Aladdin Dick Tracy lunchbox
The Aladdin Dick Tracy lunchbox is a collectible vintage lunchbox based on the popular U.S comic strip ‘Dick Tracy’.
The Dick Tracy comic strip began life in 1931, created by Chester Gould, and continues to this day. It features the adventures of the police detective Dick Tracy and an ever-expanding list of characters including a cast of imaginative and ugly villains.
The lunchbox was produced by Aladdin Industries in 1967, during the strip’s ‘Space Period’ in which the characters regularly travelled to the Moon in a Space Coupe and used increasingly advanced technology and inventions on earth to fight crime. This period saw the introduction of Moon Maid, the daughter of the leader of the Moon people who eventually married Junior Tracy and gave birth to Honeymoon Tracy, a baby girl with antennae and magnetic hands.
The space period was slowly phased out after the Apollo 11 Moon landing clearly showed there were no Moon people living on the lunar surface, although many of the futuristic inventions remained until the late 1970s. Moon Maid was herself killed in 1978 by a car bomb meant for Tracy.
The Aladdin Dick Tracy lunchbox
The box has a red border and handle, with colour graphics on the front, back and sides of the box. As the box was produced during the ‘space period’, the front features Tracy and Sam Catchem in their futuristic cylindrical flying air cars as they head towards a robbery at the City Bank.
The reverse shows a scene featuring many of the strip’s characters including Tracy, Tess Trueheart, Sam Catchem, Diet Smith, Chief Patton, Junior Tracy, Moon Maid, Honeymoon Tracy, B.O Plenty, Gertie Gravel and Sparkle Plenty. The characters are shown drinking punch from a punchbowl on a rooftop, with the city skyscrapers behind them and the Space Coupe flying above them.
The sides of the box feature scenes depicting modern police techniques including forensic science, a lie detector, fingerprinting, ballistics, ultra-violet light identification and remote cameras.
The matching thermos flask has a red lid/cup, and features an image of a number of characters speaking to Junior, Moon Maid and Honeymoon on the lunar surface via a video screen.
How much is an Aladdin Dick Tracy lunchbox worth?
Due to the popularity and enduring legacy of the Dick Tracy comic strip, any vintage merchandise relating to it is highly collectible.
In top condition, and complete with a thermos flask, the box can sell for over $100 on auction sites such as eBay.
Boxes without flasks can sell for $50- $75 in good condition, with flasks selling individually for up to $50 in some circumstances.