07th Feb2013

LOEB Presents: Collectibles of Tomorrow

by Will

LoEB

I haven’t done such a great job keeping up with my League of Extraordinary Bloggers “dues”. I guess I didn’t really have an opinion on recent topics (I HATE pirates!). When Brian came up with this week’s topic, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to throw something together. Plainly put, Brian asked us what we thought would be considered “collectibles” in the years to come. From the posts I’ve read, most people had some thought out, logical answers to the question. I’m going to take another route. Toys and video games are fun, but I’m always more intrigued by the things that catch on when they have no right to be sought after as collectibles. After all, a lot of what we consume is sold to us on the premise that it’s unique or “worth” something. I’m more impressed by the phenomena that catch us by surprise. Pokemon? That wasn’t a surprise because collectability is built into its business model. I was, however, surprised by Pogs. For anyone not around in the mid 90s, Pogs were collectable, circular cardboard discs, and the game was played by flinging heavier discs called “slammers” at the main discs. It’s essentially a Biblical stoning, with cardboard discs standing in for people. The game is thought to have originated in Hawaii at the beginning of the 20th century, and the original discs were those little caps that cover milk and juice (ya know, under the plastic top). This was essentially a game for poor kids and savages! I kid, I kid…At some point in the 90s, some marketing executive said, “You know what would be totally rad? If we put cool pics on these little milkcaps, and sell ’em like baseball cards! That’s a market that’s NEVER gonna die! Tubular!” Thus, the Pog Boom began. They were kids meal premiums, there were porn pogs, and you could make your own. Meanwhile, slammers were made from anything from plastic to friggin’ iron (confession: I once spent about $20 on a slammer. What? It had a hologram on it and weighed 3 lbs!). So, where am I going with this? I think the next collectible is right under our noses, possibly on top of our dinner: Pizza Box Tents.

Pizza-Protector1

Pic courtesy of pizzahh.com

Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of pizza box tents. That’s why I’m here – to educate you. You’ve seen them before, but probably never knew their name. Most people call them “the little pizza table” or something like that. After all, they make pretty good tables for when your G.I. Joes are having a cookout. Well, if you have seen them, then you realize what they’re for: keeping the box lid from being crushed down into the cheese and toppings of the pizza. It’s like rudimentary scaffolding. Still, it serves a purpose (just like the original milk caps), but also has a lot of “real estate” for marketing. Just look at the tops of those things. It’s basically a smooth surface, just begging to be adorned by Power Rangers and Spongebob Squarepants!

Pizza-Protector2

Artist’s Dramatization. These are paid pizza protectors.

 

In order to give these things a “purpose”, I guess there’ll need to be a play component. Here’s how the game works: It’s mainly a stacking game. Ultimately, you’re trying to build the tallest tower. In the place of a slammer, you would use the cheaper version of the box tent, without the flat surface, as support beams.

F8GUUOYH15N8ZQ0.LARGE

These were the box tents who were picked last for sports. Guess they have the last laugh!

OK, so we’re still working out the rules. It’s not like anyone’s actually gonna play the game. Hell, the only reason people played Pogs was that broadband internet wasn’t widespread at the time. The hobby will be built on the back of merchandising. To further the whole pizza theme, there will be carrying cases shaped like tubes of pizza dough. Oh, and did I mention what these little things would be called? ZABLES! Let it sink it. Sounds kinda space age, but it’s got two syllables and rolls off the tongue. “Hi, do you all carry Zables?” will be the most asked question during the Christmas season of 2017!

I know what you’re thinking: “That’s pretty farfetched, Will!” Well, plastic’s getting more expensive and toys are getting smaller. One of the smartest moves a toy company could make would be to restrict itself to a 2″ product that already exists in another industry. They wouldn’t even have to foot manufacturing costs! Hell, I’m about to create a Kickstarter to do this damn thing myself! I don’t suppose you wanna go into business with me, do ya? OK, well, I’ll leave this prospectus here, and just think it over, will ya?

Before I go, I want to leave you with this Pog-centric exchange that occurred a year ago. That’s right – I sit on ideas THAT long! Anyway, last February, I saw this on Craigslist:

POGS (reston)


Date: 2012-02-02, 11:26PM EST
Reply to:  [Errors when replying to ads?]


 

i’ve got a gallon ziploc filled about half way with pogs, slammers, a pog board, pretty much everything you need to get started. at least one tube maybe two for storage or travel. i will take just about any offer, ever since the accident i haven’t been able to pog anymore…. this isn’t code for drugs or anything…it’s really pogs… from the 90’s…POOOOGS.. i don’t want them…

  • Location: reston
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interest

I think I was hopped up on cold medicine or something (I was pretty sick 1st quarter 2012. I remember it like it was a year ago), so I just had to reply to him with the following:

Hi,

I saw your ad on craigslist, and, I hope you won’t take this the wrong way, but I MUST know your story. As a former POGger myself, I spent countless hours playing the game back in the day. It’s just that you mentioned an accident, and then promised that the ad wasn’t a cover for selling drugs. Naturally, my mind began to wander. What accident precludes one from the joy of POGs? Did you ever experience a classified ad for POGs that WAS a front for drugs? Like I said, SO many questions. In any case, thanks for your time. I don’t mean to offend or anything. I just feel like you’ve probably got a pretty interesting story to tell, and I just had to ask.
Thanks!
Will West

 

He actually replied with this:
comical sales pitch…i now feel guilty about the real injured, drug dealing, ex-poggers…oh the huge manitee!
A month later, I saw this:

POGS – $1000000 (nova)


Date: 2012-03-03, 11:12AM EST
Reply to: xxxxxxxx@sale.craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]


 

i’ve got a gallon ziploc filled about half way with pogs, slammers, a pog board, pretty much everything you need to get started. at least one tube, maybe two, for storage or travel. i will take just about any offer. ever since the accident i haven’t been able to pog anymore…. this isn’t code for drugs or anything…it’s really pogs… from the 90’s…POOOOGS.. i don’t want them…1,000,000.00 or whatever… fresh megamillions tickets… i will accept just about anything…except pogs

  • Location: nova
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

 

I don’t know if he ever got rid of those Pogs. I just know I’ll never forget what we had.

For a look at other LOEB Collectibles, check out Cool And Collected & Fortune & Glory (Days)

6 Responses to “LOEB Presents: Collectibles of Tomorrow”

  • Ha! I remember that Craigslist ad and was actually tempted by it for a second or two. 😉

    Glad to see WBW back with a League post!

  • That sounds like a fun game! I’m going to have to break out my pogs next time I order a pizza!

  • I’d feel a lot safer knowing that The Greatest of All Time himself Muhammad Ali was protecting the cheese on my pizza from melting against that cardboard lid. I’m sure other boxing legends are soon to follow, although you might have to sign some sort of licensing deal to use George Foreman’s likeness, what with his grill and all….

    Fantastic choice!

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