Stephenson’s brings on the summertime fun with July 17 Toys & Trains auction

 In Auctions

368-lot sale features Buddy ‘L’ vehicles, Lionel trains, French lead soldiers, 1960s/’70s Murray pedal airplane, vintage games, slot cars, robots and Transformers, many toy discovery lots

SOUTHAMPTON, Pa. – On Sunday, July 17th, Stephenson’s Auctioneers of Southampton (suburban Philadelphia), Pa., will conduct the 2022 edition of its popular Summer Trains & Toys Auction, featuring antique and vintage items from collections and estates through the Mid-Atlantic region. The sale will take place at the company’s spacious Bucks County gallery, with remote bidding available via phone or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Made for rough, touch play, Buddy ‘L’ vehicles were favorites in their day and remain high on the list of must-haves with today’s collectors of pressed-steel toys. Measuring more than 2 feet in length, a Buddy ‘L’ #201 open-cab ratchet dump truck made between 1923 and 1929 is hard to beat for size and heft. It comes to auction with a $200-$400 estimate.

In the late 1920s, the Moline, Illinois, company also produced a 21-inch-long steam shovel. The example in Stephenson’s sale is in VG to Excellent condition and is estimated at $200-$400. Also from the 1920s, a Buddy ‘L’ aerial fire truck will be offered with a $300-$600 estimate.

The name “Lionel” is synonymous with American toy trains. For many decades, children have been entertained by Lionel trains in shop windows, hoping Santa would leave a set for them beneath the Christmas tree. Among the Lionel sets in the July 17 auction are a 1920s Lionel maroon standard-gauge passenger set consisting of a #380 0-4-0 electric locomotive, a #319 Pullman car, and a #322 observation car. The engine paint appears original, and the set is in overall VG condition. Estimate: $400-$800. From the 1930s, a Lionel standard-gauge steam engine #385 paired with a #384-T tender is in Good to VG condition. Its pre-sale estimate is $250-$500.

A novel item from Lionel is their 1930s Peter Rabbit wind-up handcar in pastel colors, with the popular storybook character at one end and an Easter basket as cargo. All original and in working order with a wind-up key, this charming holiday crossover toy is estimated at $300-$600.

A 1950s unpainted 0-gauge brass steam engine and tender was most likely made as a kit, possibly by the brand All nation. Its wheel alignment is 4-8-2 and the total length is 22 inches. The tender appears to have a whistle or sound system built into its design. In VG to Excellent condition, it is estimated at $500-$800.

Manufactured in the 1990s, a motorized T-Reproduction of a Buddy ‘L’ steam engine and tender have a combined length of 44 inches. Both are of black-painted steel, with the engine numbered 963 and having a 4-6-2 alignment, and the tender labeled “Buddy L Outdoor Railway.’ Each is complete, in like-new condition and accompanied by its own original box. Estimate: $500-$1,000

If imagining what it would be like to be the driver of a toy vehicle wasn’t enough, children of pre- and postwar America had another option: pedal cars. But pedal vehicles came in other forms, as well. Stephenson’s will offer as one of its sale highlights a 1960s/’70s Murray Airflow Air Pursuit pedal airplane. Finished in a spiffy silver and red motif with blue US Army Air Corps-style decals, it measures 47 inches long and has a 36-inch wingspan, tip to tip. Complete and in working order, it’s in VG condition with a few small exceptions and will roll across the auction block with a $250-$500 estimate. A Blue Diamond Classics pedal car replicating a pink and white 1955 Chevy convertible presents in Excellent condition and is expected to achieve a $200-$400 winning bid.

The charm of early European toys is seen in a lot containing 24 French-made Napoleonic War lead figures. The grouping consists of a commander and 20 marching riflemen with bayonets on their weapons, a flag bearer and a drummer. The lot is graded VG to Excellent, and the estimate is $120-$250.

From early games, robots and transformers to slot cars, boats and construction sets (Erector, Meccano), this auction offers a great mixed bag of vintage playthings, with many discovery lots mixed in. Stephenson’s Friday, July 17, 2022 Summer Trains & Toys Auction will be held live at the company’s gallery, starting at 2 p.m. ET. Remote bidders may participate by phone, live online through LiveAuctioneers or by leaving an absentee bid. Goods may be inspected at the gallery on auction day from 12 noon till 2 p.m. Stephenson’s Auctioneers’ gallery is located at 1005 Industrial Blvd., Southampton (Bucks County, metro Philadelphia), PA 18966.

For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Cindy Stephenson at 215-322-6182 or e-mail Visit Stephenson’s Auctioneers online at View the auction catalog online at

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