Monday, September 9, 2013

#0075: Pogs/Tazos/Dizks

I don't claim to be an educator of any sort, but I don't think I'm out of line when I make the assumption that teachers worldwide hate collectible toys with a passion. Because it's so fucking important for kids to gather as many as possible, and if anyone fucks with your collection, there will be hell to pay.

I remember when I was in year 7, and a bunch of year 10s looked through my Pokemon cards. When I came home that day, I realised that several were missing. My mom had sent over some of the new Jungle series cards that hadn't yet reached Australia; Jigglypuff, Meowth and the like, and those motherfuckers stole them. What a bunch of heinous ball sacks! They had no interest in the cards, they probably just wanted to sell them for a couple of bucks. I hope they've since died of botulism. Seriously, fuck those assholes.

It's no wonder the various collectible series are soon banned from the schoolyard. We feel slighted as kids, because we weren't doing any harm, and true enough, we weren't; it was those soulless little shitballs that ruined it for everyone. Fortunately, I didn't go through that kind of distress back in my early collecting days. Because back then, I didn't go to school in the shitty western suburbs of Melbourne. I had a most delightful time gathering Pogs. Then Tazos. Then Dizks. Then spores, moulds and fungus.

Oh, Pogs, you crazy little pieces of cardboard. They were veritable schoolyard currency twenty-some years ago, and I remember that no Pog was to be left behind. At a school event with various games and activities, one of the stands gave out Pogs as a prize. So long were the lines, they eventually had to implement a three-game limit. We were being told we'd had enough Pogs, man.

Here's the family. As you can see, I had a whole bunch of Lion King Pogs. The lion's share, if you will. One of my less proud moments was when someone threw away their Power Rangers Pog, and I frantically chased it down. Who in the flying fuck is Aisha? Who cares, she was a Pog - she was a GOD. And I know you're all super jealous of my slammers and my limited edition 'secret weapon' Pog. Although I'm fairly sure they just put the limited edition line on there for shits and giggles, and it held no actual bearing on the rarity of the Pog.

In case you're wondering, no, I never played the actual game of Pogs. Especially not for keepsies - are you crazy? They were far too important for such frivolity!! From my Nickelodeon Gak Pog to my magic 8-ball hatching from an egg Pog, from my Ren & Stimpy Pog to my piece of styrofoam Pog depicting some kind of robotic foot.

Nowadays, Pogs are a relic of a time long gone. Most kids would have no idea what you were talking about, and anyone brave enough to explore are led to the disappointment that is the Perth Obstetrics Gynaecology Specialists. That's no fun. I want to study Pogs, not vaginas.

Much bigger in Australia was the Pog equivalent, Tazos. As you can see, I entered the game far too late, and didn't really garner much of a collection. I like to think I got the most important ones, though, representing Space Jam and the significance of Duff beer.

Eventually however, they grew wise to the morning viewing habits of kids around the country. What happened next would boost the sales of chip packets by some astronomical percent. Possibly over 9,000...!

Meet the Dragon Ball Z Dizks. These sons of bitches were (figuratively) huge, and kids bought snacks in bulk not for their daily intake of potato, but for the chance to increase their collection of Dizks. As you can see, they were separated into three categories: the red good guys, the black villains, and the yellow 'super characters'. Unveiling a mighty Super Saiyan Goku or Super Namek Piccolo was cause for celebration, as you triumphantly thrust that silly little yellow circle into the air. You were cooler than cool! You were the hip happenin' thing, baby. Do a boogaloo shuffle!

In case you were wondering, yes, I collected all 40 of them. It has led to a better life for me and my children. But sadly, even the most complete collection is waiting to be dwarfed. While we thought the yellow Dizks were top of the pops, we later discovered glorious Dizks with bright orange backgrounds. We knew these were irregular, and hence, more important. As you can see, I only had three. And beyond that, there were even rarer gold ones that I only once ever saw in person - walking through a forest in the rocky mountains one day. I tried to snap a photo, but alas, it was gone.

Later on, they introduced newer characters in fascinating new shapes, as well as branching on to other shitty animes like Beyblades, but the magic was gone. We had already invested enough time, energy and cholesterol into the fine art of Dizk collecting. In my youth, they told me that I had had enough Pogs. All those years later, I was able to tell the distant Pog relative... 'nah, bro - I've had enough of you.'
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