POGs: the Passionfruit-Orange-Guava juice origin of current-era "Poggers"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/19/pogs-the-passionfruit-orange.html

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Never in a million years would I have guessed that POG was an fruit acronym. My strongest memory of them is from an old Simpson’s joke.


I never in a million years would’ve thought a game was named POG.

I discovered POG, the drink, in the Berkeley co-opts.


It was a big thing in elementary schools in the early 90s. Roughly halfway between marbles and bottle flipping.


Best cross marketing ever: While in the line to get in to the 1993 Steven Spielberg movie, ushers handed out Jurrasic Pogs


My God, for a split second I thought you were going to say pogs were somehow relevant to something.

I never played POG the game, I just ‘collected’ the things, alongside sports cards. POGs were the easy gimmie thing to buy your kids as a low-price amusement.

I remember big bins of them being sold at flea markets around the time the fad was dying off.

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It was briefly a massive craze back then and I had no idea that POG meant anything apart from bottle caps. When Californian and Hawaiian friends introduced me to POG, the juice drink (which is freakin’ delicious) I was tickled.

It’s very easy to make yourself if you’re not on the West Coast. Just go to any supermarket with a decent Goya section and get bottles of the passionfruit and guava nectars and mix them with orange juice. Maybe add some pineapple juice if you want it extra-tropical.


I was a thoroughly grown up person when POGs were a thing, but we had to learn about them at work for a promotion.

My employer produced a big thick plexiglas slammer with a foil logo on one side. I remember laying them out in a path leading from the door of a convention center exhibition hall to our booth, to lure people to us at opening time. I remember running into SF author / tech writer Jerry Pournelle at the show; he didn’t know what to make of the slammer I gave him, but his wife said she’d explain. Also gave some to Penn & Teller!

I have, in a box of miscellaneous crap, a shrink-wrapped set of Sega pogs. They have Sonic and various related characters on them. I should really get around to selling those.


I remember seeing a slammer with OJ simson’s picture on it. I still wish I’d bought it

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My Eyes. My Eyes. What the heck was that?
Please tell me it was some kind of promotional video giveaway with the ultra-POG playset or something.

POG at breakfast was one of the nicest parts of visiting my in-laws in Hawaii


I never actually played a game with them, but I loved my pogs and I’m constantly hoping that they’ll turn up. It was like having a tiny, personal art gallery, but they vanished mysteriously at some point around my teenage years. I’d really love to see that holographic dragon slammer again!

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POGs relates to the Japanese throwing card game Menko, which itself is a variation on the classic marbles. Menko cards are thick cards printed with colorful caricatures of famous personalities, sports and historic figures, or in recent times anime and manga characters. Players alternately try to flip their opponents cards by throwing their cards, either flipping them with a breeze or by knocking them out of a playing circle. If they flip a card, they can then pick up that card and their throwing card. The player who collects the most cards wins. Cards can be rectangular or round with some variations designating the round cards for throwing, similar to the ‘slammer’ used for POGs.

I’ve often wondered why this game never caught on in the west, as it would be ideal for featuring caricatures of politicians, celebrities, and wrestlers and pitting them against each other in mock battle.

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