The Ill Communication

Pogs was an extremely popular game that experienced a very short time in the limelight during the early 1990s, hitting its peak between ’94 and ’95. Played mainly by elementary children at playgrounds during recess, Pogs is a game where you hit circular shaped pieces of cardboard, called pogs, with circular shaped pieces of plastic or metal, called slammers, and trying to flip the pogs over so they are facing upwards.

The basic rules of the game have two players competing. Each brings their own set of pogs and slammers and each places a pog in to play. The pogs are stacked and are placed face down. The players take turn in using their slammers to hit the pogs, trying to get them to flip over. The ones that do get flipped are awarded to the person who flipped them. You can play for fun or for keeps. Keeps is when you get to actually keep the pogs you win. Some schools banned pogs because they were seen as a form of gambling.

But this feature isn’t going to be about the game itself (I haven’t cared about playing the game since I was 10). Instead, the focus will be on the art that was displayed on the pogs and slammers. It’s amazing to see how artists used such a small canvas to place their works on; and an odd canvas at that due to it being circular and roughly 2 inches in diameter. And unlike other “collect them all” games where everything has a consistent art style to it, the illustrations on pogs were created by just about anyone who can pick up a pen and draw something, so each series of pogs and slammers have a unique look and style to it.

I’ve always appreciated the art that, after 20 years since retiring from the game, I still have my collection. And with this feature I’m showing them off so that you, the average web surfer, can check them out. Not every pog in my collection is a masterpiece, but it does include a varying number of artists so that you can get a taste of just how extensive the designs are. Also, my collection includes a few redundant pogs, so expect to see a few repeats because I’m too lazy to compare and sort each one out.

The orange tube: Weapon of choice

The green tube: Not ‘for keeps’

The blue tube: Eclectic set

The orange tube 2: Peculiar compilation

The short tube: On the go

Loose: Tubeless stock overflow

Posted on: July 30, 2015