11 Most Valuable Lunch Boxes in the World (Slideshow)
Aladdin, Little Friends (1982), $850; Matching Plastic Bottle, $260
Hake’s Americana and Collectibles named this sweet vintage lunch box one of the five rarest in the country. With its nod to Pippi Longstocking and adorable animal motif, snatching one up is a point of pride for any serious collector.
Adco Liberty, Howdy Doody (1954), $950
Most Boomers fondly remember Howdy Doody and his gang of friendly puppets as a childhood morning staple. The Howdy Doody lunch box features not just Howdy, but a number of his smiling friends. Who says you can’t put a price tag on memories?
King Seeley, Lost in Space (1967), $950; Thermos, $100
While Lost in Space only aired for three seasons, the lunch box tie-in to the show remains a favorite for collectors. Maybe that’s because the domed lunchbox with its campy flying saucer artwork so perfectly captures the goofy fun of the show.
Adco Liberty, Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck (1954), $900; Steel Bottle, $1,650
While the box itself for this extremely rare lunch set will only set you back $900, the matching bottle will cost you nearly double. The box and matching steel bottle feature a typically Disney scene — that of Mickey and Donald Duck picnicking with Donald’s nephews Huey, Dewy, and Louie. But the bottle is much rarer than the box. The scarcity of the bottle and box is perhaps because shortly after this set went into production, Adco lost its licensing rights to Disney and stopped making lunch boxes.
Adco Liberty, Lone Ranger Blue Band (1955), $1,150
Last year’s movie bomb aside, The Lone Ranger holds a special place in the hearts of millions of children who grew up with the Ranger, his trusty horse Silver, and his loyal sidekick, Tonto. This popular lunchbox features a comic-book style drawing of The Lone Ranger, complete with his “Hi Ho Silver!” catchphrase.
Aladdin, Gunsmoke Double L Error Version (1959), $1,200; Bottle, $95
It’s a typo that makes this lunch box so valuable. Just a few of these lunch boxes, where “Marshal” is erroneously spelled “Marshall,” were sold before the box was recalled and the misspelling corrected. Because of rarity of boxes featuring the mistake, collectors shell out big bucks for the extra L.
King Seeley, Home Town Airport (1960), $1,200; Bottle, $275
This hard-to-find set is regarded as the Holy Grail of lunch boxes by collectors. The price fluctuates based on availability, and this iconic box with its lovely, simple illustration has been worth as much as $2000 in the past.
Universal, Knights in Armor (1959), $1250; Bottle, $300
The knight on the front of this box doesn’t hail from any popular movie or television program. Rather, he’s lunch box company Universal’s attempt to cash in on Hollywood’s late ‘50s obsession with knights and the popularity of the comic strip Prince Valiant. These days the scarcity of both the box and bottle make them a rare and valuable find.
King Seeley, Yellow Submarine (1968), $1300; Thermos, $350
This psychedelic oh-so-‘60s lunchbox is one of the most highly sought of all time. It’s no wonder, given the sophisticated artwork and the enduring popularity of the boys from Liverpool. Lunchbox collectors and Beatles nostalgists will likely be duking it out for possession of these beauties for decades to come.
Universal, Gene Autry (1954), Box $1,500; Bottle, $225
With its soft rendition of a smiling Autry waving a lariat atop a gentle-looking horse, this sweet tribute to America’s favorite singing cowboy is a perfect piece of 1950s nostalgia.
Adco, Davy Crockett at the Alamo (1955), $1,800; Bottle, $3,500
Who doesn’t love a patriot? Disney originally sanctioned this lunch box; however the artwork featuring Crockett swinging a rifle to fight off troops doesn’t quite jibe with the family friendly company we know today. While the box itself is not exactly bargain basement, it’s a steal considering the $3,500 value of the matching steel bottle.