The nineties were a weird time for comics.
I have written and spoken about this sort of thing before. The nineties came in like a lion and went out like a lamb, at least as far as comic books went. During the absolute peak of comic book popularity EVERYTHING was potentially collectible. Action figures. Trading cards. Magazines. It is amazing to think back on the sheer amount of stuff that was produced and the sheer amount of money that was made off of the sheer amount of stuff that was produced. They were slapping comic book images on everything.
Including milk caps or as they would become more widely know…pogs.
If you don’t know what a pog (or as Skybox International called them Skycaps) they are little circular pieces of cardboard that you stack up. Then you take another circular piece made of a heavier material and slam it down on top of the pile causing some of the pogs to fall off the stack. The person then collects the ones that fell and the heavier piece is handed to the next player. Whoever has the most pogs at the end of the game wins. The game originated in Hawaii in the 1920’s and the name comes from a brand of juice called POG, which stood for passion fruit, orange and guava. Some argue that the game is Japanese in origin and dates back to the 17th Century. No matter the true Hollywood story the game was popular for a time, died out and then came back in the early nineties thanks to a school teacher named Blossom Galbiso, who taught at the Waialua Elementary School in Oahu. She apparently remembered playing the game as a kid and thought that it could not only be used to teach math but also serve as a non-violent alternative to games like dodgeball. The popularity spread and a Canadian company named STANPAC, Inc., which had been manufacturing the milk caps distributed by Haleakala Dairy on Maui, started kicking out bunches of pogs and soon the game’s popularity spread like kudzu to the mainland and by 1993 there was a full fledged fad going on.
As you can imagine comic book pogs began popping up and once again Skybox used Reign of the Supermen to sell some product. I recently won/bought an entire box of the main DC line of Skycaps (again, that’s what Skybox called their pogs) and will be posting the Superman related ones soon. Because this ted into Reign I thought it would be fun to post this “the first one’s always free” item while I am wrapping up my Death and Return of Superman coverage.
I am sure some people thought this game was great and had a lot of fun playing. To me it looks kind of dumb but I don’t want to overly rain on someone’s parade.
Thanks again to Christopher Warden for the scan. I do appreciate it.
More to follow…