Vintage Tupperware: An Icon of the 20th Century
Your mom might have bought those iconic plastic containers for a few dollars, but today, vintage Tupperware items can be worth a lot more than the leftovers they hold. In fact, some classic examples can be worth $100 or more.
Many people consider Tupperware one of the biggest inventions of the 20th century. After all, it revolutionized the ability to store food in airtight containers, and it had a presence in just about every kitchen in America. It's still a pretty big deal, too. Check your cabinets for these beauties as you learn a little more about how to identify Tupperware that has value.
How to Identify Vintage Tupperware
Remember Tupperware parties? Tupperware started to become popular in the late 1940s, and people had Tupperware parties to get together and buy containers as a group. Sales skyrocketed, and the company released designs in tons of exciting colors and styles. There are a few clues you might have vintage Tupperware:
- The brand name "Tupperware" is stamped onto the bottom of the container.
- There's a two-part number stamped onto the bottom of the item. The first is the mold number, which you can submit to the company for replacement parts or more information.
- Your item matches the shape and colors available at the time of creation in accordance with the lines released. You can check a catalog to be sure.
Vintage Tupperware Price Guide: General Value Range
Vintage Tupperware pricing will fluctuate depending on the demand from buyers. In general, these values can give you an idea:
- Full sets in difficult-to-find colors can sell for hundreds of dollars.
- Complete line sets can sell between about $50 to $75.
- Salt and pepper shaker set may sell for about $50 up to about $200, depending on their condition.
- Single pieces in good condition can sell from $5 to $20 or more.
Like most vintage and antique items, the condition of vintage Tupperware is a huge factor in its value. Discoloration, cracks, and other damage can decrease what a container is worth, and those in like-new condition are worth the most.
Vintage Tupperware From the 1940s and 1950s
Housewives of the 1940s and 1950s quickly embraced the new food storage options offered by Tupperware (who doesn't need a place to keep their jello salad, after all?). Most containers from this period were all white or colored with a white lid. The Wonderlier line was especially popular with graduated sizes of bowls in pastel shades and white lids. Today, a set of vintage Tupperware Wonderlier bowls sells for about $175 in excellent condition.
1960s Tupperware Styles
The 1960s brought continued interest in Tupperware, and the company made a number of lines that did more than just store food. One popular example is the pastel plastic tumblers you probably remember seeing (these glasses were in many cupboards throughout the next several decades). They came in a range of colors, including pink, green, blue, yellow, white, and others. A set of Tupperware tumblers in excellent condition sells for around $40.
Classic Tupperware of the 1970s
Tupperware continued to make many of the same styles into the 1970s, but the colors changed. Pastels were replaced by bold orange, harvest gold, avocado green, and other iconic '70s shades. One of the most coveted sets from this era is the nesting Servalier canisters, which sell for around $75 for a set of three in mint condition.
1980s Tupperware Icons
Tupperware of the '80s included lots of vibrant shades. You might remember drinking Kool-Aid mixed in the classic Tupperware pitcher with the push-button lid. These are hard to find in excellent condition, and there's a wide range in prices. Pitchers sell for between $10 and $40 in good condition.
Tupperware of the 1990s and Beyond
In the 1990s, Tupperware continued producing favorites like tumblers, pitchers, and storage containers, but they also partnered with other iconic brands to make special products. One super collectible example is the Blockbuster Video snack bowl, which sells for about $60 in like-new condition.
Tupperware Vintage Toys
Did you have that adorable child-sized version of the Tupperware pitcher and dishes? If you did, you aren't alone. Tupperware made tons of toys over the years, from shape sorters to that doll-sized delightful drink set. If you still have it, it could be worth about $25 to $50 in good condition.
Most Valuable Vintage Tupperware: Things to Keep in Mind
If you are planning on reselling your vintage Tupperware, there are a few things to keep in mind regarding value:
- Number of pieces - Know that single pieces typically don't sell for hundreds of dollars, but complete sets can be worth quite a bit.
- Condition - If you already own vintage Tupperware and are interested in selling it off, chances are you'll be able to find a buyer if your items are in good condition.
- Marking - Tupperware with the "Tupper" mark tend to sell at a high price, as the insignia was not common for all products.
- Color - Pink Tupperware, due to its tendency for fading, is another rare find that collectors may look for specifically. Keep in mind that white or crystal Tupperware tended to be the most common, so these may be easier for buyers to find.
- Trends - Know that with collectible items, trends can heavily influence what makes for a "good" collectible purchase.
Nostalgia in the Kitchen With Vintage Brands
Famous brands of kitchenware like Tupperware hold their value in part because of nostalgic appeal. After all, who didn't eat a snack out of a Tupperware container as a kid? Tupperware isn't the only famous kitchen brand that's worth money as a collectible, though. For a real trip down memory lane (or through Grandma's kitchen), take a look at some of the vintage Corningware patterns people love to collect too.