when you're really bad, they call you cracker jack

October 11, 2006
I know it's been an "easy" snark for a while but when did Cracker Jack prizes get so lame?

It's still a decent snack, a bag is like 150 calories, 20 of fat, and satisfies a sweet tooth so long as it isn't craving chocolate. But the "prizes"... ugh. I bought a carton at Cosctco, so not only are the prizes irretrievably lame (Hey kids, push a pencil through this decorative piece of paper to make a pencil topper! Here's a picture of an American historical figure as a boy, fold it around to see them as a grownup! Bend and tear this to make a very sad little puppet mouth!) but they're also repetitive, the same 5 or 6 things again and again.

Part of the problem might be that the FDA has a thing against toys "hiding" in food, as demonstrated by this "Won't Somebody Think of the CHILDREN????" quote from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal:
"Historically, we have identified Disney characters with happy endings. But there is no happy ending to a child choking on a tiny plastic rendering of 'Simba' or 'Nala' from 'The Lion King' "
(Italics mine, because you know, it's an important point. Seriously, there is no happy ending to a child choking on a tiny plastic rendering of 'Simba' or 'Nala' from 'The Lion King.' Unless you make the kid cough it up, and he or she stops choking.) Incidentally, this is why Kindereggs are an import-only item.

So in trying to pin down when Cracker Jack might have last been cool, I went to the official history page. I like how the only item of note since 2000 is:
2002 Frito Lay redesigns crackerjack.com to keep up with changing technologies on the Internet.
Remember, people, don't let your web designer decide what's important enough to put on your company history page.

But still, the last time I remember being happy with a Cracker Jack prize must've been around 1996 or so... they had some very decent Looney Tune stickers, reflective silver, I got two Marvin the Martians to put on a portable CD player. And even then I recognized that Cracker Jack prizes had been "flat" for some time, but at least stickers and temporary tattoos actually have a chance of being "fun", unlike sad little "put this on top of your pencil" scraps of paper. I'm not sure, but my personal conspiracy theory is that the prizes might have gotten further downgraded when Frito Lay bought the brand.

So in retribution, I'm going try to spread this dumbass meme that has been kicking around my head for decades:
How does one potato chip proposition another one?
Are you 'Frito Lay'?
Ha! Take that you damn chipmongers!