Pogs are back, in Pogs Form!

The History of Pogs

The history of "Pogs" began in the 19th century, when the milk cap was patented as a way to seal milk bottles. The caps also became used in a childhood game, named after a Hawaiin beverage company which made a juice drink of Passion fruit, Orange, and Guava. The game slowly faded out as time passed, and it seemed that nothing was to come of it. Then, in 1991, a Hawaiin school teacher named Blossom Galbiso used the caps to teach some of her in class lessons. The kids also were taught the game of Pogs, and, according to some, this began the craze of the early 1990's.

Toy companies found the success of Pogs to be a great blessing; they could be easily printed and marketed, and they were incredibly popular. The craze slowly wore off as many realized just how ridiculous the trend (as well as the game) was (myself included). Today, pogs are a joke, gone the way of the pet rock. Just remember the famous Simpsons line: "Alf's back! In Pog form!" (two dead trends don't make a right!)

The Types of Pogs
The Game of Pogs

The game of pogs is for two players, each with slammers and pogs. At the beginning of a round, each player agrees on a certain number of pogs to contribute to the stack (usually 5-8 or so). The two smaller player stacks are then intermingled, face down.

Players now, turn by turn, slam their slammers into the top of the pile (usually done by wrapping one's index finger around the edge of the slammer and spinning the slammer straight down upon the pile, so that the slammer's edge strikes the stacks top solidly). The point of this is to attempt to knock over the stack and flip as many pogs over as possible, so their faces, not their blank backs, are showing. Every pog which is flipped goes to the slamming player, and those still face down return to the stack, and the next player gets a turn.

This was quite popular at many schools, but was soon banned after administrations realized that the game was a form of gambling. Perhaps this killed the craze, or perhaps the game's absurdity did.

Source: Personal Experience and

Most dollar stores, toy stores, and closeout warehouses have boxes and boxes full of pogs. When I worked at Service Merchandise we had half an aisle in the warehouse, just filled up with unsold pogs. We could not sell those things at 90 percent off.

It wasn't until we went out of business that we finally got rid of them. The man who bought us out yelled for nearly an hour when he opened the 50+ large boxes marked "toys", and found they were full of pogs. (He had already signed the contract to buy all the remaining merchandise at 90 percent off the retail price). That man ended up paying for over $4000 worth of pogs. (He didn't even take them, he just had his men throw them away).

On an even sadder note, apparently some people actually invested in these things, thinking that they would become valuable collectables (like baseball cards or something).

Back in the good old days of my lost childhood, there was a game called POG. It was the latest craze among kids. The mascot was this hairy little dude with stick legs and he was pretty damn ugly, and the song in the commercials went like...

"POG, POG, POG IS THE WORD, POG POG POG, POG IS THE WORD..."...and pretty much that was the commercials. When POG became popular in 1994, it was very improved. It had different pictures. In the beginning of POG's day, there were different types of POG. There was POG Classic (a cheaper version of POG, with those 50's drawings of people eating pork and doing stuff, and for some reason, it had a staple in each one), and there was regular pog, which was a smooth cardboard disc with a cartoonish design on it. They would do crazy designs like "Robo POG" or anything crazy, it didn't matter.

You see, POG was like a really popular game, but it was also a collector's game. If you had every POG there was, you could brag about it.

So Milton Bradley set the stage for yet another popular kiddie fad. And I say fad, because not only is it not played or produced anymore, it was quickly banned in many public schools. Why? Well, like Pseudo_Intellectual said how POG is played, I can elaborate a bit more. You had a POG which had a special nickname, called a "Slammer". The cheap ones were basic POG slammers, about 2 times the thickness of a basic POG disc, but PLASTIC. There were also special slammers that were made of metal, but same thickness. There were even ULTRA-THICK brass slammers! (Made winning a lot easier) The traditional way of playing is put a pile of POGS upside down, and put the slammer on the tips of your fingers, and very VERY quickly, you SLAM it down on the pile, hoping to flip some over.

The rules were that 2 people minimum could play, and I think it was mostly kept to that. They would both put in an equal share of POGS into the same pile, and if one person flipped some over, he got to keep them (if you were playing for keeps).

Now, why was it banned again? I think it was quite big in the news, but I think I can explain why my school banned it. You see, the kids didn't really go on the playground or do anything else anymore. They sat on the pavement and played all recess. However, since this was a game of gambling among young, immature children, it became violent. I remember my friend had a thick brass slammer slammed down on his finger, and he got a purple blister. One time I was pretty emotional (hey, I was a kid!), so I said "scramble!" threw em out, everyone took them, and I cried...heh it's a funny memory. But the teachers banned it because of the violence involved. I still have the POG board game (just a board for playing POGS, with some POGS in it), and it is a reminder of what I did when I was a kid.


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