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Superman to The Fonz: Vintage lunchbox collection on sale

Updated : 2018-09-28 13:25:59

Look, up on the shelf! It's Superman. There's the king of the wild frontier himself, Davy Crockett. And over in that case is Davy Crockett again, except this time he's Daniel Boone. And aaaaay! It's The Fonz and the whole "Happy Days" family!

A veteran auctioneer has on display a baby boomer delight: hundreds of vintage lunchboxes featuring the heroes of their childhood's comic books, TV shows, cartoon strips, movies and more.

"I've never had anything like this," said J. Louis Karp, whose family-run business has been part of Cincinnati since the first years after the Civil War. "This is quite different."

Karp regularly sells large estates loaded with rare artwork, antique furniture and collectibles. He has sold vintage lunchboxes before, but never so many. The private collection's proceeds will benefit younger generations of the owner's family.

There are lunchboxes with the late actor Fess Parker, who played Crockett and Boone in separate TV series. There is "The Brady Bunch" and "The Partridge Family." ''The Addams Family" and "The Munsters." ''Nancy Drew" and "The Hardy Boys." The Bee Gees and Bobby Sherman.

There are lesser-known ones: "Korg 70,000 B.C." ''The Guns of Will Sonnett." ''Goober and the Ghost Chasers."

Owner J. Louis Karp stands beside a case of vintage lunchboxes at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Karp, a longtime auctioneer of Cincinnati-area estates has come upon a Baby Boomer delight: hundreds of vintage lunchboxes featuring the heroes of their childhood’s comic books, TV shows, cartoon strips, movies and more. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Owner J. Louis Karp stands beside a case of vintage lunchboxes at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Karp, a longtime auctioneer of Cincinnati-area estates has come upon a Baby Boomer delight: hundreds of vintage lunchboxes featuring the heroes of their childhood’s comic books, TV shows, cartoon strips, movies and more. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Vintage lunchboxes are displayed at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. A luncbox showcases Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, or popularly known as
Vintage lunchboxes are displayed at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. A luncbox showcases Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, or popularly known as "The Fonz" from Happy Days. Friday, September 21, 2018. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Vintage lunchboxes are displayed at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Bids for the auction starts at $20. On display are lunchboxes featuring characters from the show Sesame Street and the science fiction movie E.T. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Vintage lunchboxes are displayed at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Bids for the auction starts at $20. On display are lunchboxes featuring characters from the show Sesame Street and the science fiction movie E.T. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Karp has 250 lunchboxes for auction ending September 30. There are another 200 which he's planning to auction before the Christmas holidays. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Karp has 250 lunchboxes for auction ending September 30. There are another 200 which he's planning to auction before the Christmas holidays. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Younger people who like kitsch are among lunchbox buyers, Weldon Adams, a collectibles expert for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions said, but they are particularly attractive to those who carried them as children because they were very personal items and a powerful link
Younger people who like kitsch are among lunchbox buyers, Weldon Adams, a collectibles expert for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions said, but they are particularly attractive to those who carried them as children because they were very personal items and a powerful link "back to our identities of who we were as a child." Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Karp regularly sells large estates loaded with rare artwork, antique furniture and collectibles. He has sold vintage lunchboxes before, but never so many. The private collection's proceeds will benefit younger generations of the owner's family. Friday, September 21, 2018. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Karp regularly sells large estates loaded with rare artwork, antique furniture and collectibles. He has sold vintage lunchboxes before, but never so many. The private collection's proceeds will benefit younger generations of the owner's family. Friday, September 21, 2018. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Karp, 71, reluctantly allowed his sons to bring his auctions into the internet age, and the business takes bids online from anywhere, and by email and phone. But he still enjoys his showroom-floor auctions, seeing the competitors watching one another, and the winners who finally emerge after rounds of tense bidding. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Karp, 71, reluctantly allowed his sons to bring his auctions into the internet age, and the business takes bids online from anywhere, and by email and phone. But he still enjoys his showroom-floor auctions, seeing the competitors watching one another, and the winners who finally emerge after rounds of tense bidding. Friday, September 21, 2018 (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
An iconic G.I. Joe lunchbox is on display at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Friday, September 21, 2018.  (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
An iconic G.I. Joe lunchbox is on display at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Friday, September 21, 2018.  (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
In this  photo, owner J. Louis Karp looks into a case of vintage lunchboxes at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Friday, September 21, 2018. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
In this  photo, owner J. Louis Karp looks into a case of vintage lunchboxes at Main Auction Galleries Inc., in downtown Cincinnati. Friday, September 21, 2018. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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