Cracker Jack Palm Dexterity Puzzles and Mazes

Palm puzzles have been included in the Cracker Jack prize catalog since it's early days. In fact, Cracker Jack has given away some sort of hand-held puzzle in almost every decade of 20th century until 1990s when the decline in prize quality gave way to thin paper prizes and now, in this century, the app game.

In the early decades, the Cracker Jack palm puzzles were made of thin metal with glass and paper. Later they were made of cardboard with celluloid or some other plastic. The puzzles were mostly round and required the player to get the tiny balls into holes on the puzzle. There were also palm puzzles from the 1950s that had paper pieces instead of balls, below is such an example. In this palm puzzle the goal is to position the paper cigar by the man's mouth.

cracker jack maze puzzle with man and a cigar
1950s maze puzzle. The goal of the puzzle is to get the cigar next to the man's mouth.

By the 1970s, the palm puzzles were mostly puzzle mazes made of thin plastic and cardboard and contained small plastic balls. Instead of being round, most of these Cracker Jack puzzles were rectangular and measured 1.25" in width by 1.75" in height like other paper-based prizes of the time. There were all kinds of these puzzles with different themes, but they basically all worked the same--get the ball in alloted spot.

1970s Cracker Jack octopus maze puzzle
Cracker Jack Octopus maze puzzle from 1970s.


Paper Plastic