Earlier this year, venerable party supply business Bartz’sclosed its Wauwatosa location, giving a final “HONK” to the store’s long and illustrious run. The family-owned business counted four Milwaukee-area locations at one time, though these days it has been reduced to stores in Menomonee Falls and Greenfield. It’s become that much harder to find a decent Jack Sparrow costume or a piñata in the shape of a Koopa Troopa or whatever.
But why wallow in the sad state of current affairs—and good lord they are sad—when you can wallow in cheap, easy, glorious ’90s nostalgia instead? Behold this indelible relic from the pre-internet Clinton decade: a trio of 1995 Bartz’s commercial for personalized photo Pogs. Yes.
“It’s a Pog, and it’s a picture of you!” explains a young girl before a Bartz’s announcer coins the term “Pog-tography.” Yes, no longer did ’90s children have to collect and play with regular Pogs (note: no one actually ever played with Pogs), now they could collect and play with personalized Pogs (seriously: no one actually ever played with Pogs). And hey, they were only $2!
“Where’d you get this?” asks a random dude in the final spot. “Bartz’s! The party store!” answers the girl. “That’s great,” says the dude. HONK!