Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Cowboy hero Hopalong Cassidy ran on television from 1949 to 1954, with William Boyd (1895-1972) in the title role.In 1950, Aladdin Industries created the first children's lunch box based on a television show, Hopalong Cassidy. The Hopalong Cassidy lunch kit, or "Hoppy," quickly became Aladdin’s cash cow. Debuting in time for back-to-school 1950, it would go on to sell 600,000 units in its first year alone, each at a modest $2.39 . A red and blue version were made, with a decal of Hoppy stuck on the front panel. A thermos was also made in red or blue cap.

I was lucky to find this lunchbox and a matching thermo (not shown) in a thrift shop in Metuchen, New Jersey that was holding a closing out sale. Still in serviceable condition, it set me back by $20, a hefty sum back in the late 80s. There was a later 1954 version Hopalong Cassidy made by Aladdin Industries Inc. One outstanding old store stock example in excellent/near mint condition sold at an auction for $1,382.94. That must have made the dealer very Hoppy indeed.

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