintage Toy Cars, Trains, Model Buildings and everything for the train enthusiast, railfan or ferroequinologist was acquired by us from the Estate of a Private Collector in Texas, who amassed his enormous collection over the 1970’s and 1980’s. He had dedicated an entire room of his house to his train collection. He had assembled and built an entire ‘City’ to accompany his collection. He died in 1994 and his collection remained ‘untouched’ until we acquired it in its entirety. Once cleaned, the collection was in MINT condition.

NOTE: We have not tested any of the trains and cannot vouch or warrant for their working condition. We were informed by the personal representative in the Estate that everything was working perfectly up to the death of the owner, and as previously indicated have remained ‘untouched’ since then.

Vintage Buddy L Traffic Signal.

Provenance: From a Private Collector.

Dimensions: HO Scale.

Condition: Mint.

Price Now: $10.99