Sunday, 9 June 2013

LoEB: Bring it Back!

This week's League assignment, which I'm just getting in on time, asks:

I had a few different thoughts on this with none of them really catching, until I stood at the checkout of Toys'R'Us looking at the trading cards and collectible games. It was then I had a realisation - nothing on sale there today looked as much fun as POG!

Pog, baby.
This was a collectible, non-violent and addictive game that featured amusing cartoons and shiny print effects, and became notorious amongst narrow-minded school headmasters for encouraging gambling. After marbles, and before battle card games, this was how the kids of my generation traded wares...

Most Desirable Gift of '94!
Soaked in anarchic surf-culture cool, the game was huge over here for all of a year, until it passed and the next big thing came along. However, unlike most fads Pog hasn't yet been bought back for the 21st century, and I think there's a space for it somewhere on the corner shop counter. How would I see it working nowadays? Well, I'm glad you asked...

I could go the easy route, and say take it online. Download the App, give Pogs stats, chose the number of milkcaps you're going to use in a battle, add in a chance element and go out and play people from all around the World... But then there's something magical about taking your pocket money to the shop after school, buying some sweets and a pack of Pogs (six milkcaps and a Kini for 99p, imagine how much that would cost today!), and getting straight on the trade to try to complete the series. I think that magic is called nostalgia, but still...
Definitely Nostalgia.
I propose a return to the old card templates and physical game, but with a bigger promotional push. Have a fortnightly magazine that comes packed with six 'magazine exclusive' series milkcaps per issue. Have short animated episodes that highlight Pogman and his wacky adventures in 15-minute episodes. When there's enough of a buzz about the product again, that's the time to launch the well-designed and rigorously tested App game, that ensures continued play from the new generation and maybe even draws some lapsed Pog-ers back. I'm not sure where it would go from there, but it has to be better than letting this rich, colourful and simple game rot, right?

Robot Wasp? Yes!
On a side note, the above Pog, from Series 2, was one of my favourites, and much later inspired a young adult novel I've been working on on-and-off for the last year. It's a robot wasp, on a surfboard. How this wouldn't appeal to any 10-year old is beyond me...
Thanks to Milkcap Mania for the images in this post!

Here's a sampling of what some other Leaguers would like to see brought back...
It's been fun. Thanks for reading!


  1. I might be down for a digital version of Pogs, because I've already got too much stuff cluttering my house as it is!

    1. As I was writing it, I did think that I was looking at a 90's business model right there, and that today digital is probably the only way it would work. Space is a valuable commodity for us hoarders!

  2. I'm surprised no one brought up the Centurions!

    1. Yeah, that's a show I've not heard of in a while - I think Infinite Hollywood's post on Exo-Squad is as close as we got!


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