Frito-Lay laid the groundwork for a marketing campaign that involved Pokemon back in the 1990s. The campaign ran well into the new millennium and became known as Pokemon Tazos. Tazos are like Pogs and definitely boosted the attention of Pokemon and Frito-Lay aficionados alike. But are they worth anything?
A complete set of rare Tazos can sell for up to $900. Of course, you will have to have the entire set and there were many sets of Tazos over the years, completely designed to sell potato chips. For the most part, Tazos are not worth very much outside of sets.
A Tazo is a disc, probably designed that way so they would easily fit inside a bag of Frito-Lay potato chips or a box of cereal from either Frito-Lay or a subsidiary of the same. A lot of people put their Tazos away in special protective plastic cases or in boxes, sensing that one day they may hold value.
What Started Tazos?
In 1994, Tazos were first released in only Sabritas chips bags. It started as a Looney Tunes endeavor and later included more and more brands, eventually coming around to Pokemon. It also included Digimon, Sailor Moon, Pokemon 2, Pokemon 3, Yu-Gi-OH, and Dragon Ball Z.
These discs were largely based on games with Mexican roots, where kids would pop bottle caps off with their sneakers, attempting to send them flying as far and wide as possible. It proved to be a pretty popular game in schoolyards across the country.
It also served as the inspiration behind the eventual Pogs or Tazos. The tazos proved pretty popular, released in over 60 countries before it was all said and done.
Which Chips Had Pokemon Tazos in Them?
It’s hard to track which chips held Tazos as Frito-Lay is spread out all over the world and the Pokemon Tazos and Frito-Lay collaboration wasn’t just something that happened in the United States. Several countries participated.
In fact, some of the rarest and most valuable Tazos are Israeli and European, rather than American. At first, Tazos were released as circular “chips” and you could find them in any potato chip bag that held the Frito-Lay/Pepsico brand on it.
Later, the circular “pogs” became octagonal pogs. The octagonal pogs gave way to actual cards late in the marketing campaign, and Pokemon was far from the only brand on these Tazos. The following chips included Tazos in their brand campaign:
- Uncle Chipps
- Cheese Tris
- Smith’s Potato Chips
- Piqueo Snax
- Lay’s Potato Chips
The Pokemon Tazos that were released in Frito-Lay’s bags and its subsidiaries did not include chips released in Australia. Apparently, Pokemon never really took off there. Although plenty of Tazos released in Australia, none of them included Pokemon.
What Was the Purpose of Tazos?
Tamagotchis were huge in the 90s, effectively serving as yesterday’s smartwatch. These devices led the way into a world where Dragon Ball Z, Digimon, and Pokemon become multi-billion dollar empires.
With such a huge popularity base and fanatical fans, it only made sense for Pepsico and Frito-Lay to come to some sort of a deal. Including Pokemon Pogs in bags of chips, along with other popular collectors’ card games, including Yu-GI-Oh.
Around the time that the Tazos craze was starting to wrap up, in terms of popularity, a few final sets were released that included Footy Legends NRL and Footy LEgends AFL. All of it finally came to an end in 2008.
Was Tazos a Game?
Tazos was a game, at least it was a game in a way. Many people who received Tazos in their bags of chips never did anything with them except store them away, in case they ever became of value.
Tazos did enjoy some gaming popularity in schools, much like pencil break did. It was more of a fad that faded away with time. The game was played by taking the Pokemon discs, or whatever cartoon or object was on them, and stacking them.
The Tazos were stacked face-down and each player would have an equal number of Tazos, all stacked face-down. Another player would throw their own Tazos at the opposing player’s stack. If that player managed to knock some of them over and any fell face-up, the player that threw the Tazos would keep the ones that landed face-up
Since Tazos weren’t worth nearly as much as a few of the completed sets are today, it was no big deal to lose a few and win a few over the course of several games. That was the entirety of the game and certainly, a lot of Tazos were lost and won over the course of several years.
Some Sites Claim Pokemon Tazos are Worthless
These sites are right in a lot of ways. The vast majority of Tazos are worth a few nickels, possibly as much as a dollar if you find the right buyer. There are a few of the ones released that are highly prized, and none of them are Pokemon.
Most Valuable Tazos/Pogs
The most valuable tazos are probably not the ones you think they are. In a set, some of the Pokemon Tazos are worth money but nowhere near as much as Space Jam or Dragon Ball Z.
- Defective Pogs
- Power Rangers
- Bart Simpson
- Nintendo Power’s Earthbound Pogs
- The Originals
- The Mascot
- Premier League Caps
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- The Wizard of Pogs
- No Fear
Since their initial releases in the mid-90s, Tazos or Pogs, depending on what you want to call them, have become collector’s items, ending their run almost two decades ago. While some hold pretty good value in a set, they’re worth very little individually.
Pokemon Tazos in particular are not worth very much but they’re extremely cool to own as a collector’s item. If you have them all together in each of their released sets, some can be worth a decent amount of money. Individually, however, they’re not worth as much as the ones listed above.