Vintage lunch boxes can make great collectibles. For those who enjoy collecting antique pieces, you will love collecting these lunch boxes. There were many themes, characters and designs to choose from. Whether you enjoyed Snoopy, Star Trek or The Jetsons, there is probably a lunch box out there with the same theme. Kids loved being able to show off their favorite characters to their friends and comparing lunch boxes.
The first lunch boxes that were produced were made of metal. Many children and parents loved this feature because the metal was able to keep the lunches cold. These lunch boxes are considered to be a very vintage item to own. Over the years, the lunch boxes began to rust and it became a hazard to children. Then, they started making them in plastic, which are also considered to be vintage lunch boxes. Both of them came with insulated thermoses to keep the children's drinks cold until lunch time.
These days, lunches are often packed in a brown paper bag or a simple cloth bag to make it more practical and easier for the children instead of lugging their boxes with them. However, owning a collectable lunch box can definitely be worth some money.
Depending on what era you group in, chances are you carried your lunch to school in a steel lunch box. If you grew up in the fifties it was probably a Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or other cowboy themed box. The children of the sixties and seventies sported boxes adorned with scenes from the popular sitcoms of the day, or sports themes. The eighties saw a rise in cartoon and action figure boxes. The mid eighties signaled the death of steel boxes, as students began using them as weapons. Ironically, Rambo was the last steel box manufactured.
Those vintage lunch boxes are highly desirable and very valuable to collectors. Some of the rarer ones, like a 1954 Super Man box, or the scarce Toppie the Elephant, can fetch thousands. Even the most common boxes, like the 1986 Rambo or 1985 Cabbage Patch Kids, can command prices of $50 or more, depending on the condition.
Collecting vintage lunch boxes can be quite enjoyable, and make for a very colorful display. There are literally hundreds of different steel lunch boxes, covering everything from a loaf of bread to The Wonderful World of Metrics to a mailbox lunch box. Deciding what styles to collect often depend on availability and budget.