Obligatory Pogs Post

What can be said about Pogs that hasn't been said a hundred times? They were little Poker-chip-like disks with colorful pictures on them, there were like a million of them, and you played some kind of game with them. The 8yo me had no idea what those things were, just that they were down every cool kid's pocket, and that there were a million of them. Some were like the Holy Grail trying to find, but a whole lot weren't worth more than a regular soda coaster.

Kids used to trade them on the bus, at the lunch table, at recess, and that's basically how I got acquainted with them. I didn't know what you did with them other than collect them and pass them around, but I was not immune to having a couple kicking around at the bottom of my backpack just in case I ever had to learn. There was no choice, you had to keep a few on you just to say you were cool. I still never really got what they were, just that all the cool kids were into them. And the reason they were cool? Because they had cool pictures on them.

And I mean if you could think it, there was a Pog for it. They came in these endless series, with cartoons, tire rims, sports teams, sports balls, movies, bugs, Goosebumps, states, flags, aliens, planets, cars, Sonic the Hedgehog, Star Trek, crazy 8s, psychedelic stuff, trippy flowers, monsters, eyeballs, skulls, superheroes...anything and everything that could be rendered in glorious 90s neon. If you were into something, there was a Pog for it that would immediately make you cool for having it, and if you actually "won" the entire series of something, then you could consider yourself elite.

Besides the Pog, there was the "Slammer," and those conferred instant cool cred whenever they were whipped out, because they were like weapons. The Slammer was this heavy piece, like a medallion, which could get pretty badass if it was the "circular saw" kind, but it could also just be a plastic checker piece-like thing. The game is very simple. You wing your Slammer at a stack of your opponent's pogs, and when they fall down, you pick up the ones that fall face down. That's basically how you collected new pogs, but if you had nothing to start, none of the big time players wanted to waste their time with you (unless they wanted to offload a lot of their worthless ones).

I had to picture that there was some kid somewhere who was sitting on a throne of these things, in a castle built out of stacks of these things, just kicking back, basking in the glory... some kid who was like, the Pog Master, who had somehow managed to land everyone's face down. That kid would've been the king of awesomeness. I wonder where that kid is these days.


  1. Hopefully that kid is still in his pog castle, basking in the glory. Otherwise, he's probably sadly realizing that his time has passed, and I don't like that thought.

    Love this post -- I wrote a thing on pogs forever ago. My brothers and I were obsessed with these things. I have now idea how we managed to con my parents into buying so many of them.

    1. I guess the new fad was those Silly Bandz, or Squinkies. There's always something we got to collect!

      You're always welcome! Thanks.