Click here to see the list of shows Toylander will be exhibiting at in 2016

Buying second hand guide

Second-hand Toylander buying questions:

This is not the definitive list but should help avoid the major pitfalls of buying a homemade or Toylander Ltd example. It is impossible to compare the items seen for sale privately with the factory output without careful investigation, preferably in person; pictures lie.

The main differences are the:

  • Quality of build
  • Material used for body
  • Content of completed model [our builds include almost everything on the price list]
  • Motor type: RLTT or Scooter/ Golf cart
  • fully variable Speed control, basic Direct drive 12v, Soft Start 12v Battery type Car battery or Gel. GEL or AGM GEL gives best results.
  • Completeness of toy
  • Standard of build, fit and finish
  • Description honesty

We have helped buyers of some of these items with new bodies to the correct dimensions and strength and supplied parts to complete to a safe and lasting standard. This file, whilst not all encompassing, is a second hand buyer's guide and check list to help avoid some of the main pitfalls of a poorly constructed item being passed off as one of our products.

Fairly often one of the models offered will meet the standard and the price will reflect the quality of this build. We sold a 14 month old TLI and Trailer with less than ten hours use for 2500; it was the bargain of the year.

Buying a Toylander body:

  • Avoid examples made from Exterior grade Far Eastern ply / WPS
  • Check thickness of material used, incorrect size causes Toylander items not to fit.
  • Has it been built to drawings or imagination?
  • Avoid pinned together bodies, if you discover this has been done later fit screws as shown in the manual or risk body collapsing in use.
  • Check viability of glue used try pulling apart.
  • Which separate panels are included: screen panel, seat back, tailgate, bumper irons, screen fillers, bonnet rib/s, light wire covers, motor closing panel?
  • Check for hole in Bulkhead for steering column: Missing / incorrect position
  • Gap in inner wing for Steering column Missing / incorrect position
  • Seat glued down how will you fit motors?
  • Seat with only two or four screws: Requires 8 to maintain strength
  • Rear wing tops glued / pinned down should be removable to allow ease of chain adjustment
  • Bonnet position / shape
  • Hole for Brake Foot lever in place
  • Hole for Handbrake in place
  • Holes for Air cooling in Heel board / riser and Motor closing panel
  • Motor closing panel incorrectly fitted not allowing positioning of brake mountings
  • TL2 Dash with correct fixing positions allowing removal to fit Steering column
  • Have you been left to cut holes for head lamps with side lug positions in place which is awkward once tub complete.
  • Check quality of build

Q: Specific check list for visit:

  1. Motor and motor area: fixings, ability to adjust chain, condition and size of wires, condition of chain & sprockets?
  2. Bodywork: Battered, broken, missing parts, hinges pulling out, excess holes? Blown MDF through poor sealing and storage?
  3. Battery and battery area: acid spills / damage, Held safely in place, cleanliness of battery terminals/top?
  4. Underside: particularly steering and axles this should be easy to turn not sloppy or stiff and Brakes: specifically has it got any?
  5. Quality of components: Rusty/ usable; Bought or homemade? Welding standard: Pigeon poo or proper weld penetration, any welded repairs? Slop in axle joints, wheel bearings, braking system, quality of welds?
  6. Dash and wiring: Rats nest or operating theatre, ancillaries working?
  7. Tyres: useable or perished sides?
  8. Paintwork and cosmetics: Tarted up? Look beyond the surface as painting will be a relatively easy fix.
  9. Function: does it run, steer, stop? Is the car battery splashing acid everywhere?

A series of questions to help you decide how much to pay for the item described:

Q: Which model is it?

The GPS is often incorrectly described as a toy Landrover. See the range to help identify.

Q; How old is the vehicle?

Often if a Toylander motor [EMD] has been used then the age can be assessed on type to within 5 years but with the details from the motor plate the model can often be dated to month and year.

Q: Where has it been kept?

Under a tree, tarpaulin or open outhouse is not going to do the bodywork much good and even less to the electrics.

Q: What is the body made of?

Standard plain MDF: this is likely to be poor [look for swollen areas where the MDF has blown] can be good if well looked after and dry stored. We have one made in standard plain MDP in our keeping which is still in good condition after twenty seven years.

Moisture resistant MDF or Ply is much better but still needs dry storage.

Battening: Look to see what type of batten has been used? Battening made from plywood or MDF is useless.

Is the seat screwed down [correct] or glued down [Impossible to do maintenance or replace on a standard motor fitment]

Are the rear wings screwed down [correct]? It is nearly impossible to carry out chain adjustment if wings are glued in place.

Q: What type of motor has been used?

Q: What details are on the description plate attached to the motor [it may need the use of a mirror)?

An EMD and GB1 or GB4 gearbox are original equipment. Early Mayfair and GPS were powered by old windscreen wiper motors but anything more than a toddler using the larger GPS vehicle would pop the motor so RLT Ltd had a motor designed specifically for their models which did not need the gearing set up. If an unknown motor has been used ask about its ability, preferably test.

Q; How well does it pull away? Smoothly and not needing a push?

Check the ability of any mobility scooter motor installation. One car was sold with the wheels put straight onto the ends of the mobility scooter shafts. Taking off 10" or 12" wheels and fitting 15" or 16" wheels increases the speed and destroys the torque and this particular car whilst it looked great and fetched a high price has not turned a wheel for the last nine years because it goes too fast and will not pull away with even just one child on board. Ninety nine percent of these motors need to be geared down. Advice is freely available. See also

Q: What is the top speed?

Walking pace is approximately 4 MPH. Used in a public place the Buggy law and EN71 Child Safety states top speed 6KPH. Any machine found to go faster will not get support from Insurance Company should the worst happen. Petrol power in Public operated by anyone without a Driving Licence is illegal and dangerous. Public liability insurance is required and advisable when using the vehicle in a public place. [Anywhere the pubic has access to].

Q: Battery:

Car battery: Poor choice and least useful; Price accordingly Potential acid spillage as battery is bounced about whilst running. Often old batteries off the family car are used. Only work effectively on the Direct Drive setup. The electronic systems in use require all cells to be fully functioning and a full charge capability to work properly. Caravan battery is very heavy and must have overflow pipe if acid can overflow and it will because of the bouncing received during use.

GEL or AGM batteries: 33 to 35 Amp hr. Most expensive but far safer, lighter in weight for same ability and no overflow. Must be charged with a suitable charger. See FAQ's on web site.


Non running: Price up for the worst case scenario as if only a small amount of effort would reap a much higher price why is it not done?
Part finished: Ditto, If it is not finished you cannot test it. Ideal if you want to dump your problems on someone else.
Just needs a tidy up: See Non running above, super toy for the DIY Dad: Ditto.


When is a Toylander not a Toylander? When someone is trying to get your attention. Check out the model range on the web site to be able to recognise what is and what is not a Toylander product.
*Identifying Toylander drive systems:
Speed Control: Large silver coloured box with four heavy duty wires, red, black blue and yellow. Connection by Din plug, key on / off switch, F/R switch. Smooth throttle response.
Direct drive: Heavy duty button under throttle. Preferably with forward and reverse options. Lock out button to save damage. Heavy grade wire.
Step Start: [on /off over four seconds] Identified by open Printed Circuit Board [PCB] Jack plug connection to board, on / off switch, Fwd/Rev switch, throttle button. Heat sink mounted standing off the body with spacers.

Production history:

Please bear in mind these cars can be up to 28 years old in the case of the Mayfair, 27 years old for the GPS, 15 years old for the Toylander Two, 14 years old for the Toylander One and 12 years old for the DBR Tractor. As @ 2015

The jeep type GPS model was introduced in 1988, parts still in production. Wheel size 15" dia. Distinctive features: four slots in front panel and wheels outside body side, flat bonnet. Estimated production 3000 plus Worldwide.

The Mayfair, introduced in 1987: wheel dia 12". Still in production. Estimated production same as GPS.

Scout 1991, 12" plastic or spoked wheels single motor. Estimated production under 100. Discontinued.

Toylander 2 introduced 2000: still in production, wheel dia 15". Single motor = 1988 requirements. 21st Century requirement: Twin drive, 4 MPH

Toylander 1 introduced 2003: still in production, wheel dia 16". Single motor = 1988 requirements. 21st Century requirement: Twin drive, 4 MPH