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Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:56 am
by Snipsa
Hi all,

I will be posting a nr of these sorts of threads as I recently acquired a massive lot of mixed charms and prizes.

The first lot that I have sorted are all celluloid or kobe. I am fairly certain Cracker Jack never had Kobe charms but want to be 100% certain.

Thanks in advance.
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This is the lot I still need to finalise sorting on and will then to be asking questions of on here:
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Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:33 pm
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Hello Snipsa!

Welcome to the CJCA Forums!

Probably not Cracker Jack.

1. I can say that I have accumulated a good number of these, and I do not include them in my Cracker Jack collection.
2. In the past, some collectors have told me that Cracker Jack purchased celluloid prizes for use in packs, but the ones for which I have seen documentation have all been polystyrene, not celluloid.

1. The red and white and black prizes were made in Kobe Japan in the 1920's and '30's. Do you have any of the original rings? If you find Kobe charms (three or more) on a white/ivory color ring, do not separate them (well, do what you want, but I wouldn't), because that is how they sometimes came originally and sold as dime store tchotkes and used as carnival chum.
2. The charms with strings came on liquor bottles, tobacco tins, and bread as package ties.
3. The same charms (without strings) were used in bubble gum and nut machines mixed in loose with the food product as an alternative to metal charms until the early 1940's when charms made of polystyrene (developed in 1936) took over the bulk vending industry.

To me the strings add some to the desirability of these items, but not significantly. After all, strings can be added and removed by anyone.

Now for the last photo -- I cannot see much detail, because it is not close enough, but I can tell you that at least one is a Cracker Jack prize and one is not a Cracker Jack prize. That sounds like an attempt at humor, but it is true nonetheless.

I encourage you to post photos of those items, because they look very intriguing -- but, because of their comparable size -- most are not likely Cracker Jack.

Everyone, I hope this helps add to the conversation. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Happy Collecting!
Jeffrey Maxwell

Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:43 pm
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Hello Snipsa!

I ran into your three listings on eBay. I sent a message to you through eBay about the photo that has three well documented Cracker Jack prizes. The other listings do not have any Cracker Jack prizes, and the ones like the Disney charms are mostly likely bulk vending prizes or dime store toys.

Hope this helps.

Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:19 am
by Snipsa
Thank you very much Jeffrey. I received your msg there and replied (hope you received the reply)

I do not know how I missed the reply here, the notification must have landed in my spam inbox.

I really appreciate you taking the time for such a thoughtful reply. I am going to post a few more photos of items that I have sorted, and will post more as they are sorted.

again my thanks!

Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:29 am
by Snipsa
Some more items out of this large lot:

Some of These are marked Giant Hong Kong, others just Hong Kong, others no markings:
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A nr of the animal stand ups and charms. No marks that I could see (except for the odd hong kong here and there)
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A nr of plastic animals. All marked Hong Kong

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Some random oddities
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Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:31 am
by Snipsa
Double post. My apologies

Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:14 pm
by Snipsa
Some more items I found interesting:

I am especially fascinated by the Alice in Wonderland and "Poor man's Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse" items.

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Resizer_154257143566318.jpg[/attachment These are all flat with two small bumbs on the back. [attachment=17]Resizer_154257143566323.jpg
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Random lots

May be best to view them as attachments below otherwise this thread will become way too large.

Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:20 pm
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Hello snipsa and everyone!

Although I enjoy looking at these, I don't see anything that I believe were used in Cracker Jack. A lot of these were sold in dime stores in blister packages or header bags. I remember the cowboys and indians mounted on the running horses. I was so jealous that a neighbor kid had cupcakes for his birthday that had these on them. That would have been in Wichita Kansas about 1968. (Interestingly enough, I have bought some very nice groups of Cracker Jack prizes that were sold to me as vintage cake decorations.)

I mentioned the date 1968 above based on where I was at the time. Now to put that date in perspective, some history. The plastics industry began in Hong Kong in 1948. The words "Made in Hong Kong" appear on toys that were most likely made from ca. 1952 to ca. 1972. Many items marked simply "Hong Kong" are from the 1970s to the 1990s. It was around 1965 that Hong Kong became known as the "Kingdom of Plastic Toys" and the toy industry became a separate industry from the plastics industry. These dime store toys would have been ordered by foreign importers from Hong Kong trading firms called "Zhuang Kou" which would then order the toys from small family-owned cottage factories that would make them with hand-set pressing machines. In the 1980s toy companies and manufacturers set up big factories in Shanghai, so much of the toy industry focus shifted away from Hong Kong.

You mentioned the mark "GIANT HONG KONG." I know a little bit about that as well. Some might recall that when I wrote the article about "Nosco Plastics" (link at bottom) that in addition to Cracker Jack prizes, NOSCO made flats (some not used in Cracker Jack) sold through the comic book ads of "100 Toy Soldiers for $1.00" by E. Joseph Cossman & Company. Well, there was a company that excelled in the area of comic book advertising called "Helen of Toy", which also advertised under the names "Bi-A-Toy Corp", "Five Star Toys", "Lucky Toys", and others. Most of these toys were manufactured by Giant Plastics.

The Rosenberg Toy Company -- started in 1947 in NY by Herbert and Harold Rosenberg -- changed its name to Giant Plastics (after the NY Giants) in 1960, the same year the family bought land in Hong Kong and started toy manufacturing under a HK local company name ARCO. The 1:72 scale plastic toys produced there were marked GIANT from 1960 to ca. 1970. After that they were marked simply "HONG KONG" or "HK" or with no markings. (The GIANT mark was removed because the molds were probably sold to and used by another plastics company.) At the end of the 1970s, the US company name was changed to ARCO to match the Hong Kong company name.

I hope this adds to the discussion and welcome questions and comments.

Have fun!
Jeffrey Maxwell

Here is a link to the article on Nosco Plastics mentioned above:

Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:04 pm
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Some more items I found interesting
Just saw this latest post. Again, don't see any Cracker Jack.

I will comment on one item in the 13th photo of this latest post. It is regarding the thick, light blue elephant. Although it is not a Cracker Jack prize, it was made by Nosco Plastics, a major supplier of stand-up flats to CJ. This elephant was fashioned by art deco designer Don Manning and is one of the earliest Nosco plastic items not related to the organ business.

I hope this adds to the conversation and welcome questions and comments.

Have fun!
Jeffrey Maxwell

Re: Are any of these celluloid charms Cracker Jack?

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:40 am
by Snipsa
Thank you very much for the detailed response Jeffrey especially wrt the Hong Kong toys and info on the Elephant.

You really are a fountain of knowledge. I always love finding out the history and eras of the items I collect and sell, trying to think of the how's and why's of how they got to my hands here in Pretoria, South Africa. The tales these little items can tell are probably numerous