Thursday, November 5, 2009

Antique Cracker Jack Prize

I loved Cracker Jack as a kid. Back in the 1970s, they still put cool prizes in the boxes: tiny pinball games that actually worked, cute little plastic figures that we carried in our pockets and traded with friends, tattoos and glow-in-the-dark stickers, and punch-out scenes to build. But by the late 1980s, new safety standards had been applied and the prizes were hardly fit to be called such.

I still buy a box every once in a while, hoping against reason to find something fabulous inside, but I'm always disappointed. As an adult, my love of Cracker Jack prizes was rekindled when I discovered how much better even older prizes were: toy trains, tiny china dolls, itty bitty pieces of furniture, and this, one of the most longed-for antique Cracker Jack prizes on my wish list.

Dating from the 1920s, this "Breakfast Set" consists of teeny tiny real glass dishes (a plate, bowl, and cup) along with a metal spoon, all housed in a fragile matchbox. (Talk about safety hazards!) I don't know how excited some small child was to pull this fantastic prize out of her box of Cracker Jack 80 years ago, but I sure was to find it a few months ago!

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