Casualties of a Game: Story of the 90's Pog Scene

Casualties of a Game: Story of the 90’s Pog Scene

Part novelty t-shirt, part cardboard...
During the late 90's, America's youth took a brief detour down a creepy and crappy road known as "pogs", a supposedly strategic way for kids to gamble by wagering thin circular discs of cardboard through the slamming of a metal disc onto a stack of thin circular cardboard discs.

These discs of addiction often featured sarcastic sayings, in your face punch lines, euphemisms, anecdotes, riddles, jokes, sometimes creatures (both mythical and real) as well as stars from the world of team sports, individual athletics, cinema, television, music and the bible.

In complete honesty, I can't remember exactly how the game was played, all I recall is that for 6-12 months during the mid-90's, everyone was playing them, then SLAM.... the once sturdy pillar that is pogs crashed to ground, unevenly dispersing onto the floor of lady despair.....

Where's there's a slammer, there's pogs...
As with any semi-strategic gambling game, there are those who become "addicted" to the rush, those who refuse to believe that the wave has subsided, living the dream when the dream ended 16-17 years ago, hiding in the shadows, waiting, watching.

These "pogsters" will often use slang terms such as "milk caps", "caps", "stack jack", "the stack game", "stack ems", "p-o-g-s (spelled out)", "slamming", "flap jacking", "floor frisbee", "slam dancing", "cardboardios", "Andrew Dice Clay" and "cardboard discs" to describe their addictive game of chance.

As these top 5 recent eBay slammer sales indicate, there are indeed those who have played through the end of an era, those who are either buying Mortal Kombat slammers because of the 18 KT Gold stated on the packaging, or simply feeding a beast we all thought died in the year 1996-97, a beast near old enough to legally consume an alcoholic beverage...

Top 5 eBay Slammer Sales: MARCH

1. Mortal Kombat 18 KT Gold Slammer - $26

2. 11 Slammer lot including Sea Creature Slammers - $22.50

3. Mortal Kombat 18 KT Gold Slammer - $21.40

4. 200 assorted packages of Slammers including the pictured "Doodlewonker Caps" (Buyer's financial situation reason given for liquidation of collection) - $14.77

5. O.J. Simpson novetly pre-verdict slammer - $10

*This article is meant for entertainment purposes only and offers little to no educational value outside of the going rate for Slammers on eBay.

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Brett is a former contributor to The Cardboard Connection.

User Comments

  1. Lol, this site never ceases to entertain me in some way. I’m just glad I was one of the 99.0000282% that survived.

  2. I still have most of my collection. It’s in there with my old stamp collection (something my dad tried to start me on), coin collection (1909 VDB Pennies anyone?) and other nic-nacs I haven’t bothered to stockpile in years. I remember a few notable sports sets though. Classic put out one, I seem to remember a pretty solid NHL set mostly sold in Canada and a few years ago Topps tried selling poker chips with NBA players on them (those sold well right out of the gate actually), which I stored in one of my old pog canisters.

    The most “valuable” pogs might have been the ones issued in the Nintendo Power subscriber catalogs. I sold some Mega Man ones for a good deal of money. Probably nothing to do with them being pogs, just rare video game collectibles. I also sold an Pog magazine that maybe ran for 1 or 2 issues for about $15.

  3. So funny, great article. Do you think there is a correlation with the decline of pogs and the birth of Justin Bieber? I bet Cornelius has something to do with this….

  4. @Caleb: Where’s there’s risk, there’s Cornelius, that I know for certain. So, it’s safe to assume that Cornelius does indeed have a hand in this.

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