Aladdin Gentle Ben lunchbox
The Aladdin Gentle Ben lunchbox is a vintage lunchbox featuring characters from the 1960s U.S children’s television series ‘Gentle Ben’.
Gentle Ben is a children’s book Walt Morey published in 1965, and later adapted into a television series and two made-for-television films. It tells the story of a friendly American Black Bear and his adventures with a young boy, in addition to a cast of characters surrounding a nature reserve in Florida.
The television series ran from 1967 until 1969 and starred Clint Howard (brother of Happy Days actor and film director Ron Howard) as Mark Wedloe, the boy who befriends Ben (played by a bear named Bruno).
In September 2011 the original 1968 Elmer Lehnhardt artwork used for the front cover of the Aladdin Gentle Ben lunchbox was sold during an eBay auction for a price of $802.
The Aladdin Gentle Ben lunchbox
The box was first manufactured by Aladdin in 1968. It features an orange rim and a brown handle, and includes graphics on the front, back and sides. The front of the box depicts Mark riding Ben as he jumps over a log in the woods, with the reverse showing Mark playing with Ben and two young bear cubs whilst his Park Ranger father looks on from the steps of a log cabin.
The sides of the box feature images of an airboat travelling through the Everglades, Mark walking with Ben, and Mark helping his father attend to an injured deer.
The box also came with an orange metal thermos flask with a yellow lid/cup, and images of Mark, Ben, an airboat and some bear cubs. This was replaced in later versions with a plastic flask with a more basic image of Mark walking with Ben.
How much is an Aladdin Gentle Ben lunchbox worth?
Mint or near-mint condition boxes complete with their flasks have sold on auction sites such as eBay for up to $150, with average used boxes (without flasks) selling for around $25 - $35 in most cases. Boxes complete with the early metal flasks are the most sought after.
These flasks can also sell individually for up to $40 in some cases, with plastic flasks selling for around $20 in good condition.