Childhood favorite Cracker Jack swaps toys for QR codes

Cracker Jack augmented reality app

The iconic baseball game snack Cracker Jack hopes to appeal to a younger audience by replacing its physical prizes with QR codes for augmented reality rewards.

The QR codes require downloading the Blippar app, available for Android and iOS, in order to scan a prize sticker. Right now, scanning the Cracker Jack code will net you a virtual baseball field for your phone.

There are four different baseball-themed prizes to collect: Dot Dash, Dance Cam, Get Carded and Baseball Star.

Admittedly, the prizes sound pretty cool: You can show off your dance moves on a virtual jumbo tron with Dance Cam, or create an autographed baseball card with your mug on it to trade with friends using Get Carded.

Cracker Jack prize card

As much as we enjoyed finding a sticker or plastic figurine in the bottom of our Cracker Jack's box growing up, these prizes are a bit more... refined. They do assume Cracker Jack consumers have a smart device, however, which could lead to some unhappy snackers who don't own one.

New toy, new face

While it's in the process of turning out childhood upside down, Cracker Jack is also rebranding itself with a new logo and updated packaging. The snack sheds its iconic box for a plastic bag and colorized sailor boy and dog.

Cracker Jack new packaging

The nearly 125-year-old brand is modernizing in hopes of lifting stagnant sales. While it may feel like trampling on nostalgia to some fans of the classic candy corn, the sad truth is that products almost always have to change with the times.

If you're firmly anti-new Cracker Jack, though, there's a Facebook community petitioning Frito-Lay, Cracker Jack's parent company, to "put the prize back in Cracker Jack." The page currently has over 1,100 likes.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.