Ak il A 11
They may be the Pet Rocks of the
1990s, but kids sure love 'em.
PHOTOS BY BILL GE MMELL
STEVE STEIN STAFF WRITER
Above: Doug Burda sells Pogs at Tel-Twelve Mall.
Right: Josh, Mike and Doug Burda check the merchandise.
Ms. Burda said sales for the first two
t didn't take long for Elissa Burda to
realize that selling Pogs was quite weeks were $60 and $92. After that, the
profitable. She's also quite aware that number jumped into three figures and
fads don't last a lifetime, so she's quick- stayed there. It reached four figures dur-
ly jumped on the bandwagon with I ing the holidays. Not bad for 41/2 hours
"Starting with the third week, I was
For those who don't know, Pogs are
decorated bottle caps which are being with the boys all the time," Ms. Burda said.
Crosswinds ended its shows this week,
collected and traded by youngsters across
the country. They also are being used for but the Burdas' involvement with Pogs al-
ready has gone far beyond the once-
a Pogs game. In less than five years,
Pogs have become a multimil-
They have gotten into the
wholesale end through their
It was last summer during
American Bottle Cap Co.,
a family vacation in Las Ve-
and they have cleared out
gas that Efim and Elissa
about a third of their Taylor
Burda, who own PartyMax
PartyMax store to devote to
stores in Detroit, Taylor and
Pog supplies and Pog tour-
Youngstown, Ohio, and their
three sons became acquainted
Ms. Burda said her sons,
Doug, 14; Josh, 10; and Mike, 7,
"We bought the boys a Pogs
starter kit, and we thought that selling who sold Pogs at a show Sunday at Tel-
Pogs would be a great business for them," Twelve Mall in Southfield, probably will
help out with the Pogs festivities at the
Ms. Burda said.
"We wanted them to learn about run- Taylor store.
Ten Pogs usually sell for $1. Slammers,
ning a business, so we got a table for them
at the regular Monday card and comic which are heavier than Pogs and used in
book show at Crosswinds Mall. The idea the game, also go for $1, but the prices for
was to have the boys make a couple of dol- both Pogs and slammers can go somewhat
lars and have some fun."
"How long will Pogs be hot? I don't
know. Right now, they're like Pet Rocks
during their heyday," Ms. Burda said.
"While people in the industry predict that
Pogs' popularity is just beginning, they
also think the fad will last another 1112
"Kids love Pogs because they are color-
ful and fun to feel. They also love digging
through them, looking for 'hidden trea-
sures.' The Pogs game is a lot of fun, too."
But Pogs also are causing problems at
some schools across the country. Games
are getting a little too serious, so some
schools have banned Pogs.
"I know they're not allowed at my son's
middle school in West Bloomfield, but we
sponsor monthly tournaments for ele-
mentary and middle-school kids through
West Bloomfield Schools," Ms. Burda said.
"You know, it's terrible that something
as fun as Pogs already should have a neg-
ative connotation. It's a real shame." ❑
Everything You Ever Wanted
To Know About Pogs
STEVE STEIN STAFF WRITER
its and pieces of
— Even though the play-
ing of bottle cap games
dates back at least to the
Depression, the latest fad
apparently started in
Hawaii in the early
1990s. That's when an
er had her students bring
cardboard bottle caps to
class so they could be
colored or painted, then
collected and traded.
— The children called
the caps Pogs because
that was the name of a
popular juice drink in
— In the Pogs game,
players begin by stacking
an equal number of caps.
After hitting the stack
with a slammer, the play-
er "wins". those caps
which flip over. Some-
times, game boards are
— Pogs are also called
milkcaps, caps or disks.
— A slammer also is
known as a kini or hitter.
— Lava tubes are used
to carry Pogs and slam-