The same thing in Large Scale. The "Buddy L" trains that came out of China a few years ago were a cynical attempt to sell Bachmann knockoffs as a "name brand." Speculation was that when the old molds were wearing out and Bachmann sent new ones, someone "borrowed" the old molds instead of breaking them up as they were contractually obligated to do. They then fabricated molds for the individual parts they weren't able to "acquire" the molds for. I tried tracking down the supplier, but it was all P.O. boxes and shell corporations. Buddy L trains haven't been built since WWII-ish, and, to my knowledge, they never made electric trains, just push, pull, and riding trains. Since about 1990, a number of companies have serially owned the Buddy L trademark, but most of them went bankrupt or were sold off to other companies that subsequently went bankrupt, etc. It's possible that the importer who commissioned the Bachmann knockoffs under the Buddy L name actually owned the rights to the trademark at the time. It's also possible that the importer took a chance on NOBODY stepping up to protest if he used the name. At any rate, there was no web site, no service department, no support, nothing but mis-branded, sloppily-assembled knockoff trains in a box. Some folks who got them were pleased. Others were bitterly disappointed with them, but there was no one they could call to register their complaints.
Two or three other importers have sold Large Scale and On30 Bachmann knockoffs under other brand names since. They always seem to emerge with a very limited selection and no support or contact information, then disappear again in a few months. Reminder - if you ever commission a company in China to make something for you and you have to send them new molds, make certain you get the old ones back so you can destroy them yourself.
I've posted similar information and "educated guesses" in other forums and asked anyone who had real information about the source of these trains to correct me if I was wrong, but so far nobody has. So, if you see something advertised as a Buddy L train and it has a motor in it, run, do not walk.
P.S. The current owner of the Buddy L trademark (Path Global LLC, AKA Imperial Toy Corporation) registered it in 2009. I can't tell if they acquired the trademark by assimilation of another holding company or just by registering a claim against a trademark that had been declared "dead" because of a lapse in use. At any rate, Imperial Toy Corporation (another Chinese toy importer) does not make or import trains, and it doesn't look like they ever did.
Hope this helps. Again, if I've overlooked something in my research, I would LOVE for someone to fill in the gaps or prove me wrong. . . .
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