Gribler Dairy Milk Bottle Caps


1 in stock


American Milk Bottle Cap set of six used by Gribler Dairy featuring their various roducts. Circa 1950-1960’s.  They measure 4cm in diameter.  Milk bottle caps are collectable and can be used to play the game POGS.

Pogs is a game played with milk bottle caps.  This game was popular among children during the early to mid 1990’s.  The name Pog originates from POG, a brand of juice made from passionfruit, orange & guava.  The use of POG bottle caps to play the game preceded the games subsequent commercialisation.

The origins of the game go back much further.  Japanese Menko had been popular since the Edo period from 1603 – 1867 and centred on players attempting to flip cards of pieces of their opponents.  Like Pogs, Menko playing pieces were roughly the size of milk caps and featured images of Japanese cultural icons like wrestlers & warriors, shaped from clay, wood or ceramics.  Japanese immigrants then brought the game with them, when they settled in Hawaii in the 20th Century.  Industrious children used milk bottle caps as Menko playing pieces.

The POG branded juice was sold by the Haleakala Dairy of Maui, Hawaii during the 1920’s & 1930’s.  Caps in collections mostly date to the 1940’s – 1960’s.  In 1955, Haleakala discontinued using the glass containers, but continued making the caps to allow the game to be played.  In 1991 Haleakala expanded to the more populated Oahu Island, which led to the revival of the game.  With this revival, the Pog name began being used genetically for the game.

The 1990’s revival is credited to Blossom Galbiso, a teacher guidance counsellor who taught at Waialua Elementary School in Oahu.  In 1991 she introduced the game she had played as a little girl to a new generation of students, soon incorporating milk caps into her 5th grade curriculum as a way of teaching math and as a non violent alternative to other popular school yard games such as dodgeball.

By early 1992 STANPAC Inc, the small Canadian packaging company that had been manufacturing the milk caps distributed by Haleakala Dairy on Maui, was printing millions of milk caps every week for shipment to the Hawaiian Island chain.  By 1993 the game was being played in California, Texas, Oregon and Washington, then throughout the world.

Real vintage milk caps have small staples in them, which, when stacked, produced a random element to the game.  Regular milk caps were used to throw at the stack and were able to flip the pile.

The World POG Federation and Canada Games company reintroduced them under the Pog brand name in the 1990’s.  They were handed out for opening bank accounts and in McDonald’s Happy Meals.  Skybox International & Marvel added Pogs to their lines under the names SkyCaps & HeroCaps.

Because many children would keep the milk caps they won in games from other players, many school districts considered milk caps a form of gambling, which led to them being banned in countries such as Sweden & Australia, Germany, UK & Iceland.  This ended the fad in the mid 1990’s.

So how to you play Pogs?  Keeping the Japanese Menko Game in mind, as well as the 18th Century Tiddlywinks and marbles in mind, the rules of the game vary, but typically each player has his/her own collection of milk caps & one or more slammers – a heavier plastic cap or thicker cardboard cap.

Before the game, players decide whether or not to play ‘for keeps’.  That is players get to keep the milk caps that they win during the game and must forfeit those that have been won by other players.

Players each contribute an equal number of milk caps to build a stack with the pieces face down, which will be used during the game.

Players take turns throwing their slammer down onto the top of the stack causing it to spring up and the milk caps to scatter.  Each player keeps any milk caps that land face up after they have thrown.

After each throw, the milk caps which have landed face down are then re-stacked for the next player.  When no milk caps remain in the stack, the player with the most Pogs is the winner.

If you are now enthused enough to introduce your adult friends, children or grandchildren to the game of Pogs, or vintage milk bottle cap collecting, these and many more are available for sale at Morpeth Antique Centre.