I may be too young to actually have experienced good Cracker Jack prizes. If I'm not, well, CJ's weren't exactly sold at the Chinese Grocery (Shrimp Chips Rock). However, watch enough movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's and one totally understands how getting a temporary tattoo is a total let-down. For the sake of being "economical" the "Prize in Box" foods have all tossed total lame-o stuff into the box. Stickers. Who wants stickers? Sure, you can charge a reasonable price for Cracker Jacks or Cereal now, but the surprise isn't really good. And you know what? Until you start putting prizes in Salt and Vinegar Chips, I'll mostly buy sweet snack foods/cereals for the prize instead of the other way around. So yes, snack companies, I do feel totally cheated of a prize. Any prize. I'd be happier with a Prize stick of gum instead of a $.00001 sticker.
Lucky for me, someone still has the idea of "Prize in Box with bonus Snack". Oh yes, America may think it is the King of Snack Foods... but they have serious competition from the Japanese.
There's a Mystery Toy phenomenon in Japan, much like those kiddie toy vending machines near the Supermarket Exit. Some come in clear plastic capsules and some come in boxes.
The boxed kind usually shows the toy possibilities on the packaging.
I got Prize #1!
Look, it is a little onion with the kitty face. And it is tearing up! These regular items (like food, balls, or sushi) with kitty heads kinda freaks Char out but other than the weird psychological implications (Would I think a mutant sushi cat was cute in real life?) I think it is minorly cute. Better yet, it is a real prize I can attach to my phone or keys. Hey, for $2.99 a cell phone charm isn't so bad.
And the snack that comes with the prize? (Sorry the brightness levels are off)
Chocolate filled cookie things. They tasted like Chocolate Pandas