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Vintage Flashback // Lunch Box Love!

Back in the day, your lunch box was something you treasured. You eagerly picked out a new one each year…and carried it with a sense of pride. For some reason I feel like lunch boxes are much more utilitarian now. Sure, they still have cartoons and what not on them, but more and more kiddo’s on the elementary school playground have unbranded nylon totes. Even bento boxes, which can be darling, don’t have the same cache and magic of a Knight Rider lunch box, ya know? This photo sums it all up for me—and totally reminds me of my brother Karl. He worshiped Star Wars and looooved his awesome Super Friends lunch pail.

image: Benjamin_oderwald

Lunch boxes were SUPER trendy amongst collectors back in the 90s….kinda like Pez. Prices became so inflated that I wouldn’t even really look at them, knowing they would cost a pretty penny. But the other day I stumbled upon a great Snoopy lunchbox and it reminded me that I DID still love them. What kind of lunch box did you carry back in the day?

images: lunzerland

image: Kevin Rej

TV show based lunch boxed were especially popular in my day (the 70s). That Charlie’s Angels lunch box?? I sooo wanted one. Ironically, often lunch boxes were for TV shows that your parents would never really let you watch….or for bands you never really listened to at age 8 (KISS, Charlie’s Angels, the A-Team….LAUGH IN!). But you knew of them through pop culture and you wanted to be a part of it all!

image: christian montone

image: Sarah Kennon

image: gtykal

image: apricot x

image: dani senske


image: fleece boy


image: stacy monakey

image: Pastor Future

I understand why they have evolved….tin lunch boxes get a little rusty, and nylon/vinyl is easier to clean. But man I miss those days. Wolfie likes his lunch box, and we got him a sweet Pokemon one, but I know he doesn’t feel that same reverence we all did when we were kids.

image: big brown house

image: Greg Koenig

Do you have these same memories? What was your lunch box? And how about your kiddos….what are they carrying their lunch in these days? I’m curious!

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10 Responses

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  1. Tara says

    I totally had that Holly Hobbie one. My whole room was Holly Hobbie for YEARS. My brother had the Transformer one, the Dukes of Hazzard one & the Return of the Jedi one. Takes me back!!

  2. babyshapes says

    My first lunch box was tin…but ironically it was a generic “animal friends” theme! Here is a listing for the exact same lunchbox:

  3. Laura says

    I carried a plastic Ninja Turtles lunchbox (born in 82 so I just missed the metal box). I LOVE an old lunchbox and buy them every time see one at the resale shop. 🙂 Ths post made me smile.

  4. Brigitte says

    oh yes, those lunch boxes were so entertaining. But, As everything in life, there are 2 sides to it: they truely were original and fun for the kids of those days. Why did they get a new one each Fall? ’cause those tin boxes rusted up easily, with spilled milk, juices etc

  5. Ebabee says

    I love tin lunchboxes and that Snoopy one is just fantastic. I can’t remember what i carried but my daughter carries this really cute one which has a bit of the retro vibe going on:

  6. Angela says

    I also had that Holly Hobby lunch box and room decor ( such a 70’s child)! And your so right about the pride of picking out a new box each year, love it! Thanks for the memory jog.

  7. Angela says

    I had the Partridge Family one. My kids still get a new lunch box every year and I save them all because my mom didn’t save any of mine.

  8. lishyloo says

    my niece carries my old metal jedi lunchbox to school, she’s the COOLEST.

  9. Elizabeth says

    My first lunch box as the Holly Hobby one you have up there…but one sad day I left it in the cafeteria and it was gone forever. I carried a brown bag until Santa brought me a brand new plastic My Little Pony box (we were well into the 80s by then) that I loved even more! Maybe the reason we cherished them so much more back then was because that was the one place we could show our Saturday morning loyalties. Licensed characters weren’t plastered over everything we owned like they seem to be today.

    • Alix says

      aw thats such a sweet story! I love it.
      : )

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