Holy Crap! Remember… Pogs?

Ah, nostalgia! Be it that old cartoon, a favorite toy or a comic book from days gone by, isn’t it great, when out of the blue, the memories come flooding back, and you’ve no choice but to exclaim “Holy Crap! Remember…“?

boatload-of-pogs

Bear with me on this. I know that some of our younger readers may find this hard to believe, but pogs were a genuine phenomenon and serve as the most golden and perfect proof that kids will buy into ANYTHING if you tell them it’s cool (looking at you, Bieber). Sure, the game’s origins lie in Hawaii in the 1920′s (or so the internet would have me believe), but all I’m talking about is the boom of the 1990′s. For those of you unfamiliar with the game and fad (or those that had simply tried to block it out of your mind), the game works like this:

  1. Each player (read: prepubescent sucker) amasses an insane amount of little cardboard discs called “pogs.” One side is blank and one side is printed with a graphic, often a licensed character, but just as often a piece of rad bitchin’ generic ’90′s garbage.
  2. Players also collect a smaller number of “slammers,” heavier discs (often plastic or metal) to use when playing the game. These were also printed with a design or in some cases, etched with a design, especially on the metal pieces.
  3. Each player builds a tower of pogs face down. The opponent throws his slammer on top, toppling the pile and then collects the pogs that land face up. The process is repeated until all the pogs are gone and the player with the most at the end of the game was declared the winner.

These are real things.

Yes, the game breaks down to stack, throw, rake, repeat. It’s AT LEAST as dumb as it sounds. But kids ate this crap up back in the day. They came in big bundles for the generic discs or in packs of a dozen or so for the cartoon or movie-based versions. They were everywhere. There was an honest to God national Pog tournament and the little bastards were outlawed by some schools for promoting gabling since some kids played “for keeps,” meaning (of course) they’d keep the losers pogs… Luckily he had a bajillion more where those came from.

The sheer range these things covered is staggering. Everything from sports stars to cartoons to even (I am NOT joking) the major players of the O.J. Simpson trial were immortalized on tiny cardboard circles. It’s astounding, and in the case of O.J., gross. I’d like to think that the quick fade out can be attributed to a massive wake-up call, but I’m sure it had more to do with something new and equally stupid stealing our collective attention. These things were contemporaries of the likes of Tamagochi and Pokémon, after all, so it’s not like kids were starved for weird crap to spend their parents’ money on in those days.

man-thing-pogsI had them. Hell, we ALL had them. If any American human in their mid-to-late twenties tells you they DIDN’T buy into this crap, they’re lying to your face. It’s nothing to be proud of and collectively I think we should all be mocked by the younger generation because of how insanely lame it was, so take your licks, people. Also, who’s up for a game of pogs at PoP!toberfest? Anyone?

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Who ARE these people!?

Lee Rodriguez is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Panels On Pages. He is also a freelance graphic and web designer, action figure customizer, swell guy, and an awesome dad.

I'm even on Google+... Kind of.

Comments (12)

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  1. Batman25JM says:

    God I miss the 90s.

    I was huge into pogs, but I only collected them. I never played the game. It was just like what happened years later with Pokemon cards. I never played with them either, only collected them.

    I know I still have my pogs somewhere. I have all my childhood toys. I just don’t know where they are. I can’t really remember what pogs I had either. I know I had many different kinds.

  2. Juan/denim says:

    And for your viewing pleasure….a intense game of Pogs

  3. Juan/denim says:

    As well as this, and this is actully funny

  4. Heytherejeffro says:

    I remember my step-brother having a “Pog Maker”, and I just made Pogs out of boobs from magazines and comic books.

  5. Elmo Machete says:

    “Remember Alf? Well, now he’s back – in Pog form.”

  6. ay aym ledgawndayrie aynos says:

    i (believe it or not) played pogs with my cousins my faves were the o.j. ones. i would fuck around and put a gi joe knife on oj’s pog

  7. Joshua says:

    POGTOBERFEST, BITCHES.

  8. Brian Woods says:

    You know, I saw pogs all over the place in the 90s, but had no idea what you were supposed to do with them. Either I am so stupid I can’t even drool properly or I am at least intelligent enough to be too intelligent for the “game.”

  9. Tomer Soiker says:

    Brian, I was collecting pogs back in day (they were a huge hit in Israel in 1993-95) yet I don’t remember what use they had… I read about the games and watch the vids posted above, but they don’t ring a bell.

  10. BlueMaxx says:

    Like Tomer, they were big when I was in elementary school, but I remember me and others just collecting them. Not really playing the games. I had some awesome slammers. Hah! Slammers. Ah, memories.

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