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Flashback Friday - Pogs

Pogs  Today's Flashback is brought to you by milk caps and childhood gambling.

In the early 90s, a fad from Hawaii made its way to the mainland and, like most kid-crazes in the U.S., quickly became commercialized. Using the cardboard caps from POG (Passion-Orange-Guave) drink, Hawaiian kids would build a stack of caps, face down, and take turns using a larger "slammer" to upset the stack, keeping all the caps that would land face up.
Quickly, every sport, comic book, and cartoon franchise had its own set of collectible "pogs", with cases to carry them in and sleek clay or plastic slammers for sale by the discount candy of every convenience store in the nation. Kids would often "play for keeps," meaning whatever pogs they turned up in the game were theirs to keep, and those they lost they'd have to play again to try to win back.

I was a bit of a Pog collector myself. See, while I was entirely too old for the target demographic, I was at the time a big fan of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, because I'm pretty sure I wanted to bone the Green/White Ranger:



Ahem. I digress—that is the subject for another Flashback. As a result of my obsession, I collected a near complete set of Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Pogs. I would carry them around in a green pog case and show them off to my other nerdy friends. Soon, however, school administrations recognized in the game what we were too innocent to realize: we were unsophisticatedly gambling for cardboard milk caps. There soon was a district-wide ban on the game and any paraphernalia associated with it, which I find hilarious when I recall another fad at my school that went unpoliced: putting orange juice and whatever liquor your parents wouldn't miss in a plastic water bottle in order to drink illicitly through your morning classes.

This stuff actualy would have made for a killer screwdriver. 

The other hilarious thing is that I'm not sure I know anyone who actually played the intended game with their pogs, making that big gambling crackdown kind of ridiculous and unnecessary. Play for keeps and risk losing your ONE White Ranger pog that you had to buy, like, 20 packs of pogs to obtain? As if! 

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I was a huge pog collector myself. I actually still have all of my old pogs and the albumin and cylinder carry cases in case my son ever wanted them but he doesn't seem to be into them.

I remember a neighbor and I would play them at a nursing home that was in between our two houses out behind one of their doors on the patio, lol!


I had a bunch of pogs around 1993, I think... We saw a POG tournament being played at the Sea World in San Diego and I had to have them. Definitely didn't do the actual gambling part -- no way was I going to part with my pogs. But then just like that I was over it and gave them all away...


Awww mannnnn. If I'd known the origin of Pogs, I might have actually dug them. I just thought they were another lame thing that the boys collected. But I love me some POG, and I love Hawaii, so it was a missed match made in heaven for me. :-/

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