Book Review: Cracker Jack Prizes

Publisher: Abbeville Press

Year: 1989

Pages: 96

Type: Hardcover

ISBN: 1-55859-000-5 (First Edition)

Crackerjacks – Likely a fresh slang phrase when… (it was) applied to (this) product.”

Who doesn’t remember this candy when growing up? Would it surprise you to learn that it is just as popular today as it was over 100 years ago? Well, it is! But is it because of the wonderful taste of that popcorn-based caramel candy or because of the mystery prize in every box? You be the judge!

Front Cover

The candy got its name in 1896 and never looked back. The little boy in the sailor suit with his sad little dog is still as fresh now as he ever was. And good thing too, for who wants stale candy?

The book is as comprehensive a history of the product as anyone could want. It covers every decade of the confection, chapter by chapter, starting with 1910 and covering the decades up to the 1980s.

Each section gives a brief lesson on how the company was doing in that particular decade and provides many wonderful images of the prizes that were found in the boxes.

Were you a member of the Crack Jack Mystery Club? I wasn’t. I hadn’t even heard of it until I read this book! What a great time kids must have had back when companies used to try very hard to make their products as fun to play with as they were to eat!

Our boy Jack and his little dog Bingo certainly went through a lot of changes. Not big sweeping changes, but noticeable ones. One thing never changed – The Salute! And speaking of the salute, check out the brief video below to see a fun feature of the book’s cover:

Spinning Wheel on the Cover

The back cover reprints a vintage ad for Crackerjacks:

Back Cover

It’s rare for me to give a book that I buy a bad rating. I tend to buy books that appeal to my personal tastes. In this case, it’s literal as well as figurative! I’d give this book a 5 out of 5 Stars. It is comprehensive without being tedious and has many pictures to delight any fan of the snack. Almost every prize ever given is featured in the pages of this book.

If it’s true that with Crackerjacks, the more you eat – the more you want, then it must also be true with this book that the more you read – the more you want to read! Why not enjoy this post with a box of the sticky stuff?

This entry was posted in Advertising, Books, Characters, Food, Toys and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply