Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010


The craze may have peaked in 1995, but the game has been around since the 1920s, when Hawaiian workers at Maui's Haleakala Dairy flipped milk caps during lunch breaks. In the early '90s, a Hawaiian schoolteacher revived the activity by creating cardboard disks he dubbed POGs — an acronym for Haleakala Dairy's popular passionfruit, orange and guava drink. For a generation reared on TV and Nintendo, POGs had a uniquely nostalgic appeal, like tiddledywinks 2.0. Before long, the chips were being traded as collectibles and emblazoned with designs such as DARE slogans and depictions of Pope John Paul II. The World POG Federation, which purchased the rights to the POG name in 1993, earned $140 million before kids turned their short-lived attention to trendier toys.