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Star Wars POGs by Canada Games

April 13, 2013

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POGs were a short-lived fad in 1990s. Each player would have a pile of cardboard disks called POGs that they would hit with a heavier disk called a slammer, with the goal of turning as many of the POGs face-up as possible. I never had any myself as I was too old when they became popular, but I know that kids at the time went crazy for them, collecting and trading them to the point that many schools banned them because they were becoming a distraction. But like most fads it burned brightly for a while and then faded away.

When I recently posted about a package of POGs with Jabba’s picture on them, I realized that while I had a couple of Jabba the Hutt “slammers,” I didn’t actually have any loose POGs. Since POGs aren’t exactly a hot property at the moment, they’re not all that expensive so I decided to just get a full box (above). This kind of box would’ve been placed in stores for kids to buy a pack or two at a time. It contains 24 packs, and each pack had 4 pogs and 1 slammer, plus a checklist/rule sheet. Interestingly, my son and I played a few times and each time we managed to turn the entire stack of POGs over, which surprised me. Perhaps we are POG prodigies. Alas, we were born too late (or early, in my case) to take advantage of our skill.

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As you can see if you click the checklist above, there are 70 different POGs and 8 slammers, although that doesn’t take into account the color variations in the slammers. I believe each slammer could be one of 4 colors, for a total of 32 unique ones. Since there were 24 packs, I knew I would be getting 24 slammers and 96 POGs, but which particular ones I would get was a mystery. I’ve had bad luck in the past trying to assemble complete sets of things by buying boxes (see Deciper’s Collectible Card Game for example), but I figured it would be fun to open up the packs, and hoped that I might get a Jabba Slammer in a color I didn’t have. Below are all of the unique POGs and slammers I got. I gave the duplicates to my son.

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I don’t know if they did this on purpose or if I got lucky, but I ended up getting a full set of POGs. For a while it looked like I would be one POG short, but then I found the one I was missing under some packaging debris. The Jabba-related ones are below. Several of them just scream “90s” with their hot pink designs, etc. I think it’s interesting that they had two Salacious Crumb POGs that are essentially identical. The one on the left has a cool sparkly metallic red background.

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I didn’t get as lucky with the slammers, though. The first half dozen packages I opened only had movie logo slammers (“Star Wars” “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”) so I started thinking that maybe this was a different series than the one that included character slammers. But I did eventually get some characters: Han Solo, Darth Vader, Luke and Leia. Still, only 10 unique ones out of 24 is pretty bad. Also, I didn’t get a single Jabba slammer — he’s the only character I didn’t get!  Interestingly, all of the ones I got were either green or blue, but I know they also had orange and red. Maybe these cases included either red/orange or blue/green slammers. I like the slammers — they have a nice weight to them and feel almost like real coins even though they’re plastic.

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I guess I’ll just have to keep an eye out for the green and blue Jabba slammers.

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