Our Animal Menagerie - A Cracker Jack Zoo

Animal themes in Cracker Jack prizes have been a constant from its early days. Animals appeared as metal and plastic figures, in flicker cards and stickers, put-together models and picture books. There were prize series with dogs, rabbits, giraffes, and even paper butterflies.

Among the animal figures pictured in the image gallery above is a series of flat animal figures with bases. They were distributed in the late 1940s and, according to the Cracker Jack Prizes book by Alex Jaramillo, they are also some of the first injection molded plastic prizes given away by Cracker Jack. The set includes a rabbit, squirrel, pig, duck, elephant, goat and a stylized giraffe. They came in solid, translucent or transparent as well as marbled colors. These figures are easily identified as Cracker Jack prizes they are clearly stamped "CRACKER JACK" at the bottom of each base.

Cracker Jack animal figures rabbit squirrel pig duck elephant goat giraffe
Cracker Jack animal figures - rabbit, squirrel, pig, duck, elephant, goat and giraffe.

Also featured are various Cracker Jack animals with hollow backs. The animal representation only appears on front side while on the back, most have "CRACKER JACK" marked in tiny letters. The set includes a rhinoceros, lamb, squirrel, owl and several other animals. The strangest figure in the set was a cross between a mouse and a bat that was not really an animal at all. According to Larry White's Prizes of Cracker Jack, the figure was a whiffenpoof or woffenpoof. A Wikipedia search produced a reference comparing the "whiffenpoof" to the "jackalope," another imaginary creature that appeared in tall tales.

cracker jack plastic animals whiffenpoof
1950s Cracker Jack plastic Whiffenpoof figure.

 

Plastic Animal Figures