Lunch Box Collecting Guide: Collectible Lunch Boxes - Vintage Lunch Boxes - Kids Lunchbox - Metal Lunch Boxes
In the grade school lunchrooms of the fifties and sixties, a Lunch Box carried more than the weight of a tuna fish sandwich and carton of milk. A box adorned with Barbie, the Beatles, or Hopalong Cassidy placed the child squarely with the lunchroom elite, while a dull red plaid revealed a child who was obviously not in control of his or her parents. Lunch Box pays tribute to these metal and vinyl bearers of the icons of popular culture into the halls of America's schools. In a lively, humorous text, the story of the American lunch box, from the manufacturers' fierce competition for the rights to characters, to the extraordinary popularity lunch boxes now enjoy as collector's items. Over 100 images of colorful boxes decorated with scenes from "Bonanza," "Get Smart," and "The Jetsons" are sure to bring back vivid memories of the days when "taking lunch" meant something.
Labels: 1950s, Aladdin Lunch Boxes, Childrens Lunch Boxes, Collectable Lunch Box, Kids Lunch Box, Metal Lunch Boxes, Plastic Lunch Boxes, Star Wars Lunch Box, Thermos Lunch Boxes, Tin Lunch Boxes, Vintage Lunch Boxes
After a shaky start in 1959--when five thousand Gunsmoke lunch boxes were distributed to prospective wholesale buyers before a secretary noticed that the Marshal in Marshal Matt Dillon had been spelled with an extra L--Aladdin nailed down the so-called adult Westerns of the sixties. Instrumental to the conquest was exwrestler Elmer Lehnhard, who in 1962 brought the action further to life by embossing figures on the lunch box faces. Few licensed properties from this period slipped through the fence into KST's spread.
Later in the decade, as the country woke up to the fact that Vietnam wasn't the OK Corral, the sun set on the Western, for all the trouble its implied values caused. Without missing a beat, TV producers kept audiences tuned in by splicing in other genres, like Jame Bond and Tarzan, and created bizarre recombinant Westerns, such as Wild Wild West and Cowboy in Africa. As Nick LoBianco's Cowboy in Africa lunch box kit illustrates, KST excelled in boxing this exotica.
A TRAIL BOX, IN THE hands of an imaginative kid, was the next best thing to a silver bullet. It turned the chalk-dust-covered floor into high desert strewn with prickly pear; buzzards circled in the acoustical tiling; desks stampeded like cattle; and the trip to the bathroom was fraught with diamondback rattlers and coyote. Maybe, on returning to the classroom, after pausing for a drink at the hallway spring, the teacher would be wearing a saddle and reins. Giddyap!
First to patent this magic with Hoppy, Aladdin boasts that "by the late fifties, we had every cowboy known."
Nearly. Of the horse opera stars ADCO Liberty corralled the The Lone Ranger, Universal roped Gene Autry, and American Thermos, of course, stabled the prolific Roy Rogers and Dale Evans after Aladdin, incredibly, turned the singing cowboy down. Roy Rogers's dynasty of twelve lunch box kits holds a single series record, although few of those lunch boxes are exceptional.
Still Aladdin's grip on the Western was undeniable, thanks first to the innovative treatment of the waist of the lunch box, called the band. In 1956, Burton equipped the band of several lunch boxes with hip-hugging, tooled leather gun belts. They looked so real that they gave crosswalk cops pause.