Best Retro Lunch Box Reviews 2023

Are you feeling nostalgic about some classic pop culture movie, show, or character that you were really into? We know what you’re thinking—that you’d really like to get a novelty item that shows how much of a fan you are. Our suggestion? A retro lunchbox! We recommend retro lunchboxes because they’re great for just collection or for carrying around your lunch. And the best part is that we’ve done all the work for you by looking at the best retro lunchboxes on the market. We picked five great brands that all sell novelty items like retro lunchboxes, and we’ve researched and reviewed one product from each so you’re purchasing decision is super easy! And if you can’t find the right lunchbox for you, no worries—our trusted brands have oodles of other items for you to choice from!
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Our Top Choice
Diamond Select Aliens Lunch Box
For 28 years, Diamond Select has been creating licensed collectibles themed after popular movies and enjoyed by kids and adults.
Comes with thermos; very lightweight; spacious
May bend or warp with hard use
Retro / Aliens
8.7 x 7.7 x 4.6 inches; 1.2lbs
Matching thermos
Best Value
Archie McPhee Metal Retro Lunchbox
Since 1983, Archie McPhee has been producing and selling great novelty items, from gag items to toys to retro products. Everyone is sure to find something they love with Archie McPhee!
Includes vinyl keychain; facts about Bigfoot on lunchbox
Graphics may fade with use and wear
Bigfoot Cartoon
8 x 4 x 7 inches; 0.82lbs
Bigfoot facts included
Aquarius Star Trek Retro Lunch Box
Aquarius ensures that their products undergo rigorous quality control checks so that only the best go out to their customers.
Collector’s-quality lunchbox; early Star Trek characters
Mainly for display/collecting purposes
Star Trek
7.8 x 4.1 x 6.8 inches; 0.8lbs
Officially licensed
The Monster Factory Volkswagen Lunch Bag
Since 1998, the Monster Factory has been making exclusive custom-made products for companies that need certain aesthetic items for their brand.
Insulated interior perfect for trips; 4 colors available
Narrow interior won’t fit Tupperware flat
1965 VW T1 Camper
Oxford canvas
12.5 x 4 x 6 inches; 0.3lbs
Available in 4 colors
Vandor Large Tin Lunch Box
Founded in 1957, Vandor has been helping fans of all ages stay true to their comic and sci-fi favorites with their licensed, pop-culture items.
Iconic Episode 4 graphic; lightweight; great for storing other collectibles
No included thermos
Available in 11 designs
9 x 3.5 x 7.5 inches; 0.8lbs
Photo quality image

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What is the Best Retro Lunch Box?

Now that you have a working knowledge of retro lunchboxes, it’ll be really easy for you to decide which features are the most critical. As you read our review, keep in mind the features you want your lunchbox to have—durability, insulation, and, of course, design and style—so you can pick which is the best for your needs. Ready? Okay, here we go!
Our Top Choice
The Diamond Select Aliens Lunchbox is made of tin and has an almost 3D look to it. It comes with a matching thermos, and both the box and thermos are themed after James Camerons’ classic movie Alien. This style of lunchbox is also available in a different them if you aren’t a fan of Alien. We suggest checking out the Diamond Select Predator Lunchbox!

Diamond Select Aliens Retro Lunch Box with Thermos

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Timonium, Maryland, Diamond Select has been making collector’s edition items that have both practical and decorative use. Their wide range of products—action figures, busts, prop replicas and more—come from a selection of classic, fan-favorite movies and shoes like Indiana Jones, Battle Star Galatica, 24 and many others! Their products are all licensed, and the release of their mini-figures have become widely popular worldwide.

Diamond Select’s Aliens Lunchbox is made of tin, and covered in imagery and logos from the blockbuster movie. This lunchbox also has a complementing thermos that has Hudson’s famous quote written across it. This retro-style lunchbox has a dimension of 8.7 x 7.7x 4.6 inches and has enough room in it to pack your delicious lunch. It also weighs just 1.2 pounds, which makes it light enough for kids to carry. Adults too can enjoy this lunchbox as it takes them down memory lane.

Other products we really liked from Diamond Select are…
  • Diamond Select Aliens Egg Lunchbox – Durable tin construction with great finish
  • Diamond Select Xenomorph Queen Bust – Professionally sculpted with a collectible grade finishing
Best Value
Their Bigfoot Metal Lunchbox is made from tin and has brightly colored depictions of Bigfoot on the front and back. For the true Bigfoot-believer, this lunchbox also has facts about our friendly neighborhood Sasquatch! If you’re a fan of the Crazy Cat Lady, check out Archie McPhee’s Crazy Cat Lady Tin Lunchbox, which also comes with a vinyl dangle.

Archie McPhee Bigfoot Metal Retro Lunchbox

Archie McPhee, based in Wallingford, Seattle, was founded by Mark Pahlow and named after his wife’s great uncle. They deal in assorted novelty items, such as glow-in-the-dark aliens, rubber chickens, and bacon-scented air fresheners to name just a few. This company has been featured in Scientific America and Time magazine because of their achievements in creating unique forms of entertainment.

The Bigfoot Sasquatch Metal Lunchbox is a tin-constructed case with colorful depictions of Bigfoot on the front and back. It comes with a vinyl keychain so everybody knows where you fall on the “is Bigfoot real” debate! It’s 8 x 7 x 4 inches, which ensures enough room for your Bigfoot-sized lunch!

Some other awesome products from Archie Mcphee include…
  • Archie McPhee Dashboard Cat Buddha – Suspended on a metal spring with stick-on base
  • Archie McPhee Cat Eyes Sleeping Mask – Made of polyester and cotton. Has an elastic band so it fits most head sizes
  • Archie McPhee Cat Eyes Auto Windshield Sunshade – It blocks out UV rays and folds for easy storage
This boldly-colored Star Trek Retro Lunchbox has an array of your favorite Star Trek characters. Any fan of the franchise will surely love this collectable item! Not into Star Trek, but love horror? Check out Aquarius’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre Lunchbox!

Aquarius Large Retro Star Trek Tin Lunch Box

Aquarius is an online merchandising company that sells a wide range of products spanning numerous categories such as games, puzzles, novelty items and much more. They ensure their products undergo rigorous quality control checks so that only the best arrive at their customers’ doorsteps. Because they care so much about their customers, they’ve been steadily growing and have become a recognized brand!

The Aquarius Star Trek Retro Lunchbox has boldly-colored graphics displaying all your favorite characters from the popular, earlier version of the Star Trek franchise. This tin lunchbox measures 7.8 x 6.8 x 4.1 inches, and makes a great collectible item. If you want to carry your lunch in it to show it off to friends, it has a metal latch to ensure all your contents stay in place. This lunchbox will make a great collection item for any Star Trek fan.

Here are some other products from Aquarius that we recommend!
  • Aquarius Boombox Tin Fun Box – Officially licensed graphics. It has a plastic handle with a metallic lock
  • Aquarius Candy Land Tin Fun Box – Great collector’s edition standard. Recommended for all ages
  • Aquarius Ford Mustang Embossed Tin Fun Box – Has the official Ford Mustang logo for all Mustang fans
The VW T1 Camper Van Lunch Bag is made with Oxford canvas and has a fully insulated interior. Its design is modeled after the 1965 VW camper bus. If you’re looking for a totally cool retro toiletry bag, check out the VW T1 Camper Van Toiletry Wash Bag, which comes in different colors.

The Monster Factory Volkswagen Camper Van Lunch Bag – Available in 4 Colors

Established in 1998 and now with offices in the UK, USA, and China, Monster Factory has been designing, manufacturing and marketing unique products for almost two decades. They work with numerous licensed brands to help create products that are aesthetically appealing to their customers. Their novelty products have won awards for their high-quality and ingenuity!

The VW T1 Camper Van Lunch Bag is a tote bag made with high-quality fabric and has a handle with a printed surfboard graphic. Its fully-insulated aluminum foil interior keeps your lunch warm or cold, making this an ideal bag for picnics, school lunches, and field trips! Because it’s available in red, orange, pink, and blue, you’re sure to find a “camper” you love!

Carrying your lunch around has never been so cool with this lunch bag modeled after the 1965 Volkswagen T1 camper. Unlike the classic T1, this VW only measures 12.5 x 4 x 6 inches and weighs in at a mere 0.3 pounds. Even fully packed, this bag is super easy to carry around. Collectors will certainly appreciate the high level of detail that went into making this bag look just like its real-life VW counterpart!
Vandor’s Star Wars: Episode 4 Tin Tote has an exquisite vintage feel that’ll make you feel young again! The metal latch closure and collapsible handle gives this lunchbox the ultimate retro look. Are you a Beatles fan? We highly recommend Vandor’s Beatles Anthology Tin Tote, featuring a collage of the Beatles’ albums!

Vandor Large Tin Tote Lunch Box – Available in 11 Styles

Founded in 1957, Vandor has its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. They specialize in making retro collectables that take you down memory lane. With more than 30 A-list licensed brands and churning out over 150 designs annually, Vandor has a huge range of classic and retro products.

The Vandor Star Wars: Episode 4 Tin Tote lets you carry your lunch while also displaying how much of a fan you are! The iconic Episode 4 logo featured on the front of the tin will have you remembering Star Wars’ good times (before JarJar Binks). Whether it’s food, toiletries, or other items, this metal tote has enough space for you to store the essentials.

Vandor has other cool retro lunch boxes that we recommend checking out!
  • Vandor Superman Square Tin Tote with snap closures
  • Vandor Elvis Presley Shaped Tin Tote with latch closure
  • Vandor Guardians of the Galaxy Tin Tote with collapsible handle and latch closure

How Do I Choose the Best Retro Lunch Box?

If we asked you to choose your favorite comic, sci-fi or movie characters as a kid, we know you’re likely to come up with a long list! If we throw musicians and bands into the mix—as well as iconic cars—we know your list will grow even longer. Because certain characters or figures have become iconic, you can find all sorts of merchandise that’s created to show how big a fan you are. Items like backpacks, plates and fridge magnets are just a handful of products that often have iconic cultural figures on them. We love the retro lunchbox especially because you can show it off to your friends or co-workers just by carrying your lunch!

The best retro lunchboxes are made with quality materials and feature large, vibrant designs that fit whatever theme you’re after. They come in different shapes and sizes, and some even come with matching a thermos. We love lunchboxes with insulated interiors, but collector’s items are just as much fun to keep and store. Who knows how much your awesome collectible will be worth some day?
The price often varies because of the materials used, design, licensing agreements and more. A licensed lunchbox made of tin with a big, vibrant, shiny design will cost over $20, but you can find ones that run as low as $13 (usually unlicensed, or the theme is generic, like extra-terrestrials or the Loch Ness Monster).

In our course of research, we found some very low-priced retro lunchboxes, but we decided to steer clear of these products because users reported that they were easily damaged or that the graphics wore off after a short while. We know everyone lives on a budget—us included!—but we highly recommend you spend just a little more to save yourself money in the long run.
When choosing a lunchbox—or any novelty item—we know that there are a handful of features to consider with design and style perhaps being the most important. But if you’re looking for a collector’s item—something you won’t actually use to carry your lunch—your required features will change (for example, you may not need to pay extra for an insulated interior if you aren’t carrying anything in it). If you’re looking for something durable that your kids can take to school, you may want to consider the size of the box to see if you can fit Tupperware or other bulky items inside it. We think retro lunchboxes also make unique toiletry bags, so if you want a bag for this purpose, considering a soft bag versus a hard tin box is an important factor.

Try to think of all the uses your item may go through as you consider which one to buy. When you have all these features in mind, we know you’ll have no problem finding the best lunchbox to show off your fandom!
Construction and Design
Some retro lunchboxes are made with thin, which is lightweight but can be prone to getting dented from hard use. Others are made with BPA-free plastic and are more durable (great for little kids!) while others are made with canvas. Canvas bags and boxes withstand hard use better than tin, but they can be more difficult to wash than plastic (usually, canvas-types are hand-wash only).

Although most tin boxes will have similar sizes, canvas and plastic lunch bags may be bigger or smaller. If you do plan to carry your lunch in your retro lunchbox, we recommend measuring the Tupperware or lunch items you typically carry to see if everything will fit. Generally, if you use a lot of plastic baggies to pack your food, you won’t have a problem fitting your lunch into a plastic, tin, or canvas box or bag!

If you do measure your lunch items and you find out they won’t fit, finding a bag with a different shape may help. Because some retro lunchboxes are made with canvas, the shape will differ and you might be able to fit awkwardly shaped items in it. For folks looking to just display their collectibles, remember to measure the space you intend to display your item.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most retro lunchboxes have a metal latch that you just snap to keep the box closed. Canvas bags typically have a zipper closure, but they can also have a button or Velcro closure. If you want to carry your lunch, a lunchbox with an included thermos is a good choice because it saves you money and you can be certain the thermos fits inside the box! If you want a box for carrying toiletries, a latch closure will help keep everything locked inside.

The beauty of retro lunchboxes is that they let you show your love for your favorite characters, shows, movies, comic books and more. People who love classic cars can find lunchboxes with the Mustang logo while lovers of Star Wars can display their affection at the next upcoming movie (retro lunchboxes are great for carrying in snacks at the movies, which we of course do not recommend you do, but thought should be mentioned anyway).

Whether you’re a diehard fan, a collector, or just someone who wants to a unique lunch carrier, a retro lunchbox is a budget-friendly way to be yourself!

Get the Best Retro Lunch Box of 2023!

Now that you’ve got lots of information about retro lunchboxes, we’re confident you’ll be able to find one you adore! If you haven’t yet made up your mind about which one you’d like, we suggest exploring our top brands further to find a product that’s just right for you.

Our Top Choice
Diamond Select Aliens Lunch Box
Best Value
Archie McPhee Metal Retro Lunchbox
Aquarius Star Trek Retro Lunch Box
The Monster Factory Volkswagen Lunch Bag
Vandor Large Tin Lunch Box