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Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:17 pm
by spudgy
Can anyone tell me if these are Crackerjack toys? At first I thought they might be the series f-1140 listed in Larry's book on CD but the horse isn't partially on a tub and there is no elephant listed there. If anyone has pictures of that series I would love to know what they look like.

Re: Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:28 pm
by Jeffrey Maxwell
I have always classified these as cake decorations, but they could also be penny toys, as the old folks call them, or bag toys from the "five and dimes" of the 1950's." I cannot say definitively that they were never used in Cracker Jack, because I have said that before about other prizes and have been emphatically told I am wrong. There is enough doubt in my mind that I won't list these prizes in my sales listings as Cracker Jack.

:|d spudgy, I have written many criticisms of Larry's work in the past, only to erase them without posting them so as not to step on any toes. But the following promises to be one of the kinder redactions:

I view Larry's book/CD (or Alex's book, or Jim's website, or any other work about Cracker Jack prizes) as one man's scrap book. What each of them has done is an amazing accomplishment, not the least remarkably Larry's CD -- but we have to use some common sense to figure out how to best use the information we find there. The listing for the set Larry calls F-1140 is not only useless, because of the lack of information, but detracts from the hobby, because it provides nothing more than distraction. With no photos, diagrams, drawings, dimensions, detailed descriptions, first hand accounts of plastic toys being smuggled out of the Cracker Jack plant in a lunch box -- no provenance whatsoever -- it's just filler -- a book mark for where some information might go if we had it. So we have to use what makes sense and set the rest aside. Unfortunately there are people out there who are citing it as if it were the King James Version.

Re: Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:32 pm
by spudgy
Many thanks, Jeffrey.

That's good enough for me so unless and until I have proof of pedigree, these little jewels are going to live in my "other" box along with hundreds of other unknowns.

Collecting CJ prizes is great fun but I have to say, being a person who loves to put things in their proper little pigeon holes, identifying the less-well-known prizes and determining where they fit is so frustrating. Larry's book on CD is the one resource I go to the most often in spite of any shortcomings. I suppose the inclusion of a series with no supporting data happened because that's how the information was recorded in the CJ archives. If nothing else, it holds out a tantalizing clue that something more may be out there, perhaps never to be found.

In regard to unknowns, it bothers me to think I have items in my cases that don't belong. I'm becoming more ruthless in that regard so I tend to remove anything I can't prove is a true CJ. I'm so bad, in fact, that even including prizes like Tootsie Toy that were also sold separately bothers me a bit. Call me weird, but I like thinking that every prize I have has the provenance of once being taken out of a CJ box by an excited little kid (like my 72-year-old self).

So, what to do with my vast collection of unknowns? I could sell them on EBay simply as unknown toys but with my luck, I would sell them only to discover too late that some were, in fact rare CJs. Just my luck, so for now, they just keep piling up.

How's that for a rambling response?

Re: Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:54 am
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Spudgy -- you are a lot like me, and many other collectors I know. That's why we collect -- to organize the world we create in our collections. I collected stamps, coins, trading cards, and was very active in all of those hobbies as a child and young adult. I still have a quarter million bubble-gum cards that I haven't looked at in a couple of decades. All of those hobbies are so popular, because it is easy to find local collectors, clubs, dealers, and acquire new things for your collections. But best of all for obsessive compulsive people like me, it is easy to figure out where something goes into a collection, because it is so well researched and documented that if we cannot figure it out on our own, there are plenty of people to ask. I worked in a library for many years, because it is an environment in which I am very comfortable. I am a collector because it is in my nature to sort and collate.

The greatest thing about Cracker Jacking is that I am the only kid on my block who collects Cracker Jack prizes. That is true for most of us who don't live in a population center. It's cool to do something different that not everyone is doing. But the drawback is that the information is sometimes incomplete as to what we are collecting and exactly where it goes once we have it. Many Cracker Jack collectors tend to collect everything and sort it out later. We are very fortunate to have the information that we do have, all due to the membership of the CJCA -- Alex, Harriet, Wes, Larry, and Jim, to mention a few, are all key people who have worked to preserve our Cracker Jack heritage. And, yes, like you, I spend a lot of time in Larry's CD, because that is all we have available to us. And we are fortunate for the work of CJCA members who have contributed to what information we do have.

The worst thing about Cracker Jacking is that I am the only kid on my block who collects Cracker Jack prizes. One of the best things about collecting anything is sharing your collection with others. It's one thing to do an occasional library display or local collectors club talk, but it is nothing like fellowship with other collectors of the same interest. Probably the hardest thing to collect is something that nobody else collects. I have the largest collection in the world of Walco Bead Co. craft kits -- but no one cares, because I am the only collector in the world, so far. At least with Cracker Jack we have the members of the CJCA to communicate with. I can tell you they are one of the finest groups of people I have ever been around -- and a lot of fun. If you ever get a chance to go to a CJCA convention, I would highly recommend it. I hope to be able to go again.

As far as what to do with the "unknown" items, that's pretty much up to you. I used to call all the extra non-CJ stuff I got in Cracker Jack collections "chaff". My chaff has actually turned into a number of collections over the years. I have collections of bulk-vending prizes (bubble gum machine charms), radio and television premiums, cereal box prizes, and even my Walco Bead Co. collection started from an item I received in a collection of "Cracker Jack" prizes. If I were you, my attitude would probably be to hold on to them for awhile and let my children deal with them when I am gone. ;)

Have fun!

Re: Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:24 pm
by spudgy
Great Post, Jeffrey! :)clap There are so few people who are willing to take the time to think about what others say and to offer such insightful comments, fewer still who can express themselves as well as that.

I chuckled at these two lines:
"The greatest thing about Cracker Jacking is that I am the only kid on my block who collects Cracker Jack prizes."
"The worst thing about Cracker Jacking is that I am the only kid on my block who collects Cracker Jack prizes."
and I certainly agree that
"[There is] nothing like fellowship with other collectors"

That last quote is so true which is one reason I use the CJCA forums as much as I do. It's the next best thing to discussing CJ in person. Along those lines (sharing), I find myself wishing members would post links to pictures of their collections but there are probably good reasons why people would not want to do that. The study groups are invaluable but pictures of entire collections or even subsets would be awesome.

Thanks again, Jeffrey. Keep those great comments coming. I always enjoy them.

--Patrick, the OC kid. :screwy:

Re: Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:02 am
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Patrick, I thought of you today when I found these photos. These are toys similar to the ones you posted. These were made in New Zealand. (Notice the British spelling of "Favours".) The box is a typical way these toys were sold in dime stores in the 1950s and 1960s. Enjoy. Jeffrey
Plastic Flats 1b.jpg
Plastic Flats 1b.jpg (147.66 KiB) Viewed 4385 times
Plastic Flats 2b.jpg
Plastic Flats 2b.jpg (173.34 KiB) Viewed 4385 times

Re: Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:43 am
by spudgy
Thanks for remembering me, Jeffrey! I love seeing pictures of vintage toys in their original boxes because it usually answers the is-it-or-isn't-it question.

I can't imagine a kid getting these and never taking them out of the box! It's all I can do to resist taking Crackerjack toys out of their original wrappers when I'm lucky enough to find them that way, especially when I can't tell what's inside by looking at the wrapper. Of course it's just as hard to resist putting together unassembled toys like the few from the sixties I've been lucky enough to find.

Speaking of 60's CJ plastic, wouldn't it be great to see a complete catalog of all those sixties put-togethers? It's too bad CJ discontinued them because IMO they're some of the most ingenious toys they ever made and there are so many different ones that keep showing up. I especially love the tanks and locomotives.

Thanks again, Jeffrey.

Patrick "spudgy"

Re: Unidentified Hard Plastic Animals

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:50 pm
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Thanks for writing Patrick. I will comment on the put-togethers. I would wager to say that it will probably be impossible to come up with a complete catalog of all the plastic model kits (put-togethers) from Cracker Jack, because they came out with so many different ones, and when they came out, they did not stay in packages for long before they were replaced with the newer models. But then once they came out of packages, the most popular ones were assembled immediately.

Have you observed -- as I have -- that when you see models that are still on the tree, many of them are ones you've seen before? I guess these were the ones that were either the most plentiful, or the least popular.

If you like items in wrappers, let me know what you think of my recent find: