Buddy "L" Toys, ca. 1925

Value (2012) | $1,200 Auction$1,400 Auction

So John, how did you come by these?

Well, these were given to me by some friends of the family about 1938. Their boys were too old to play with them. And I've had them ever since.

Well, somebody took some good care of these toys.

Well, I only played with them in the house. I don't think I ever took them outside, because I was always told that they were kind of special.

Oh, well, that's great because toys like this often do not turn up in really, really great condition, because a lot of times they were played with outside. They were made by a company called Buddy L, who probably made some of the finest what we call pressed steel toys ever made. When you think of Buddy L, normally you think of these big trucks, like the Tonka trucks of today, because Buddy L is most famous for those. The man who started the company was in the business of making fenders for full-size cars. And he was so tired of seeing his son's toys getting so broken up that he started making toys out of the same gauge steel that he was making full-size car fenders out of.

Very interesting.

We can identify these easily because you can still see the original red and gold decal, the classic decal, on the bottom. As I said, Buddy L is normally known for the big trucks, but this is a series very popular with collectors today that is called the Flivver series, because they're based all on the classic Model T Ford of the mid-'20s. This is what we call the Flattop Roadster, and this is called the Roadster Pickup. And as I said, they're absolutely wonderful condition. What would you think maybe something like this might be worth on today's market?

Maybe $100 for the pair.

Yeah, that would be nice. Well, I'll tell you, this one right here, it's in remarkable condition, complete with the operating steering wheels and everything. This one at auction I think could very easily bring $1,000. Now, on the other hand, this little roadster here, this little roadster pickup, it's a little rarer than that. Very desirable to have this... what we call a convertible top here on the top. In absolutely incredible condition. An example in this quality I would fully expect at auction to bring $1,600 to $1,700.

That's excellent. Makes them worth saving.

Worth saving.

Appraisal Details

Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, PA
Update (2012)
$1,200 Auction$1,400 Auction
Appraised value (1998)
$2,500 Auction$2,700 Auction
Richmond, VA (August 28, 1998)

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