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Lunchbox Collecting


Every fall one of the most exciting things about starting school was picking out the new lunch box. Would it be a character from a TV show, a cartoon strip or toy inspired lunch box?

Could we ever imagined the prices they would bring today, and it's not only the metal lunchboxes that can sell for big bucks. Vinyl ones are also quite collectible.

A bit of trivia - the first character lunchbox was Hopalong Cassidy, sold in 1950. The red or blue metal box had a Hoppy Decal on it.

Picture and Price Gallery

Hake's Americana & Collectibles
Take a look at these lunchboxes and see what they've sold for at online auctions.

The Holy Grails in Lunchbox Collecting

Professional Marketing/eBay
The annual editions of Toys and Prices lists the top ten Lunch Boxes in prices. This list is for top-quality lunch boxes in mint condition.
  1. Superman (Universal, 1954) -- $13,500
  2. 240 Robert (Aladdin, 1978) -- $4,200
  3. Toppie Elephant (American Thermos, 1957) -- $3,200
  4. Underdog (Okay Industries, 1974) -- $2,500
  5. Dudley Do-Right (Universal, 1962) -- $2,200
  6. Jetson's Dome (Aladdin, 1963) -- $1,650
  7. Beatles (Aladdin, 1966) -- $1,600
  8. Bullwinkle & Rocky (Universal, 1962) -- $1,600
  9. Star Trek Dome (Aladdin, 1968) -- $1,450
  10. Knight in Armor (Universal, 1959) -- $1,250
Courtesy of Krause Publications

Retro Deb's Lunchboxes

Incredible Collectors Deb and Duane started collecting lunchboxes together. As she says - "We started in 1985. I think it is the secret of our fantastic marriage. We have traveled all over the country looking for them. I even found one in Mexico."

Different Uses for Your Lunchbox Beside Lunch!

Barb Crews
Sure, you can stick your stuff on a shelf or in a display cabinet and perhaps that's the best place to keep the real valuable collectibles. But I've always loved to use my stuff as much as possible in everyday life and many times I wind up using it in a different way than was originally intended. It's a way to have fun with your collectibles.

Vintage Lunchbox Makes Trip to Outer Space

Hake's Americana & Collectibles
How cool is this? When astronaut Steve Robinson blasted off into outer space (2005), he carried his "astronaut" tools in a Tom Corbett Space Cadet lunch box aboard the Discovery.

I love the fact that he didn't just put the lunch box on a shelf, he uses it despite the fact that it has earthbound value of around $350.

Note: Lunchbox auction price is also shown in the Picture and Price Gallery.

eBay's Lunchbox Barometer 2006

Interesting and high prices for lunchboxes sold in the first quarter of 2006. These are the highest priced lunchbox that sold in the various categories that a lunch box might be listed in. None of the lunchboxes did as well as the Superman lunchbox sold in December of 2005 for the price of $4,469.

Roy Rogers Cream Colored Vinyl - $317.99
Ardee Dudley DoRight Lunchbox w/Thermos - $2075.05
Beatles Vinyl - $599.99
1965 Aladdin Blue w/Thermos - $960.00
Snoopy Domed Metal Lunchbox w/ Thermos - $102.50
1977 Star Wars w/Thermos - $109.16
1954 Superman Robot Metal (no handle) - $537.11
1968 Star Trek Metal Dome - $365.00
1960s Disney School Bus Lunchbox w/Thermos - $351.00

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