Nintendo Power Original Aladdin Lunchbox Artwork
If you used to bring your lunch to school during the late 1980s, then this painting may bring back a stream of peanut butter and jelly memories, as it is the original 14 x 14-inch hand painted artwork that was used to make the stickers for the Nintendo Power Aladdin Industries plastic lunch boxes.
According to a 1989 article published in The New York Times, 80 percent of the estimated seven million lunch boxes that sold annually were bought in August when parents took their children back-to-school shopping. The $35 million market was largely shared between only two companies at the time, the Freeport, Illinois-based Thermos Company and Aladdin Industries of Nashville, Tennessee.
”It’s almost all character-driven now,” Michael Schimmel, Aladdin’s director of marketing, told the newspaper. ”Our studies show that 84 percent of the purchases are because a kid specifically wants A Pup Named Scooby or G.I. Joe and not Ghostbusters. The rest of the sales are Mom and Dad buying the cheapest box. But I’ll bet you’ve got some unhappy kids there.”
It is difficult to imagine any unhappy kids carrying a Nintendo Power pail. Mario and Luigi are all smiles while lounging in front of the Nintendo Entertainment System with a spilled bowl of popcorn and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link playing on the television set. Link appears to be battling an Ironknuckle inside of a crumbling palace, and Hyrule Kingdom can be seen rising in the distance.
The Nintendo Power logo and game lettering are pasted on top of the art on a thin sheet of vellum paper.
There are two handwritten notes on the vellum.
One makes a mention of the paint that should be used, “mustaches hair [and] eyebrows must be black on both Mario [and] Luigi.”
The other note accompanies the Zelda II: The Adventure of Link logo and reads, “if you use a TM here, eliminate the one inside.”
The Pantone Matching System at the bottom of the image acted as a color chart guide for Aladdin to make certain that the exact colors from the original painting were carried over when the stickers were printed.
Before (Artwork without Vellum and Lettering)
After (Printed Sticker)
This is an early mock-up of the final sticker. Notice how the Super Mario Bros. title is missing the “2” in this version.