A Collection Begins: めんこ

January 13th, 2010 in Misc

Menko, めんこ, is a game very similar to Pogs (admit it, you owned some pogs). The cards (also called Menko) are made from thick cardboard and were originally found inside packs of cigarettes and candy. The objective of the game is to flip your opponent’s card over by tossing down one of your own. If you are successful, you collect their card and keep yours.


Since cards are made from approximately the same material, winning requires a bit of technique over the sheer power. No “slammers”, though I can still remember my slammer. It looked like someone cut a circle out of a manhole cover. It was guaranteed to dent or bend the top few pogs. Still, because of the action of throwing the cards, it is difficult to find Menko cards in good condition.

I picked these cards up in Yokohama for around ¥50 – ¥100 each. I had to control myself… I could have easily walked out with the entire bin of cards, they were all so interesting. I picked up enough to start my small collection!

The back of each card is often as interesting as the front. Each card has a unique serial, but due to production I imagine there had to have been errors and duplicates out there. I really love the misaligned offset registration and poorly aligned die-cuts. True signs of traditional mass production. Beautiful.

Astro Boy


Roy Rogers ?!

Miscellaneous cards:

トップ ライト / “Top Right”

アトラス / “Atlas” class space shuttle

Now, to find an antique shop nearby that sells these… more soon!

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