Were there CJ vending knock-offs made?
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Author:  kitty [ Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Were there CJ vending knock-offs made?

I am new to collecting CJ items, but not new to collecting. With other collections I have seen knock-off items made as is often with popular things of the past. Back 10 yrs ago I picked up 5 small vending capsules with tiny little prizes (not charms) inside and still sealed. They were put away and not thought about till recently. They are an odd looking group as they are all little people made of a soft rubber or plastic. Four of them a girls (2 in rather strange kneeling positions) and one of them is a sailor who looks much like Sailor Jack. I have no idea of their age other then the estate they came from had items from the 60's and back to the 1800's.
The capsules are marked Brabo, Made in Hong Kong and are about 3mm long by 2 mm wide. From the Brabo site it states they have been in business over 50 years. Does anyone know if Brabo may have provided charms/prizes for Cracker Jack or had Cracker Jack ever used vending promotions? I have photos but not posted them anywhere as of yet.

Author:  larrydw [ Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Were there CJ vending knock-offs made?

I know that back in the 50s and 60s the gumball vending machine would also dispense prizes in a plastic capsule. I doubt if they are Cracker Jack as the capsules would take up a little too much room, and during the 50s and 60s, the prizes were in wrappers. We could get a better idea when you post the pictures.

Author:  kitty [ Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Were there CJ vending knock-offs made?

Photos of vending capsule prizes or trinkets I have asked about. The back of the sailors shirt is blue with white stripes, two of the girls are holding their hands over their ears while kneeling, one a ballerina, one girl (red)standing. The clothes seems to be a thin waxy looking paper except for the ballerina who's is lace. They are factory sealed, never opened and do not have charm hooks. They are made of maybe a soft rubber or laytex since they are rather bouncy inside the capsules.
Any clues on age or who? I am thinking WWII style trinkets made available for the sweethearts of sailors at home? I guess he would have had the dog bingo with him if he was a knock-off of Sailor Jack?

Author:  Ron Toth, Jr. [ Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Were there CJ vending knock-offs made?

I'm sure that these were not used as Cracker Jack prizes. A Sailor boy is a very common theme and and in this case wouldn't be any attempt as a knock off item. These were probably from the 1960s or 1970s when a lot of similar items were being imported by the ton from Hong Kong. They could have been used as a prize in a vending machine or sold as a novelty in five and dime stores, or perhaps for use in Easter baskets for children.

Author:  kitty [ Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Were there CJ vending knock-offs made?

Thank you Ron, I kinda thought they would be too large for boxing but was not really sure. I have a small plastic boat which is about the size of the little people inside the capsules and have seen it more then once listed as a Cracker Jack prize on an auction and it made me curious. I do recall the 60s when the prizes I found were either flat plastic or paper and wrapped in the paper wrapper. Thanks for your insight!

Author:  Ron Toth, Jr. [ Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Were there CJ vending knock-offs made?

Hello again!

One major problem with online (or otherwise) auctions is that people everywhere label or call any small toys and objects Cracker Jack prizes. Many I see are marked and obvious advertising items for something else. I am fairly knowledgeable in many such areas as: Cracker Jack, gum ball machine prizes, cereal prizes, miniatures, advertising, charms, premiums, novelties, etc., etc.. These I call "Shoe Box Toys" (long story). I have actually had sellers want to argue with me that they took the item out of a Cracker Jack box themselves! I just walk away shaking my head. Now this is not to say that there aren't a lot of really great small items out there. There are many small toys that are of better quality then Cracker Jack prizes. I'm not sure today, but we must keep in mind that in the past one of the criteria of being a Cracker Jack prize is that it had to cost a penny or less.

I guess what I want to say that it is up to the buyer to look beyond whatever some inexperienced seller calls something, and learn all they can learn about Cracker Jack prizes (if that is what they want to collect) before buying. I had the misfortunate task of informing a nice couple one day that over half of their "Cracker Jack" collection had come from other sources. They were so disappointed because the sellers they bought from insisted that all that they bought were Cracker Jack prizes. There are many surprises out there and we are finding them every day. New (old) information finds its way to us all the time.

My best advice is to do what you are doing, learning here on this forum, at our conventions, from other long time Cracker Jack collectors, get whatever books and articles you can on the subject, and by all means buy from sellers who know what they are talking about. There are many of us collectors that just thrive on Cracker Jack knowledge and have vast amounts of information. Most are more than willing to help (if they have the time), so keep asking here. Pictures are very helpful.

Good Luck!

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