Disney Lunch Kit, ca. 1935

Value (2006) | $1,800 Retail$2,000 Retail

GUEST:
I bought it at a flea market about 15, 16 years ago.

APPRAISER:
How much did you pay for it?

GUEST:
Paid $125 for it.

APPRAISER:
You know, when you put this down on my desk, it doesn't make much to make my day in a way, because I love this stuff so much. But this really struck me. People collect lunch boxes, but 99% of the lunch boxes that people collect are from the '50s. Now, this is not called a lunch box. It's called a lunch kit. And it's from 1935. So that's one force that's pushing on the value of this thing. The other thing is that it's a Disney collectible. All these characters around here are from the Silly Symphonies, which were the series of cartoons that Disney made in the '30s before his first feature, which was Snow White, which he made in the late '30s. And one of the ways to date this-- all original real Disney stuff is marked. They were scrupulous about that. They were one of the first to really be aware of the power of the brand and of protecting it. And if you look over here, it says, "Walt Disney Enterprises." Now, all Disney material up to 1939 was marked "Enterprises" or "Ent." After '39, it always says "Walt Disney Productions." Now, you can further date it by the look of Mickey, because Mickey changed over the years. And this is very identifiable as the early Mickey as well as all the characters have their early look.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And then when you lift it up here, at the top... you have the type work-- "Mickey Mouse Lunch Kit," which is fantastic. Now, the side's in great shape. Your problem up here is with the top. It has some age stain. I think it might have been in a garage at some point. It seems to have some oil residue. People used these tins in the garage to keep... keep the nails and bolts in.

GUEST:
Exactly.

APPRAISER:
Now, I don't know if you know this, but one of the trade secrets for old signs and tins is to use Turtle Wax on them. It shines them up and it doesn't harm the finish at all. And you would bring this back about 50% with some Turtle Wax. Now, I just wanted to show the back because it's interesting-- the company that made it. It's "Handy." And they made all kinds of tinware during the '30s. This is the kind of thing that would have been sold at a five-and-dime for 20 cents, 15 cents at the time.

GUEST:
I should have been there then.

APPRAISER:
Yeah. So the retail value I would put on this is $1,800 to $2,000.

GUEST:
(laughs) Gosh, well, that's great. That's a whole lot better than a hundred and a quarter.

APPRAISER:
Well, keep on going to those flea markets.

GUEST:
Yeah, I go every weekend.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
Los Angeles, California
Appraised value (2006)
$1,800 Retail$2,000 Retail
Event
Mobile, AL (July 08, 2006)
Period
1930s
Form
Lunch Kit
Material
Tin

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