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11 Most Valuable Lunch Boxes in the World

11 Most Valuable Lunch Boxes in the World


Before the 1950s television craze found kids glued to programs like The Lone Ranger and Howdy Doody, lunch boxes were the domain of working men who needed durable steel boxes to keep their victuals safe until break time. However, as cartoons and kids’ programs became a greater part of American popular culture, savvy marketers realized that children needed to transport their lunches as well. What better way to generate revenue and advertise at the same time than to plaster children’s lunch boxes with the faces of their favorite characters?

Click here for the 11 Most Valuable Lunch Boxes in the World (Slideshow)

Of course Disney was the first to realize the power of the lunch box. The first licensed character lunch box featured Mickey Mouse and came courtesy of the pioneering hosewares manufacturing firm Geuder, Paeschke & Frey in 1935. Over the next 20 years, however, dozens of competitors got in on the lunch box game, and soon, virtually every film, book, and television program that was even tangentially aimed at kids had its own promotional tie-in version.

But what became of all those lunch boxes? Well, today the rarest of the lot can fetch sellers a pretty penny. Mike Kaye, owner of LunchBoxCollector.com, says that rarity is key when it comes to a serious lunch box collection. For example, the ultra-rare 1954 Superman lunch box can set a collector back $20,000. The second most important factor for serious collectors is condition. Normally they’re looking for lunch boxes in mint or nearly perfect condition, so no squeaky-hinged, rusted out lunch pails allowed. Finally, age matters, as the most sought-after boxes were made between 1950 and 1980.

So if you’re out vintage shopping and you think you’ve struck gold, remember rarity, condition, and age will be your best bet for turning a profit off a child’s lunch box. But most importantly, says Kaye, you need to be able to spot a phony. Companies like Aladdin and Thermos, whose lunch boxes bring top dollar from collectors, printed their names right on the boxes. A true vintage lunch box will also be heavier than an imposter, as those early boxes were made of steel as opposed to today’s thinner metal.

Do you have lunch box gold stashed away in your attic? Look through our list to find out!

Aladdin, Little Friends (1982), $850; Matching Plastic Bottle, $260

Hake’s Americana and Collectibles named this sweet vintage lunch box one of the five rarest in the country. With its nod to Pippi Longstocking and adorable animal motif, snatching one up is a point of pride for any serious collector.

Adco Liberty, Howdy Doody (1954), $950

Most Boomers fondly remember Howdy Doody and his gang of friendly puppets as a childhood morning staple. The Howdy Doody lunch box features not just Howdy, but a number of his smiling friends. Who says you can’t put a price tag on memories?

* All the pricing & information garnered from Toys & Prices 19th Edition by Mark Bellomo, pub 2013, and from Warman’s Lunch Boxes Field Guide


Can We Have Some? What School Lunches Look Like Around the World

Memories of childhood school days inevitably lead to thoughts of lunches in the cafeteria — for better or for worse. Whether your school served up “prison food” or heavenly junk food, lunchtime was a chance to gather with friends to gossip and wreak havoc on a plate of fries and shared ketchup — or, if you were unfortunate, to be forced to give your lunch over to the class bully.

School lunches are a popular topic among state and national education and health boards in the United States, and schools are often criticized for failing to provide a balanced meal parents and the public are continually promised changes to come. But despite the best efforts of people like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and British chef Jamie Oliver to highlight just how improperly fed students are and to attempt to change the system, most students in the U.S. are still living on unhealthy food that’s somehow passed off as healthy, including shocking examples of fries and ketchup being considered a daily serving of “ vegetables. ”

However, school students in many nations around the world don’t suffer from the same issues. Forget the mac and cheese, pizza slices, chicken nuggets, and soda. They’re replaced by dishes like grilled fish (Japan), kimchi (Korea), and green pea soup (Finland), all delicious enough to entice kids to eat. Here’s a sampling of what students in other countries are eating.


The 29 Beanie Babies That Could Make Someone VERY Rich Very Quickly

Picture it. Suburbia. The &rsquo90s. Your parents hand you this kinda cute thing that&rsquos made of one of the weirdest materials in existence (hello, plastic bean pellets!). They called it a &ldquoBeanie Baby&rdquo? Eh, sure, I&rsquom a kid, what do I know? Now cut to more than 20 years later and you&rsquore sipping martinis in your sunny Monaco mansion because someone on the internet wanted to buy your Beanie Baby for, like, a lot of money. In this economy, the nerve!

Okay, sorry to burst the fantasy I just laid out for you, but here are some hard truths. Not every Beanie Baby is that valuable&mdashthere are a lot of conditions that render it that way. It depends on which &ldquogeneration&rdquo it&rsquos from (how early it was made), what kind it is, whether it was made for a special occasion, how many were made, even what pellets were used, and&mdashobviously&mdashthe condition it&rsquos in. Apparently, the more errors there are, the more valuable it is? Phew. According to this online Beanie Baby price guide, the ones that sell for exorbitant prices are often ordinary items that just get inflated. A lot of these prices are based on bids rather than the actual value. With that, it pays to do a little research to make sure that your Beanie is a valuable Beanie and not a regular Beanie and find the right vendor, not just eBay or Etsy. There are even online social media groups where vendors come together and chat all things Beanie!

Get access to all the Cosmo content you could possibly ask for by subscribing to Cosmo Unlocked! It&rsquos worth all of your Beanie Baby income!

And yet, being the caring, generous BFFs we are, we dived into the deep, deep world of the eBay Beanie Baby market and resurfaced with 29 lil Babies that are selling for prices that would make them Bougie Babies. Do you have any hiding in your parents&rsquo storage unit?? If yes, can we be friends?


11 of the Worlds Most Expensive Foods

Food is one of the basic needs that all living things have in common. But all foods are not created equal, especially in terms of price, as the following list illustrates.

1. Hamburger

At $99, the Double Truffle Hamburger at DB Bistro Moderne in Manhattan gives new meaning to the term whopper. The burger contains three ounces of rib meat mixed with truffles and foie gras stuffed inside seven ounces of sirloin steak and served on a Parmesan and poppy seed bun, with salad and truffle shavings. For penny-pinchers and calorie counters, the Single Truffle version is a mere $59.

2. Caviar

The world's most expensive caviar is a type of Iranian beluga called Almas. Pale amber in color, it comes from sturgeons that are between 60 and 100 years old. A 3.9-pound container will set you back $48,750.

3. Pie

In 2006, a chef in northwestern England created the world's most expensive pie. Based on a traditional steak and mushroom pie, the dish includes $1,000 worth of Wagyu beef fillet, $3,330 in Chinese matsutake mushrooms (which are so rare that they are grown under the watchful eyes of armed guards), two bottles of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild at a cost of about $4,200 each, as well as black truffles and gold leaf. The pie serves eight with a total cost around $15,900, or $1,990 per slice, which includes a glass of champagne.

4. Bread

Forget Poilâne's famous French sourdough at $19.50 a loaf. In 1994, Diane Duyser of Florida noticed that the toasted sandwich she was eating appeared to contain an image of the Virgin Mary. She kept it for ten years (it never went moldy), before selling it to Canadian casino Goldenpalace.com for $28,000 in 2004.

5. Ice Cream Sundae

At $1,000, the Grand Opulence Sundae at New York's Serendipity certainly lives up to its name. Made from Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream covered in 23-karat edible gold leaf and drizzled with Amedei Porcelana, the world's most expensive chocolate, this indulgence is studded with gold dragets and truffles and topped with dessert caviar.

6. Pizza

Americans love their pizza. And at $1,000 a pie (or $125 a slice) they better be able to put their money where their mouth is. The Luxury Pizza, a 12-inch thin crust, is the creation of Nino Selimaj, owner of Nino's Bellissima in Manhattan. To order this extravagant pizza, call 24 hours in advance because it is covered with six different types of caviar that need to be specially ordered. The pie is also topped with lobster, crème fraîche, and chives.

Our list of the world's most expensive foods continues with the priciest boxed chocolates.

The World's Most Expensive Foods, 7-11

7. Boxed Chocolates

At $2,600 per pound, Chocopologie by Knipschildt Chocolatier of Connecticut is the world's most expensive box of chocolates. The Chocolatier, opened in 1999 by Danish chef Fritz Knipschildt, also sells a decadent dark chocolate truffle with a French black truffle inside for a mere $250. But don't expect to just drop in and buy one on a whim . . . they're available on a preorder basis only.

8. Sandwich

Since the 19th century, the club sandwich has been a restaurant staple. But thanks to English chef James Parkinson, the von Essen Platinum club sandwich at the Cliveden House Hotel near London is also the world's most expensive sandwich at $197. Weighing just over a pound, the sandwich is made of the finest ingredients, including Iberico ham cured for 30 months, quail eggs, white truffles, semi-dried Italian tomatoes, and 24-hour fermented sourdough bread.

9. Omelette

For $1,000, this gigantic concoction comes stacked with caviar and an entire lobster encased within its eggy folds. Still, one might expect a seafood fork made of platinum and a few precious stones within to justify the price of a few eggs (albeit with a few added trappings). Nicknamed "The Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata," the world's most "egg-spensive" omelette is the objet d'art of chef Emilio Castillo of Norma's restaurant in New York's Le Parker Meridien Hotel. A smaller version is also available for $100.

10. Spice

Saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, has sold in recent years for as much as $2,700 per pound! The price tag is so high because it must be harvested by hand and it takes more than 75,000 threads, or filaments, of the crocus flower to equal one pound of the spice! Most saffron comes from Iran, Turkey, India, Morocco, Spain, and Greece, and in the ancient world the spice was used medicinally and for food and dye. Prices vary depending on the quality and the amount, but high-quality saffron has been known to go for as much as $15 per gram (0.035 ounces).

11. Cake

And the award for the most expensive food goes to. a fruitcake? Encrusted with 223 small diamonds, this cake (which is edible without the gems, of course) was for sale for an unbelievable $1.6 million in December 2005. One of 17 diamond-themed displays in a Japanese exhibit called "Diamonds: Nature's Miracle," the masterpiece took a Tokyo pastry chef six months to design and one month to create.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen


The London Silver Vaults – London, UK

As its name suggests, The London Silver Vaults have an air of elitism and secrecy that makes exploring its collections a thrilling experience. The London Silver Vaults is underground in vaulted walls and everything for sale is first authenticated by experts to ensure quality.

If you’re a silver collector, you’ll be awestruck by the distinguished English craftsmanship of the silver found at The London Silver Vaults.


2. Australia’s Plastic Bag Bans

Victoria is the most recent Australian state to ban the sale of plastic bags. From November, all retailers in Victoria will be subject to heavy fines for providing plastic carrier bags. New South Wales is now the only state in Australia yet to outlaw the bags.

Mexico City just launched its ban on the production and sale of plastic bags.


1996 Flair Showcase Hot Shots Shaquille O'Neal #5

This Shaq card is from 16 years earlier, and it is graded BGS 10. This 1996 Flair Showcase Hot Shots Shaq card is the only BGS 10 card of this top 11 list. Of the 54 cards in the BGS population, only two are graded BGS 10. Meanwhile, 10 of the 20 PSA grades are PSA 10.

This Flair Showcase Row 2 set includes just 20 cards, and interestingly, Shaq and Eddie Jones are the only two Lakers in the set. This set includes many future Hall of Famers and has a unique design: each player performs a basketball move with a basketball background on a flame-shaped card. Shaq appears to be in the post in his gold Lakers jersey.

After four seasons in Orlando, Shaq's first season with the Lakers began in 1996. He finished that year with the third-highest blocks per game and player efficiency rating in the league. Shaq also had the fourth-best field goal percentage in the NBA. His VORP ranked 17th-best, but he made the All-NBA Third-Team, and the 56-26 Lakers entered the playoffs with the fourth-best record in a top-heavy Western Conference.

In his Lakers playoff debut, he impressed the Staples Center faithful with his playoff career high in points with 46. His tremendous performance in Game 1 (17-for-27 shooting, 11 rebounds, and two blocks) led the Lakers to an easy 95-77 victory over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers. Shaq showed Kobe, who was a rookie that season, how to dominate a playoff game.


Characteristics of Vodka

Vodka’s reputation for being flavorless stems from the fact that most vodka is distilled three times and also filtered through charcoal that removes not only impurities but also leftover hints of flavor. True aficionados can, however, discern differing flavor notes, sweetness, or fragrance in prized vodkas. Original medicinal vodka had a much lower alcohol content, a maximum of perhaps 14 percent. The stills that increased the purity and boosted alcohol content were invented in the 8th Century.

Today, vodkas normally have an alcohol content of at least 40%, and some are much higher. Pure grain alcohol is sometimes available to consumers — Everclear is one example — but such spirit has not been subjected to the filtration and refining required to be a true vodka. One extremely high-alcohol content Bulgarian vodka is sold at 88% ABV, but water is typically added to the distilled rectified spirit or ethyl alcohol prior to its bottling with a vodka label.

Vodka may be distilled from any grain, grape, or high-starch or sugar plant, even simple sugar and water alone. Although many believe that “true” vodka is made from potatoes, that is a misconception. Potatoes became dominant for Swedish vodka in the 19th Century, and they are now used widely by producers. Today’s most popular vodkas are grain-based, commonly sorghum, corn, rye, or wheat. Other common vodkas are produced from molasses, soybeans, sugar beets, or rice. Highly prized sipping vodkas are typically distilled from winter wheat.


The 11 most expensive steaks you can order in N.J., ranked worst to best

Turns out, it's everywhere -- and it ain't cheap. There are steakhouses throughout the Garden State serving up filets, ribeyes and porterhouses aplenty, with classic steakhouse chains and standalone restaurants making New Jersey a very good place to be a carnivore. And there really is nothing quite like a fancy steak dinner, is there?

But which beef is giving you the best bang for your buck? Which pricey piece is a cut above the rest?
After scouring the New Jersey food scene for 11 of the most expensive steaks the Garden State has to offer, we tried all of them and ranked them strictly on taste and paying no attention to price. This list only includes steaks sized for one human to eat, and each was ordered medium rare (these 11 were the most expensive ones we found that fit our criteria).

So skip lunch, sharpen your steak knives and get your wallets. It's about to get beefy.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

11. Prime Ninety Five's Surprise Steak

Where: Prime Ninety Five in Lakewood
Price: $60
Cut: Boneless rib (13 oz.)
The beef: This is billed as the most tender cut on Prime Ninety Five's menu, but it was decidedly more chewy than tender. The seasoning was lackluster -- the sautéed vegetables it served with had more flavor. It was cooked to a nice medium rare as ordered, but there was no texture differentiation throughout the steak. This steak gets points for being kosher, but not much else. Don't get me wrong, it was okay. But you aren't looking for "fine" when you order a $60 steak. You want "wow." This won't wow you.
Worth it?: Definitely not.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

10. Vic & Anthony's Dry Aged Bone-In Strip

Where: Vic & Anthony's in Atlantic City
Price: $73
Cut: Strip steak (16 oz.)
The beef: A very friendly waiter at Vic & Anthony's warned us that the 30-day dry-aging process provides this cut with a more pungent taste. We were game, but then we were a little let down when it wasn't as funky or flavorful as promised. It was a solid, tasty-enough steak but far from outstanding in any category and ultimately unmemorable.
Worth it?: Nope.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

9. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse's Bone-In Filet

Where: Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Jersey City
Price: $65
Cut: Bone-in Filet Mignon (16 oz.)
The beef: Ruth's Chris is one of the big names in steak, and this bone-in filet is one of their signature cuts. Flavorful, well-marbled and with a solid sear for texture, it's very tasty and gets points for presentation as its served in sizzling jus.
Worth it?: Maybe for the taste, but size-wise, no.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

8. Gordon Ramsay Steak's Triple Seared Japanese A5

Where: Gordon Ramsay Steak in Atlantic City
Price: $140 ($35 per oz., four oz. minimum)
Cut: Japanese A5 Wagyu (4 oz.)
The beef: The most expensive steak on this list was the most disappointing. Wagyu is the most celebrated beef in the world, and A5 is the highest grade it can be given. It was tasty, fatty and salty, a taste unlike any other we tried. Still, it was not very satisfying and unworthy of the hype surrounding it.
Worth it?: Only if someone else is buying.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

7. Stage Left Steak's Bone-In Filet Mignon

Where: Stage Left Steak in New Brunswick
Price: $69
Cut: Bone-in filet mignon (24 oz.)
The beef: Filet mignon has a reputation for being all texture, no taste. But preparing it with the bone remedies this well. Serving a steak with a crispy char on the exterior while maintaining an excellent medium rare in the middle is a lost art in some places but not at Stage Left, which did this nicely and further added to the depth of flavor of this dry-aged cut. It got even better as I continued to eat extremely tender and juicy while boasting a flavor most filet mignon lacks. A waitress joked that they encourage diners to gnaw on the bone, and I laughed before I was tempted to do exactly that. Okay, maybe I actually did.
Worth it?: Yes, I felt like I got my money's worth.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

6. Liberty Prime's Bone In Filet

Where: Liberty Prime in Jersey City
Price: $58
Cut: Bone-in filet (18 oz.)
The beef: Is it weird to call a steak beautiful? Because this steak was beautiful. The sear, the marbling, the garnish. The garnish! Usually an annoyance, but in this case it played a major part in the flavor profile. I could smell the rosemary, thyme and roasted garlic before I even tasted the steak, and those flavors permeated throughout the meat as well. It was a tender cut with more flavor than most filets because of the bone, but there wasn't so much bone that it hindered the experience.
Worth it?: Money well spent.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

5. Dino and Harry's Prime Aged Rib Eye

Where: Dino and Harry's in Hoboken
Price: $57
Cut: Rib eye (24 oz.)
The beef: If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? There's nothing super fancy about this steak, it's just a damn good cut of beef aged well and cooked to medium-rare glory, packed with the rich, unmistakable flavor of aged beef with delicious marbling. It's a juicy, satisfying steak that's absolutely big enough to share (though you won't want to).
Worth it?: Absolutely the best value on this list.

4. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Prime Dry-Aged Ribeye

Where: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Edgewater
Price: $65
Cut: Ribeye (16 oz.)
The beef: The dry-aging process is readily apparent with this steak, which boasts an overwhelming beefy flavor that was incredibly satisfying and delicious. It's also properly seasoned, just enough that you taste it on the edges but not so much that it overwhelms the flavor of the beef. The sear on the outside wasn't as good as others on this list, which would have played perfectly off the incredibly tender interior, but it tastes so freakin' good that you'll forget that by the time you're a few bites into the meal.
Worth it?: Yes, this is one helluva steak.

Jeremy Schneider | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

3. The Capital Grille's Bone-In Wagyu NY Strip

Where: The Capital Grille in Paramus
Price: $90

Cut: Strip (20 oz.)
The beef: After being greatly disappointed by the only other Wagyu on this steak-venture, The Capital Grille picked up the slack with this salty, fatty, delicious beast of a cut. This comes from Snake River Farms in Idaho as opposed to Japan, making it American Wagyu. The distinct flavor was similar to that of Gordon Ramsay's Japanese A5 Wagyu, but this one was better textured, much juicer and far more satisfying.
Worth it?: If you're going to spend $90 on a steak, let it be this one.


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