Sunday, July 29, 2012

Coleman isn't just for camping

Just like Dad's, only much cleaner!
Not long ago I was researching vintage lunch boxes on eBay. It's no secret an old lunch box can fetch big money at auction. But I inadvertently found another unexpected item that can also bring in big dollars. Skimming through the listing photos for lunchboxes, something familiar caught my eye. I clicked on the listing and thought for a moment someone had snuck into my garage and helped themselves to my Coleman cooler! The listing was for the exact Coleman "Lil Oscar" cooler I've had for years. It was identical right down to the orange lid. My Coleman dated back to the Eighties and was originally my Father's. He would pack it with sandwiches for our summer fishing trips. Looking over the picture, it dawned on me that I'd uncovered another "who would have thunked it?" eBay listing!

My interest now piqued, I began to do some further eBay research. I typed in "Lil Oscar Coleman cooler" and was met with over 40 completed listings. The coolers come in two sizes; 8 and 16 quart. The 8 quart model can hold a six-pack and sandwich, while a 16 quart model can pretty much hold a big family picnic lunch. Looking at completed eBay listings, I found that well over half the coolers had sold. Some of the 16 quart models sold for over $40 dollars! In fact, they're so in demand that someone sold a green lid alone for ten bucks! Can you believe it? I couldn't, mostly because I still see these coolers everywhere: tailgate parties, picnics, ect.

One reason Lil' Oscar coolers are so popular is their durability. If the Mayan's turn out to be correct and the world goes Ka-Boom this December, all the Lil' Oscars will survive! They'll be laying scattered amongst the charred ruins-a little black and sooty but intact! The clever design and bright lid colors also make them a stand out choice. The lids fit nice and snug inside the lip of the cooler. Flip the lid over and you have multiple beverage holders molded into the plastic...very convenient!

In addition to my Dad's, I've owned several other Lil Oscars over the years. I use to have a nice 16 quart Lil' Oscar that was great for many soccer games and picnics. But a few summers back, my daughter took it to a concert tailgate party. Sadly, that Lil' Oscar cooler never made it home. Daughter claimed to have lost it at the concert. Looking back now, I wonder if someone just walked off with it while daughter wasn't looking? But more realistically, Princess probably had one too many wine coolers and forgot it! Either way, I was bummed that it went missing. But fortunately, Mrs. Dude found a replacement Lil Oscar at a garage sale for just three bucks. But I learned my lesson. Next time Princess needs to borrow my cooler, I am directing her to the Dollar Store for a cheap styrofoam model!

Big coolers sell in the forty dollar range. (If your kid doesn't lose it)
But before you start buying every Lil' Oscar Cooler you see at the garage sales, here's a word to the wise-condition is everything. The coolers that see big prices are usually in very good to excellent condition. My advise would be to pass on any cooler that looks dirty and grubby. AVoid coolers that look like they've been on too many father/son fishing trips. And if you do buy a few Lil Oscar coolers, keep one for yourself.  Pack a lunch and something cold to drink for your next outdoor activity, like say......going to garage sales!

Did you ever own a Coleman Lil' Oscar cooler? I'll bet you did...tell us your "Lil' Oscar" story below....  

Igloo MaxCold Cooler - 150qt - Coolers

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  1. We were talking this weekend during our backyard camp out (kids are too afraid to do a real camp out) about Coleman products. They are a great construction and long lasting. If your going to spend the money you should get a Coleman. I don't recall ever seeing a Lil Oscar before but I'm going to keep my eyes open for them now.

  2. Veronica-You're right,Coleman is the best. The eBay auction prices for Coleman products bear this out. Lamps, stoves and even old coolers all sell for nice money on eBay.

    Hope you had a fun camp out! Thanks for writing in.....Dude!

  3. Hey Dude! I sold one of the older metal Coleman coolers for I think $65 last year. It had the tray inside which was a big plus! Didn't know this about the little oscars. Plus these are a little smaller and easier to ship. The big metal one was a pain to ship and expensive! Thanks for another great tip!

    1. Andrea - Nice sale! I know the kind you're talking about, kind of Sixties era "Wonder Years" style. As a kid, I always though the little tray inside was cool, reminded me of a refrigerator.

      I could imagine shipping would be brutal on those. As opposed to a "Lil Oscar" which is easy to ship. You don't even have to pack it in bubble wrap or peanuts-they're impossible to break!

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

  4. I found a green 16qt driving through my neighborhood on trash day. The green is what caught my eye and now looking it up I'm glad I snagged it! Many summer adventures ahead

    1. Macy - Awesome trash pick! Those things last forever, so you'll definitely get many years of use out of it.

      Thanks for checking in....Dude!