So, what do you collect? A lot depends on your interests and more importantly the nostalgic feeling that is evoked when you remember the joy of finding your first Cracker Jack prize. Kids today will not understand this simple pleasure of sweet and salty Cracker Jack and the “Toy Surprise Inside” as Frito-Lay has now made this a digital experience.
As there is such a plethora of prizes which is befitting the long history of Cracker Jack, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some themes to inspire your collecting passion:
Animals have been a staple Cracker Jack theme since the very beginning of Cracker Jack prize design. The first Cracker Jack mascots (before Sailor Jack and Bingo) were bears that appeared in a series of postcards from around 1907. Throughout the years, animals could be found in paper prizes, made of metal, and of course plastic.
Inspired by the great Space Race, Cracker Jack produced several types of space-themed prizes in the 1950s. The best were the 10 soft plastic figures consisting of spacemen and aliens forms.
In the 1960s, Cracker Jack released several series of interesting "squeeze toys" or "action toys" that did something more than the standard figure. Most were fun, kid-friendly prizes, but some were slightly strange like the woman hitting her husband with a rolling pin. There is also one of a cat trying to catch fish and a woodpecker with a tree stump.
In the 1950s, the Cracker Jack prizes were largely plastic, plastic, plastic. Cracker Jack distributed many people figures as prizes including a set that depicted a girl scout and boy scout.
The Western was very popular in the 1950s and in keeping with trends, Cracker Jack produced several types of Western-themed prizes. For more of these types of prizes, check in our Gallery.