Thrift stores are sometimes a magical place. Sometimes they’re horrible, pricing Sonic 2 (a game we all got for free) at $25, but other time there are bags of POGs for $1. This was one of those times.
I can’t leave POGs behind. These came in a clear baggie and upon first inspection didn’t look to be as eclectic of a mix as the batch of POGs I bought last month. But what if there were some gems in there? The suspense was killing me. I purchased the baggie and made my way home so I could rip it open and inspect. Here are some of my favorites.
There were a lot of Spawn and Gargoyles POGs in this batch, but to my surprise there were also some glow-in-the-dark Goosebumps POGs thrown in there as well. These are from 1995 and even after 20 years they’re still glowin’ bright. I forgot how amazing some of the Goosebumps book titles were: The Horror at Camp Jellyjam, A Shocker on Shock Street (really?), and The Cuckoo Clock of Doom. If I wrote scary stories, I think my default title would be “____ OF DOOM”.
Next up are these four Apollo 13 POGs, also released in 1995. This was part of a promotion from Hardee’s, a restaurant we don’t have in Canada so I think it’s safe to assume that these were from a family vacation where the previous owner was able to chow down on delicious (maybe?) Hardee’s burgers. Eating at a burger joint was a treat for most kids in those days, especially if it was in a foreign land and POGs were involved. Am I thinking too much about this kid’s 1995 vacation? Probably. Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s parent company, is rolling out restaurants in Ontario now, though. According to this article, Canada won’t get Hardee’s because it’s too close in name to our national burger joint: Harvey’s. So today you learned something that you never needed to know.
Of course these weird dinosaur POGs stood out– Dino Board is neat, but the clear winner here is Cool A Saurus. If I were a dinosaur, I’d want to be a Cool A Saurus. How radical would that be? I’d even get some sweet shades. The third POG in this pic features two of the best POG attributes: terrible drawings and equally terrible puns. The weird axe POG is courtesy of Rain-Blo, those gumballs that came in a row in a clear wrapper. I love that all companies everywhere got into the POG game, but at the same time did it oversaturate and ultimatley collapse the POG market? We may never know.
Rock Kroc from Donkey Kong is on this chewed-up Nintendo POG from 1995. The back is branded with Wrigley’s Extra, Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit, and Hubba-Bubba Sour. I can’t find much else about this one, but I imagine our Hardee’s loving vacationer also enjoyed a decent amount of gum back in the day. And lastly, as every POG collection includes: those bootleg The Bomb and 8 Ball POGs. Interestingly, these lack the shiny holographic parts that these POGs usually have. Instead, these look like photocopies. Yo dawg, I heard you like booglegs.