Nov 2, 2001 10:13 PM

The spinach couldn't save Popeye this time.

New Jersey casino regulators have declared the famed cartoon Sailor Man irrelevant to today's kids and no longer of interest in the slot machine world.

Gil Brooks, an attorney for Bally Gaming, cited in a report that Popeye's appeal peaks in the 60-to-65 age group, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer story. Three Popeye video games are defunct.

"Popeye is indeed mainly a nostalgia figure," Deputy Attorney General Charles Kimmel told the New Jersey Gaming Control Commission, which had voted 5-0 to allow the Popeye slots.

However, the commission did an about-face Thursday, stating that Popeye could no longer be considered a way of marketing gambling to youngsters. The cartoon figure debuted in 1929.