For younger students, there is nothing like showing off their pop-culture preferences quite like a vintage lunch box. The tin boxes can range from tv series images like the Addams Family to musical favorites like The Beatles. Nostalgia for these vintage lunch boxes has developed a huge collectors market, driving the up the prices of rare lunch pails from their original two dollars.
From $200 to $16,000, these retro lunch boxes will have you rummaging through your attic and making eBay accounts. Do you have any of these lying around? Scroll through to see which lunch boxes are considered the most valuable.
The Munsters Lunch Box Runs For About $2,050
This lunch box was part of the merchandise that came off the hit 1964 television series The Munsters. The show follows a family of monsters, including a vampire, werewolf, and Frankenstein, who have a niece that is “normal.” With a plot like that, it’s no wonder people were lining up to get lunch boxes illustrating the family with their creepy rain-clouded mansion.
Herman, Lilly, Grandpa, Eddie, and Marilyn, all hope you kept your vintage Munsters lunchbox because it is worth a pretty penny. At an auction, The Munsters vintage tin lunch box can sell for around $2,050.
This 1974 Addams Family Lunch Box Is Valued Around $230
If you were a fan of Morticia and Gomez Addams and their quirky family during the original series run, then you might have had this 1974 Addams Family lunch box. The tin pail has a beautiful illustration of the family in all of their morbid glory, from Pugsly walking his pet octopus to Lurch hanging out that same pet’s clothing to dry.
And, of course, there is their infamous casket and headstone car! The lucky people who didn’t get rid of this vintage lunch box are in luck! This Addams Family lunch box is valued at around $230.
Knight In Armor Will Sell For Approximately $1,750
Universal was smart. In the 1950s, they decided to capitalize on the growing popularity of knight stories, such as “Knights of the Round Table” and “Prince Valiant.” The Knight in Armor lunch box doesn’t depict any particular knight from a story or television series, though. It is a no-name knight that graces the collectible lunch box. People didn’t care; they bought the lunch box anyway.
If you’re lucky enough to own one, vintage Knights in Armor lunch boxes are sold for around $1,750. Time to start digging around the attic to see if you have the old lunch box lying around!
The Beatles Box And A Matching Thermos Is About $1,550
The first wave of the British Invasion brought The Beatles. Their overnight popularity was causing companies to manufacture a ton of swag in their name. One such item was a tin lunch box that sported all of the member’s heads as well as a matching thermos that featured each member playing their instrument.
Sixties children that listened to The Beatles definitely carried around their grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup in this bad boy. If you want to relive the excitement of Beatlemania, the asking price for this memorabilia is approximately $1,550.
This Star Trek Lunch Box Goes For $1,500
Let’s start off by saying that the 1960s vintage Star Trek lunch box by Aladdin is a highly sought after collector’s item. With the growing popularity of the television series, merchandise flocked the shelves. The box features illustrations of the Starship Enterprise, Spock, Kirk, Checkov, and McCoy.
Today, fans of the original series are paying a good amount of money to own the vintage domed lunch box. At specialist auctions, a mint condition 1968 Star Trek lunch box can go for around $1,500. Beam us up to the attic, Scotty! We need to see if we have one lying around.
The Lone Ranger ‘Red Band’ Is Worth $1,250
The tin Lone Ranger ‘Red Band’ lunch box was made by ADCO Liberty Manufacturing Corporation back in the 1950s. The box featured a hinged lid held together by a metal snap, and there was also a collapsible metal handle. Both the front and back illustrated scenes from the popular television show The Lone Ranger.
The Ranger is even seen saying his trademark phrase, “Hi-Yo Silver!” If you were lucky enough to own this lunch box back in the day, you were definitely one of the cool kids. Here’s to hoping you didn’t get rid of it during a garage sale because this Lone Ranger lunch box is worth approximately $1,250.
Howdy Doody And His Crew Run For About $1,787
Howdy Doody was an immensely popular children’s show that featured a puppet of the same name. As modern-day television programs, a whole lot of merchandise was made for Buffalo Bob and his puppets pals, such as the Howdy Doody tin lunch box! The tin square features an illustration of Howdy Doody himself, along with some of his friends, in the desert.
If you’re lucky enough to own the 1954 ADCO Liberty Manufacturing Corporation Howdy Doody lunchbox, then hold on to your hat! This vintage lunch box’s approximate value is $1,787. If you have one, it might be time to auction it off on eBay!
This Mickey Mouse Pail Is Worth Around $2,050
It doesn’t get more classic than a lunch box featuring Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, and Huey, Duey, and Louie. This vintage pail illustrates Mickey with the nephews and his faithful dog on one side, while the other depicts Donald having a picnic with the boys — a classic picture that captured the hearts of many children.
As this 1954 piece is a collector’s item, it can be auctioned off for a nice chunk of change. The lucky ducks who have this lunchbox in their possession are able to sell it for approximately $2,050!
This Superman Lunchbox Is Worth Around $16,000
This Superman lunchbox is arguably one of the most sought after collectible lunch boxes out there. The king of superheroes first came on the scene in 1938, and from there, his popularity never wavered. This particular lunch pail illustrates the Krypton warrior battling a gigantic robot, a scenario that appealed to the younger generation at the time.
Those kids who were lucky enough to own this particular pail from 1954, and held onto it throughout the years, will be happy to know that it is worth a lot of money. If you sold this lunch box at auction, it would go for around $16,000.
Go Toppie Is Worth Around $2,450
In the 1950s, the store Krogers would hand out ‘Top Stamps’ to its customers. When a person accumulated enough stamps, they’d go back to the store to redeem them for merchandise. One of the household items was a Toppie lunch box! However, collectors tend to agree that it wasn’t a popular item to choose when redeeming one’s stamps.
They believe there are around 12 in existence because not many have surfaced over the years. The lucky few who still own a Go Toppie lunch box are in for a surprise. The smiley checkered elephant is worth around $6,287. The thermos alone is worth a little over two grand!
This VW Van Is Valued Around $1,250
For those who couldn’t afford an actual Volkswagen van, there was always the miniature lunchbox version! This lunchbox came on the market in the 1960s, unsurprisingly. In a time where the hippie lifestyle was in full swing, what better way for a company to make some quick cash then to capitalize on the vehicle of choice during the one love peace movement.
Jenny from Forrest Gump definitely rocked this lunch box during the protests of the Vietnam War. If her family still had their hands on the VW Van lunch pail today, it would be worth around $1,250 in mint condition.
The Orbit Lunch Box Is Valued Around $3,200
In the 1960s, the prospect of space travel was very exciting. So much so that King-Seeley Thermos Co decided to base a lunch box off of a few space-related events. The tin box features illustrations of both the Mercury space capsule with John Glenn and the Atlas rocket launching.
Unfortunately, the company didn’t get permission from National Geographic to use the images, so they had to stop making them. However, there is one displayed in the Smithsonian Museum! The lucky people who were able to get their hands on the Orbit lunch box before they were discontinued can sell it for around $3,200.
This Rocky And Bullwinkle Lunch Box Can Fetch Up To $1,600
Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle, the moose, were a dynamic duo in the late 50s and early 60s. They went on various adventures int heir hometown of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, while thwarting the evil villains Boris and Natasha. The series appealed to both the older ad younger crowds, so there was a lot of merchandise made.
One such item was a lunch box that was put on the market in 1962. The Rocky and Bullwinkle lunch box is now considered to be a rare item. It can be auctioned off for around $1,600.
This Jetsons Lunch Box Can Be Sold For Around $2,650
The 1960s futuristic show The Jetsons was a primetime cartoon and extremely popular. It was fun and exciting to watch a family living in a utopian future and driving flying cars that looked more like spaceships. Due to the extreme popularity of the show, some merchandise was made, including a lunch box in 1963.
If you’re one of the lucky people who purchased a Jetson’s lunch box back in the day, holding onto it and not selling it at a garage sale, then you’re looking at a nice payday. The Jetson’s lunch box can be sold for around $2,650.
This Dudley Do-Right Lunch Box Is Worth About $3,400
One of the more lovable characters to come out of the show Rocky and Bullwinkle was the not-so-bright Dudley Do-right, the Canadian Mountie. This lunchbox features Dudley’s trusty horse as well as his love interest, the damsel in distress known as Nell. And in case you’re not familiar with the characters, they are clearly labeled for you!
The blue and purple hinge-lid lunchbox was one of the lunch boxes to have in 1962. Now, if you’re one of those kids who was lucky enough to keep their lunchbox after all this time, you’re looking at a nice yet surprising paycheck. The Dudley Do-Right lunch box can be sold for around $3,400
240-Robert Lunchboxes Are Worth Over Five Grand
240-Robert was a drama series on ABC that aired from the late 70s to the early 80s. The series depicted a fictitious Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department that conducted search and rescue missions. So, of course, they had to make a lunch box to go along with the epic plotline.
The lunch box illustrates a few of the main characters as they scale a cliff to rescue a hiker. Of course, there is a cop car as well as a helicopter present, too. If you’re lucky enough to have the rare 240-Robert lunch box in your possession, you’ll be happy to know that they’re worth around $5,222.
The Crime-Fighting Underdog Lunch box Is Worth About $2,500
Ironically, the crime-fighting dog known as Underdog was originally a marketing tool used by General Mills to up their cereal sales. Then, the characters increased popularity resulted in a tv series about the Shoeshine Boy’s alter ego, Underdog, who speaks in rhyme. Alongside his love interest Sweet Polly Purebred, he saves the city from the evil villains Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff.
It’s rumored that only a few thousand of these lunch boxes were made, but many were destroyed over time, making it very rare. A mint condition 1974 Underdog lunch box can be sold at auction for upwards of $2,500.
Roy Rogers Can Fetch For Upwards Of $2,500
Being the first lunch box to utilize lithographic image technology, Roy Rogers is going to be one of the more popular vintage lunch boxes out there. In the 1950s, Roy Rogers, alongside his trusty horse Trigger, was a popular cowboy. So, when the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans boxes hit the shelves, around two and a half million were sold.
The original price for these boxes was dismal, selling at $2.39. Today, however, you can go to auction with one of these lunch boxes and, if in mint condition, can sell it for upwards of $2,500!
The Retro Little Friends Lunch Box Is Valued Around $850
The retro 1982 Little Friends lunch box has been dubbed one of the rarest in the world. With an image reminiscent of Pippie Longstocking and some forest friends (and dog), it’s not hard to see why this was a popular choice for kids to pack their lunches.
This vintage lunch box is a point of pride for any collector. If you’re lucky enough to have one of them lying around in storage, you’re going to want to start an eBay account. Little Friends can sell for around $850.
This Lost In Space Lunch Box Can Sell For About $950
This metal-domed Lost in Space lunch box is based on the popular tv series, which ran from 1965-1968. The lunch box features an illustration of the Robinson’s, a futuristic family that travels around alien landscapes in their trusty vehicle, the Chariot.
Every space kid was definitely rocking this tin lunch box in the 60s! Now, the Lost in Space lunch box is a highly sought after collector’s item. In mint condition, this lunch box can be sold for upwards of $950.