POGS, Hawaiian Milk Caps, Bottle Caps

POGS, the game:
Pogs are circular cardboard discs with printed imagery. Traditional style pogs, made of rough cardboard, are printed with limited colors, and often have a staple in them and a perforated pull tab as they appeared when used as an actual milkcap or bottlecap. Modern commercial pogs were stiffer, thicker and are often printed with colorful glossy imagery.

The game of Pog is usually played between two players. Pogs are stacked on top of each other, using a heavier disc called a slammer, a player forcefully throws the slammer onto the stacked pogs attempting to flip them over.

Pogs were popularized back at the early 1990s. The pog craze took off and went global. The 1991 revival is credited to Blossom Galbiso, a teacher and guidance counselor at Waialua Elementary School on Oahu. A game she played when she was just a child, Blossom Galbiso introduced the pog game to her students.

The game quickly spread from Oahu’s North Shore in 1992, STANPAC, a Canadian packaging company that had been manufacturing the milk caps distributed by Haleakala Dairy, was printing millions of pogs every week for shipment to the Hawaiian islands. The game soon spread to the California, then to the rest of the country. By 1993, the game of pogs was being played throughout the world.

History of Pogs, milk caps, bottlecaps.

Now that we know the inspiration of the game and the revival of pogs in the 90s lets look back on how it all started. Even before the name “POGS” came to be, the game was played and originated in Maui, Hawaii back in the 1920s and 1930s. The game was played with original milk caps straight from dairy bottles.

So where’s the connection?
POG (P-O-G) is a tropical style juice drink created in 1971 by Mary Soon who worked for Haleakala Dairy on Maui. POG is a blend of passionfruit, orange, and guava fruits – P.O.G.

Obviously, by the time POG juice was sold in 1971, glass bottles with caps were obsolete. Charlie Nalepa was hired by Haleakala Dairy as a marketing and promotions manager. Because there was still a demand for the cardboard discs, he ordered milk caps imprinted with the trademark POG to give away as a promotional item. Thus, the name POG.

While the game went worldwide, Hawaii was far more advanced taking advantage of the craze. Milk caps were used by all business types for promotion and used as business cards itself. These business printed caps and Hawaiian printed series became sought after trophies to collectors.