Aladdin Colonel Ed McCauley, Space Explorer lunchbox
The Aladdin Colonel Ed McCauley, Space Explorer lunchbox is a vintage lunchbox based on the U.S science fiction television show ‘Men Into Space’.
Colonel Ed McCauley was the main (and only constant) character in the short-lived U.S science fiction show ‘Men Into Space’, which was renamed ‘Space Challenge’ in syndication. It followed the adventures of McCauley, played by William Lundigan, and the challenges of mankind’s journeys into outer space. Many of the stories revolved around Earth’s lunar base, the construction of space stations and conflicts between the competing space programs of the United States and the Soviet Union.
The show ran for a single season, comprising 38 episodes, from 1959 until 1960. A lunchbox was produced by Aladdin Industries in 1960, but features the name of the main character rather than the show itself (perhaps due to it being renamed for syndication).
The Aladdin Colonel Ed McCauley, Space Explorer lunchbox
The box has a light blue border with a cream plastic handle, and features illustrated colour graphics on the front, back and sides.
The front of the box depicts the show’s only regular character, Colonel Ed McCauley, as he performs a spacewalk whilst other astronauts work on a rocket in the background. The back of the box shows McCauley piloting a rocket whilst strapped into his seat, whilst another astronaut floats in the cockpit beside him.
The panels on the top, bottom and two sides of the box depict a landscape scene of the surface of the Moon, complete with an active Moon base, astronauts, vehicles and named planets visible in the sky above.
The matching thermos flask has a yellow top, and shows an image of McCauley on the lunar surface with another astronaut whilst a rocket takes off in the background.
How much is an Aladdin Colonel Ed McCauley, Space Explorer lunchbox worth?
The short-lived nature of the show means that although rare, the box is not highly sought after by most collectors. However, for theme collectors specialising in space or sci-fi lunchboxes it can be popular.
Examples in good condition can occasionally sell for up to $75 on auction sites such as eBay, with boxes in average used condition fetching $20 - $40 depending on wear and tear.