unmarked prizes

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edteach
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unmarked prizes

Post by edteach » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:28 pm

I was wondering in the mummy and Oriental prizes, were they made for other company's besides cracker jack like nasco or were the unmarked ones just a different set of dies made for CJ? I was wondering if I had original CJ prizes or like NASCO prizes could be may not be. I try to only collect marked prizes, but was wondering if some prizes are CJ marked or unmarked.
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Luke
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Re: unmarked prizes

Post by Luke » Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:07 pm

That's a good question. If they were sold separately, then perhaps there will be packaging that will have the names of the deities. That would be a great find!

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Donovan
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Re: unmarked prizes

Post by Donovan » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:23 am

I just started collecting a couple series of the plastic prizes but I've done quite a bit of reading on the subject. Jeffery Maxwell's Alphabet Museum has a wealth of information about early plastic prizes.

That being said, based on the information I've read so far, my opinion is that most unmarked stand-up prizes were probably not issued by CJ. The companies who made them often sold the exact same prizes through mail order and/or distributed them through other channels. I'm sure you could probably find them in dime store packages as toys, cake decorations, or party favors.

I can't prove it of course, but my theory is that when Cracker Jack ordered a batch of prizes from these manufacturers, they specifically marked them "Cracker Jack" or "CJCO", probably at Cracker Jack's request. Even the "NOSCO" pieces are found unmarked, so I would think the marked ones were distributed in CJ and the unmarked ones weren't.

Additionally, as Jeffery Maxwell notes, and as I have seen firsthand in the prize lots I've acquired, the unmarked versions are often smaller and/or thinner than the marked versions, pointing to a separate distribution.

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edteach
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Re: unmarked prizes

Post by edteach » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:47 am

Donovan wrote:I just started collecting a couple series of the plastic prizes but I've done quite a bit of reading on the subject. Jeffery Maxwell's Alphabet Museum has a wealth of information about early plastic prizes.

That being said, based on the information I've read so far, my opinion is that most unmarked stand-up prizes were probably not issued by CJ. The companies who made them often sold the exact same prizes through mail order and/or distributed them through other channels. I'm sure you could probably find them in dime store packages as toys, cake decorations, or party favors.

I can't prove it of course, but my theory is that when Cracker Jack ordered a batch of prizes from these manufacturers, they specifically marked them "Cracker Jack" or "CJCO", probably at Cracker Jack's request. Even the "NOSCO" pieces are found unmarked, so I would think the marked ones were distributed in CJ and the unmarked ones weren't.

Additionally, as Jeffery Maxwell notes, and as I have seen firsthand in the prize lots I've acquired, the unmarked versions are often smaller and/or thinner than the marked versions, pointing to a separate distribution.


All I can go by is what I have seen. I have the same exact prizes some with the marks and others without. Some are marked but so light it takes a loop to see what is there. Not all the CJCO is always there sometimes it just a C and part of an O and that is light. I have some that have Cracker Jack marked and others marked CJCO and still others with no mark. Some like my small Shiva collection have Cracker Jack on every one. Mummy's have CJCO and unmarked variations but they are all the same but for the marks. I don't know if the molds are multiple where some were marked while others were not and they mixed in unmarked with marked. The only way to know is if there is a collection that is known to be all CJ prizes [that is they are known to come out of box] and they are unmarked.

It may not be known if they were sold as toys separate from the CJ company or if they were all prizes and just not marked. From my collecting experience unmarked items do not mean much. Even in some of the most high end collecting things are not always marked. Tiffany is not always marked.
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Donovan
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Re: unmarked prizes

Post by Donovan » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:45 am

Hi Ed,

Interesting observation about just a letter or two being visible on marked pieces. That would seem to be a result of mold wear and/or the small details being filled in after repeated use.

Conceivably, it would be possible then for the entire mark to be missing on a "marked" piece. That makes me wonder what the percentage of unmarked pieces are, that are really "marked".

I'll have to check some of my unmarked pieces a little closer.

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edteach
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Re: unmarked prizes

Post by edteach » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:35 pm

Donovan wrote:Hi Ed,

Interesting observation about just a letter or two being visible on marked pieces. That would seem to be a result of mold wear and/or the small details being filled in after repeated use.

Conceivably, it would be possible then for the entire mark to be missing on a "marked" piece. That makes me wonder what the percentage of unmarked pieces are, that are really "marked".

I'll have to check some of my unmarked pieces a little closer.
The thing is I don't know how many of one prize were made. I have seen photos of Cloud holding a tree of prizes. That is identical prizes on a tree like a model car parts, and there being several of one prize on the single tree. So my question would be did every prize have CJ inscribed on it?
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Re: unmarked prizes

Post by Jeffrey Maxwell » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:27 am

I was thinking mold wear, and then I saw your post, Donovan. I cannot give examples off the top of my head, but I think there was a NOSCO flat use in Cracker Jack that never was marked. But a lot of plastic molds were used so much that they just wore out. There were at least two completely different sets of molds used at different times for most NOSCO prizes because they were so popular and had long runs. I don't know how many of the Asian prizes were made, but there were certainly a bunch of them.

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