Jack in the Boxes have been around since the 16th century. They were modeled after Punch (sans Judy). The design is simple, a clown sits inside a box. You turn the crank and after some music, Jack pops out of the top of the box. A wonderful introduction to the world of cause and effect and to the concept of anticipation. Jack in the Boxes were first made of wood, then printed cardboard until finally lithographed tin. The clown were made of papier-mache, bisque, celluloid and now plastic.
Jack in the Boxes were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2005.