A little background first...
I have never posted in a forum before so I'm not sure if I'm doing this right or not.
I see most of you have been members since 2008. I registered today just so I could make a couple of comments. I am not a Cracker Jack collector although my parents were (as a hobby and then a retirement business) Antique Dealers & Collectors. I am very familiar with collecting items even though I never had the extra cash to invest in things. I have inherited some of my parents Coke, Carnival Glass, & Indian Artifact items. (my wife still considers me a packrat...I call it sentimental)
My parents (started by my Grandfather in the 30's) had a 5 & 10 Variety Store through the 40's, 50's, 60's and early 70's. They had a huge "Candy Counter" and Cracker Jack was one of my favorite candies along with "Winner Suckers", "Chum Gum", & the little cardboard containers that had peanuts inside that sometimes contained a penny, nickle, or a dime wrapped in wax paper (I don't remember the name of them but some of you may remember them).
Again, this may be my first and last post here as this is not something I usually do.
Since my childhood I have purchased Cracker Jack from time to time, not just because I loved the popcorn & peanuts but I still remembered the excitement of getting the prize. (How many of us have stuck our hand in the full box just to dig out the prize before eating the snack?) Anyway for a few months now my wife and I have been singing (& teaching) one of our Grandsons "Take Me Out To The Ballgame". Well he finally asked "What's Cracker Jacks?". So for Christmas this year I decided to purchase some boxes for not only him but our 3 other Grandkids as a Stocking Stuffer. Well, I couldn't resist...I opened a box last night to re-live the experience...you guessed it...WAS I EVER DISAPPOINTED IN THE PRIZE! (I remember now why I hadn't bought any in a few years. The last time I bought some I got the same ol' paper folding picture I got last night.) I thought I just got a paper prize then and that next time I would get one of the little plastic prizes I remembered getting in the past (Magnifying Glass, Toy Charm, Spinning Top, Whistle, etc.)
After reading the other posts here I probably won't be giving the Cracker Jacks to my Grandkids for Christmas. I may just pour them in a bowl and share the snack with them.
I know the title of this post is "Rant about crappy CJ Prizes (Ebay?)" and I guess I have.
What a shame some traditions cannot be shared/continued because of someone else's decision making. When will Frito-Lay ever bring back the prizes we soooooo enjoyed getting???
I also noticed the postings here are kinda sparse. I'm not sure this is the "official" collecting site or if there are others but surely there would be a way to band together, voice the dissappointment & plead the case for creating something more memorable.
Thanks for letting me rant!