In a resounding defeat for nostalgia and a small victory for the world’s oceans, Cracker Jack will no long be putting those tiny plastic toys into their packages of caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts. It’s a bold move, knowing that many people at the ballpark buy boxes of Cracker Jack specifically for the toys, content to merely tolerate the snack itself. Instead, Cracker Jack will try to move into tech by slipping in augmented reality stickers that can be used with an app.
That app is called Blippar, and it has four activities that can be unlocked with the stickers. All four are just digital replications of what actually goes on inside a baseball stadium — Dot Dash, Dance Cam, Get Carded, and Baseball Star. Dot Dash is like a racing game around the field, while Dance Cam is like getting on the jumbotron, except the jumbotron is really small and only you can see it. Get Carded is unfortunately not a beer buying simulator (a need for some stadiums), but a camera feature that puts your picture in a baseball card (Baseball Star sounds similar to this).
It doesn’t sound like it’s actually necessary for this to be augmented reality at all, but Blippar is a general augmented reality app that can interact with loads of different stickers, so I guess this way was easier than Cracker Jack getting their own app made. It sounds a bit like a misguided attempt to get younger people more interested in baseball games, which to my knowledge is the only place Cracker Jacks are consumed. It’s sort of funny that they’re doing this now, considering 3D printers are cheap and basically tailor made for the kind of tiny plastic knickknacks Cracker Jack was known for, but so it goes. The oceans will breathe a little easier tonight.