10 Best Vintage Lunch Boxes for Back to School

‘Tis the back-to-school season. And with that, we’re reminiscing on our favorite subject at school: lunch. One of the best parts of lunch? Showing off your lunch box.

While today’s schoolchildren store their lunch food in insulated, high-tech contraptions, we all fondly recall the days of the metal lunch boxes donning our favorite characters and TV shows. According to Smithsonian Magazine, “Mickey Mouse was the first popular character to grace a lunchbox in 1935. But the lunch box as a personal statement really took off in the 1950s.”

Today these old metal boxes are highly sought-after vintage collectibles that you can find at flea markets, antique stores, and of course, auctions. Below are a few of our favorite vintage lunch boxes:

 

Rare Early Mickey Mouse Lunch Box

Rare Early Mickey Mouse Lunch Box

By Handy, circa 1920’s, pie-eyed Mickey with early character in the Steamboat Willie period. Sold for $880

1954 Superman Lunch Box

1954 Superman Lunch Box with graphics nicely intact. Est. $200-$400

1954 Superman lunch box with graphics nicely intact. Est. $200-$400

Beatles Lunch Box with Matching Thermos

Beatles lunch box with matching thermos, by Aladdin Industries, c. 1965. Sold for $700

Beatles lunch box with matching Thermos, by Aladdin Industries, c. 1965. Sold for $700

Vintage Popeye Lunch Box

Popeye lunchbox with matching thermos, sold for $1,200

Popeye lunch box with matching Thermos. Sold for $1,200

Original Coca-Cola Cooler

Original Coca-Cola Cooler shaped like lunch box with bottle opener on the side. Sold for $175

Original Coca-Cola Cooler shaped like lunch box with bottle opener on the side. Sold for $175

1967 Lost In Space Lunch Box

1967 Lost In Space Dome Top Lunch Box. Sold for $380

1967 Lost In Space dome-top lunch box. Sold for $380

Volkswagen Bus Lunch Box

Volkswagen Bus Lunch Box. Sold for $400

Volkswagen bus lunch box. Sold for $400

Star Trek Lunch Box

1968 Star Trek Dome Lunch Box, sold for $350

1968 Star Trek dome-top lunch box. Sold for $350

Vintage Cartier Lunch Box

Cartier Sterling Silver Lunch Pail. Sold for $900

Cartier sterling silver lunch pail. Sold for $900

Pac-Man Lunch Box

1980 Pac-Man lunch box, sold for $150

1980 Pac-Man lunch box. Sold for $150