This Blog was written by Billie Short. Office Manager at JDA, Retail Ready Design.
Recently, I ordered a case of CrackerJack® for our office. I thought the staff would enjoy a fun treat from the past. The staff was excited about the office snack and the prizes inside. We decided that we would all save our prize and then we would compare.
The excitement and enthusiasm were short-lived. The prizes were all stickers. The sticker included instructions to download the Blippar app.
I volunteered to download the app to my phone and find out if it was all that it was cracked up to be (no pun intended). I had to scan my sticker several times to get the app to recognize the image and bring up the fun digital experience I was promised. I thought this might frustrate a kid, but that thought made me laugh. Kids are better at this technology stuff than this middle-aged mom.
The CrackerJack® app
I finally got the sticker to scan and unlock the first of three games available. It was a memory game.
I played the timed matching game. If you match all the cards within a set time, then you get a fun fact for the prize.
Each time you win the game you receive a piece of information about CrackerJack® and the characters the brand uses. I did find the facts interesting but I enjoy cluttering my mind with random information.
There are two other games on the Blippar app but after scanning several stickers, I only got one more to open. It was a beanbag toss game. I never unlocked the 3rd game.
CrackerJack® from my childhood
After my less than exciting digital experience, I decided to check out some prizes of the past. I went to a website that sells old games and memorabilia. At the website Time Passages Nostalgia I found an image of several old CrackerJack® prizes from the 1900-1920’s. The prizes were made out of metal and looked realistic. I thought they were cool. Imagine how excited a child was opening the box and getting a real toy. I should add here that the cool toys were made out of lead, which we know now isn’t so cool.
Growing up in the 70’s, I remember the prizes were tattoos, puzzles, and mood rings. I thought they were great. In retrospect, maybe they were not as awesome as I remember. Looking back at pictures, I now think the clever words of wisdom on the packaging containing the prize may have been the best part.
I think the CrackerJack® prize of today fits the times we are living in. Our world is more digital and less tangible. From the pictures we used to print that now reside in the Cloud to the prizes in our CrackerJack® box that are virtual and require an app.
Maybe CrackerJack® prizes are a tiny representation of the times. They give us a little insight into the trends of the era in which they were produced. From the days of toy guns made from lead to stickers promising fun digital experiences.