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Subject: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/09/19 at 9:58 pm

The 80s were the last decade when new metal lunchboxes were on store shelves. In the 90s the plastic lunch bags that resembled paper lunch bags were introduced. Then, in the 2000s, the square plastic lunch bags were released.

So, I must ask, are you a metal or plastic lunchbox person:

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3eqOq0ZGLws/Vmt-S9G513I/AAAAAAAAH8Y/WDmdC_w2iRI/s1600/knight-rider-lunchbox.jpg

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LiWQDuBVYwY/Vmt_RBOjChI/AAAAAAAAH9o/0UOwS1D4dTI/s1600/transformers-lunch-box.jpg

I always liked the metal lunchboxes because of the TV, movie, and video game characters being in 3-D. The smell of a new plastic lunchbox was horrible. It made me never want to pick up a lunchbox again.

What do you think about the metal versus plastic debate in general? Please sound off here.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: violet_shy on 08/10/19 at 4:12 am

In the 80s, my mom always bought me plastic lunch boxes. Never had a metal one.

Here's the one I had, it was just like this one. That was in 1985, 1986.

http://i66.tinypic.com/23vg7jt.jpg

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Howard on 08/10/19 at 7:11 am

https://d3h6k4kfl8m9p0.cloudfront.net/stories/V6DDhwqFszeXXj4FDKzMbQ.jpg

Growing up I had the Dukes Of Hazzard lunchbox along with a thermos to keep my juice in.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/10/19 at 7:29 am


In the 80s, my mom always bought me plastic lunch boxes. Never had a metal one.

Here's the one I had, it was just like this one. That was in 1985, 1986.

http://i66.tinypic.com/23vg7jt.jpg


Same for me. I had a “Silverhawks” (“Masters of the Universe”/“Thundercats” rip-off) lunchbox in 1987.

https://d3h6k4kfl8m9p0.cloudfront.net/stories/INYehXkWSKS17oRi9j7VLw.jpg


As I mentioned earlier, that smell… 8-P
Things only got better for me over time with that lunchbox. It finally started smelling like food somewhere in the third or fourth week of having it.  :o

Of course, my folks kept the thermos for when my mother made my father soup on his work days. There wasn’t room in that lunchbox for soup in my lunchbox, Giggles cookies, a burple with apple juice in, and a sandwich in the late 80s. Everything was like Lunchables for kids in the 80s and 90s. I think these plastic square lunch bags in this century are much larger and more spacious than what we had in the 80s and 90s. There’s only so much time for lunch in school, though.  ;D ;D

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 08/10/19 at 9:10 am

I don't want to change the gist of the thread, but it put me in mind of things that were originally metal that later became plastic. One that comes to mind is Pez dispensers. When I was a kid they were metal. Not the head, but the inside part that the candy goes into.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/10/19 at 10:06 am


I don't want to change the gist of the thread, but it put me in mind of things that were originally metal that later became plastic. One that comes to mind is Pez dispensers. When I was a kid they were metal. Not the head, but the inside part that the candy goes into.


Were those the ones on EBay in 1995 and the late 90s?

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: violet_shy on 08/10/19 at 10:42 am


https://d3h6k4kfl8m9p0.cloudfront.net/stories/V6DDhwqFszeXXj4FDKzMbQ.jpg

Growing up I had the Dukes Of Hazzard lunchbox along with a thermos to keep my juice in.


I remember the thermos! They use to be so small.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: nally on 08/10/19 at 12:01 pm

When I was in early elementary school, in the mid-1980s, I would often bring a lunchbox, and it would be plastic. I don't think I had any special TV or film series depicted on it, though.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/10/19 at 12:10 pm


I remember the thermos! They use to be so small.


That “Dukes of Hazzard” tin lunchbox doesn’t look like there is much space in it for the thermos.  :o


When I was in early elementary school, in the mid-1980s, I would often bring a lunchbox, and it would be plastic. I don't think I had any special TV or film series depicted on it, though.


Those existed in the mid to late 80s, also. Of course, children of the 80s and 90s begged their parents for the one with the sticker on it featuring their favorite cartoon or live action characters.

Subject: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Dude111 on 08/10/19 at 12:59 pm

I like metal boxs better :)

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 08/10/19 at 1:24 pm


Were those the ones on EBay in 1995 and the late 90s?


Was Ebay around in 1995? I started using it circa 1999. Anyway, those metal Pez dispensers aren't particularly rare. I'm sure they pop up all the time in collector's circles.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: violet_shy on 08/10/19 at 2:11 pm


When I was in early elementary school, in the mid-1980s, I would often bring a lunchbox, and it would be plastic. I don't think I had any special TV or film series depicted on it, though.


That's sweet! And I remember those. I think I had one in red.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/10/19 at 3:08 pm


Was Ebay around in 1995? I started using it circa 1999. Anyway, those metal Pez dispensers aren't particularly rare. I'm sure they pop up all the time in collector's circles.


It was AuctionWeb in 1995. Only a few items were up for bid. It was renamed eBay in 1997.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Howard on 08/10/19 at 4:11 pm


I remember the thermos! They use to be so small.


Hence, the year on the lunchbox says 1980, I was 6 years old at the time.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Howard on 08/10/19 at 4:12 pm


That “Dukes of Hazzard” tin lunchbox doesn’t look like there is much space in it for the thermos.  :o

Those existed in the mid to late 80s, also. Of course, children of the 80s and 90s begged their parents for the one with the sticker on it featuring their favorite cartoon or live action characters.



You only had room for a sandwich, fruit or maybe a small bag of chips.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/10/19 at 4:49 pm


I like metal boxs better :)


Me too. The metal boxes are more collectible than the new plastic ones sold in the mid 80s.



You only had room for a sandwich, fruit or maybe a small bag of chips.


Yep, but metal lunchbox owners can say they have vintage collectible items.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: nally on 08/10/19 at 5:57 pm


That's sweet! And I remember those. I think I had one in red.

I don't remember what color mine was.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/11/19 at 8:54 am


I don't remember what color mine was.


They’re not as easy to find as the plastic lunchboxes with stickers on them. Even the plastic lunchboxes with the most generic designs on them, such as the one below, are easier to find than blank plastic lunchboxes. I imagine those blank lunchboxes are being used today for custom lunchboxes.

Generic one: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1986-Vintage-Plastic-Lunch-Box-Thermos-I-forgot-my-homework-Daniel-Koffman-/283445649497

I believe Stephanie ‘How Rude’ Tanner had a blank lunchbox on “Full House”. I’ll try to post a picture in this thread.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/11/19 at 9:04 am

I was wrong. Stephanie, first, has a metal lunchbox when she is standing on her bed. Then, we see her with a plastic lunchbox that features only a decal of “The Jetsons” and random stickers on it (you could have taken the “The Jetsons” logo off it with some GooBeGone and it would be blank).

I think one of the last plastic lunchboxes we see on that show is a modern “My Little Pony” lunchbox that Michelle is hold in one of the season 7 or so.

The blank plastic lunchboxes are very hard to find. The blank ones might have been used in some 80s or 90s TV shows, but I can’t think of them now. It is possible that even Matt Groening drew a blank plastic lunchbox or two in the heyday of “The Simpsons”. You have to be a good nitpicker most of the time to spot a blank plastic lunchbox in any sitcom from that time, unfortunately.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Howard on 08/11/19 at 2:04 pm


Me too. The metal boxes are more collectible than the new plastic ones sold in the mid 80s.

Yep, but metal lunchbox owners can say they have vintage collectible items.


Did your parents ever put love notes in your lunchbox?

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Retrolover on 08/11/19 at 10:47 pm


Did your parents ever put love notes in your lunchbox?


No. Everyone was rushing to get out of the house and to work.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: wagonman76 on 08/28/19 at 12:41 am

I had a yellow Peanuts plastic lunchbox I got in 1981 or so.  I barely used it so it stayed in very nice shape.  Wonder if it's still buried somewhere at my dad's house.  My sister got a purple She-Ra plastic lunchbox later on.

Most other kids at school had the metal boxes.  I remember an ET, Fraggle Rock, A-Team.... there were tons.  They were all rusty at the seams too.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: robby76 on 08/28/19 at 9:41 am

With 3 other siblings we had a load of plastic and metal ones. I had a Superman metal one and later on, a plastic Star Wars one...

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/59/55/89/5955893c0de0e0e0eb42541d6a65bda0.jpg

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: nally on 09/01/19 at 10:13 pm




I believe Stephanie ‘How Rude’ Tanner had a blank lunchbox on “Full House”. I’ll try to post a picture in this thread.

I just did a google image search and found a picture at this link from IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0584218/mediaviewer/rm1908090112

If that doesn't work, try this: https://fullhouse.fandom.com/wiki/The_First_Day_of_School?file=103School.jpg

That one is pinkish-magenta, likely plastic, and has imagery on it. Also, that screenshot is from the third episode of the series.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: nally on 09/01/19 at 10:22 pm


I just did a google image search and found a picture at this link from IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0584218/mediaviewer/rm1908090112

If that doesn't work, try this: https://fullhouse.fandom.com/wiki/The_First_Day_of_School?file=103School.jpg

That one is pinkish-magenta, likely plastic, and has imagery on it. Also, that screenshot is from the third episode of the series.


Also, the opening sequence of Season 3, had her holding a pink lunchbox.
It can be seen here, at approximately the 0:40 mark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVWvLqgHkE4
(Btw, this is the originally-broadcasted version of the opening theme)


Can't tell if her lunchbox has any designs on it there, however.

Subject: Re: Metal or Plastic Lunchboxes

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/10/19 at 5:51 am

I know the film "Toy Story" was released in the 1995, but there is a reference to Andy receiving a lunch box as a birthday present, but the lunch box is not seen during the course of the film, so it is not know of the structure of it.

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