How many G.I. Joe lunchboxes are there?

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  1. #1

    Question How many G.I. Joe lunchboxes are there?

    Howdy, y'all.
    I decided to (finally) look up something related to one of my dad's hobbies -- collecting lunchboxes. I used a lot of his collection when I was in school. Imagine the look on other kids' faces when you come in with (one of 2) Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox(es) one day, then a 1982(?) G.I. Joe (Thermos) box, another day, then (one of 2) Transformers plastic boxes on another.

    That being said, I remember at least one of the plastic Joe Aladdin lunchboxes from back then (I think the "Live the Adventure" art). But when I looked G.I. Joe lunchboxes up on eBay, I swear that I saw a thermos for practically every year the original figures were out. I personally remember having an '85 thermos, with all of the characters raising their arms up, cartoon style. On eBay I saw 2 different ones for 1987, 1 for Tiger Force (late '88 or '89) one or two with 1989 Snake-Eyes, and so on, so forth.
    During that same period, Transformers only had 3 boxes (all Aladdin) that I know of: 1 1984 back-of-box mural on plastic, 1 1986 back-of-box mural on plastic, and 1 1986 metal box with the 1986 back-of-box at centered on Metroplex on one side, Trypticon on the back side, and Dinobots in both modes around the perimeter.

    How many G.I. Joe lunchboxes were there, and which ones are most sought after?
    -- Cybertronian.
    Mind helping me? Check out my list and let’s make a deal!
    http://www.TennMetroplex.com/joe-requests.html
    Current (parts) include:
    (Python) Viper v2 - torso
    PoC (2010) A.W.E. Striker - Frame (preferably w/o wheels & suspenion)
    Chief Torpedo v2 - figure, rifle
    Duke v1 - waist

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  3. #2
    I don't know actual total numbers for lunch boxes, but the one that seems to go for the most is the origianl '82? Green metal box. It has the original team on one side and the Mobat on the reverse. It's all made of metal and seems to be hard to find in nice shape.

  4. #3
    I'd like to see that Metroplex lunchbox, that sounds awesome. I used to have the '83ish lunchbox with the Mobat, very nice. Not sure if any plastics came later, but I wouldn't know it. In the early to mid '00s, some retailers carried a metal miniaturized lunchbox featuring the original 12" Joes. Believe there were 3 or 4 of those to collect in total. Those are pretty collectible looking since they are tin.

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  6. #4
    I had all 3 Transformers boxes that I mentioned. I wonder why they made a 1986 metal Transformers box, then went back to plastic in the same year. Either way, I'm thinking that all of the TF boxes had one thermos design: Optimus Prime (and others) in box art/file card poses. That's not too different from both of my Dukes of Hazzard boxes (one with Bo, Luke, & Daisy on the front and back, one with Coy, Vance, & Daisy) sharing one thermos (with the General Lee in various poses).

    As for G.I. Joe, we had the 1982 (or '83) Thermos Co. metal box with army green borders and the 1982 team on the front. I don't know if we had the thermos to it (Thermos's thermoses had a squarish body with usu. only a picture on one face), but it wasn't unusual for mom to put our 1985 Aladdin "opening credits pose" (w/ Snake-Eyes, Shipwreck, Barbecue, etc.) thermos in the box. I can't tell you how "battle tested" the box was, but unlike some kids, my/Dad's lunchboxes were only used for lunch.

    We haven't checked on our boxes in awhile, but some of the boxes were so unique, I don't remember all of the shows/properties they were based on. I do remember a Hair Bear Bunch box, and one that I think was supposed to have come with magnetic baseball players (a field/diamond was illustrated on the top or bottom).
    Mind helping me? Check out my list and let’s make a deal!
    http://www.TennMetroplex.com/joe-requests.html
    Current (parts) include:
    (Python) Viper v2 - torso
    PoC (2010) A.W.E. Striker - Frame (preferably w/o wheels & suspenion)
    Chief Torpedo v2 - figure, rifle
    Duke v1 - waist

  7. #5
    Looking on eBay...
    G.I. Joe in Lunchboxes, Thermoses | eBay

    Apparently, there was a 1988 Transformers (back-of-box mural) plastic box, complete with matching thermos (uses box/filecard art poses of 1988 TFs).
    One Joe Aladdin thermos (1991, I think) uses scenes from the comic book. Of the scenes I saw on thermoses, Ninja Force Storm Shadow fighting alongside Snake-Eyes v3, (the more serious) Hooded Cobra Commander with a pack of Crimson Guards (v1) behind him, and another with Snake-Eyes v3 using his ornate chest daggers.
    Mind helping me? Check out my list and let’s make a deal!
    http://www.TennMetroplex.com/joe-requests.html
    Current (parts) include:
    (Python) Viper v2 - torso
    PoC (2010) A.W.E. Striker - Frame (preferably w/o wheels & suspenion)
    Chief Torpedo v2 - figure, rifle
    Duke v1 - waist

  8. #6
    You can check out the archive here:
    YOJOE.COM | G.I.Joe Lunchboxes
    it lists 8
    I think I have 6 or 7...

  9. #7
    I have this one: YOJOE.COM | G.I.Joe Lunchbox - 1986 but I can tell that the handle is different. This handle is a combination of metal and plastic while the box I have is all plastic. So there is a variant! I also have the one with the General on it.
    ~Pit-Viper~

  10. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Pit Viper View Post
    I have this one: YOJOE.COM | G.I.Joe Lunchbox - 1986 but I can tell that the handle is different. This handle is a combination of metal and plastic while the box I have is all plastic. So there is a variant! I also have the one with the General on it.
    There are a few variants of that year - of particular note are different shades of blue, as well as one that is clearly "square" on the corners and the other is pictured, rounded. I think the square one may have been the Canadian version.

    AND, don't forget about all of the "soft" lunch boxes.... there were quite a few of these, mostly just green camo with variations of the logo.
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    Licensed Merchandise (non-figure/vehicle) like towels, Coleco ride-on toys (sleds or bicycles) , vintage child clothing, and an original Konami Arcade game.

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