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PPR crackerjack 2 color 0819

P-R PHOTO/JULIE ROBINSON ROBARDS Toy surprises have been found in Cracker Jack candy-coated popcorn and peanuts for more than a century. Among the first prizes introduced in 1912 were baseball cards, followed by die-cut lithographed tin toys like the Cracker Jack Co. delivery truck and the trade-name embossed tin whistles. As time went on, the company began to import tin, metal and plastic trinkets and charms from Germany and Japan. The rarest and most valuable Cracker Jack prizes are the early marked items predating World War I, followed by the paper games and metal clickers, whistles, charms, rings and decoders from the pre-World War II years through the 1950s. A host of colorful but inexpensive plastic charms, figures and games dominated the 1960s and 1970s. Look for imagery of mascots Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, as they are desirable among collectors. While not all Cracker Jack prizes are valuable, they are collectible to some degree -- even the paper stickers and tattoos that come in boxes today.