Cracker Jack toys haven’t always been so boring.
Early on, kids could find metal whistles, miniature American flags, working tops, baseball cards, and other captivating playthings.
However, the toys that the Borden company now puts into the box must meet certain criteria.
First, they must be easily playable. Early on, when Borden first acquired Cracker Jacks, they filled the boxes with complex puzzles, and sales dropped off suddenly because children found them too difficult.
Second, the toys must meet approval by a rotating panel of kids. If a toy doesn’t meet with child approval, it doesn’t go in.
Third, the toys must be cheap. And fourth, they must be a standard shape and size for quick insertion by high-speed machinery. That now means paper “toys” only, tattoos, stickers, riddles, and such.
Collecting the little toys from Cracker Jack boxes has become the passion of many. Some of the earlier toys and cards are valued at hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
A full lineup baseball card set from 1914, at last word, is valued at over $17,000.
For more information on Cracker jacks, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_Jack