Killing Off a Monopoly Icon
We have a love-hate relationship with Monopoly in our house. I love it, my kids hate it. It is a big part of our Christmas week tradition. As we gather for the holidays we squeeze time in during the late night hours with game playing. We play Twister, Yahtzee, Clue and all kinds of card games. But nothing gets holiday tensions going like Monopoly.
The funny thing is that for as much as my kids hate Monopoly they love the tradition of playing it. Even with me. They claim I am arrogant, cruel, mean-spirited and conform too rigidly to the rules and that I sap all the fun out of playing together. But don’t ask them to go a holiday season without playing it.
So I have to wonder how they will react to the news that Hasbro is planning on killing off part of the game and introducing a whole new element to it this year. For whatever reason they have decided to allow users to vote which of the iconic game pieces to do away with and to vote on it’s replacement. The voting takes place on Monopoly’s Facebook page.
Our best Monopoly fights always begin with choosing the game pieces. Invariably, in my house, everyone wants to be the car.
But between now and February 5th anyone can go to Hasbo’s Facebook page and vote out the old and vote in the new.
“The tokens that are in the game today represent household items from the 1930s when the game was first introduced,” Hasbro Vice President of Marketing Jonathan Berkowitz told the Daily News. “We wanted to introduce a new token to the game that’s more representative of today’s Monopoly players.”
For those of you who think Monopoly is extremely boring, well, it will continue to remain so because no rule changes are in order. By the way, the longest Monopoly game in history lasted a nightmarish 75 days.
But for those who adore the classic game which helped define board games, and indeed, parts of American pop culture, there will be a new piece to choose from that may just wind its way around the board and into America’s hearts.
As of this writing, the wheelbarrow was losing, with a mere 3 percent of votes cast. Which makes sense because everything else in the game seems to be associated with something at least cute or fun or bomb-carrying. But what can you really do with a wheelbarrow except move dirt? At least the iron makes your shirts look nice.
If we had to make a prediction we would say the cat will win the new piece. There’s too big a culture for cats on Facebook and in the world for it to miss. Cats, like Monopoly, seem to have a love/hate relationship with the world, too. It just seems appropriate.
Besides, the rest of the new candidates for replacement tokens all look a bit as dated as the old pieces, especially the robot (ironic, eh?). If they wanted household items from our day to replace the household items of the 30s in the game pieces why didn’t they come up with a cell phone or a TV remote? Who is doing the thinking at Hasbro?
Anyway, they’ve found a way to once again breathe new life into the old franchise. I bet in my house we stick with the old tokens. Just like we can’t play one of the “new” versions of Monopoly — be it MLB Monopoly or Hollywood Monopoly or one of the other dozens of themed variations of the game out there — I doubt we’ll give up our old Monopoly game or the old game pieces. Chances are you will be able to get the old-timey piece replaced on Ebay down the road anyway.
Here are the suggested replacements we’re voting on:
Click to enlarge