Dear Hasbro, what the hell? The American toy company have kicked off the new year with a Facebook campaign designed to get people to rank and vote for their favourite Monopoly piece/figurine. Whatever piece gets the least number of votes gets the, ahem, boot.

The iron stays, or you pass go without collecting $200… Photo: Herald Sun

The wheelbarrow and iron are looking pretty vulnerable at this stage. While the Scottie Dog and Monopoly “town car” are coming out on top. Once the unlucky piece has been decided it’ll be completely replaced with a robot, diamond ring, cat, helicopter or guitar. Sob.

Leaving aside arguments about which piece is less or more deserving for a second, let’s talk about Hasbro’s flagrant disregard for the first principle of toy marketers everywhere: don’t mess with nostalgia, it makes people upset. 

No wonder their Facebook competition page doesn’t allow for comments.

Monopoly is a game literally dripping with nostalgia - everyone can name at least one place they played it. And that’s because it’s perfect (closely followed by Scrabble). Why? You can dumb it down for younger players, or amp it up for drunker, louder ones.

Is there any better feeling than holding those papery wads of cash in your hand and slapping down houses and hotels on fancy streets? And what about the colours on the cards? The liquid blue of Mayfair and the deep, mossy green of Bond Street. Or that feeling of completely nonsensical self-importance when you get to be banker…

Monopoly’s success is also unsurprisingly, reflected in the sales figures. According to the Huffington Post, 500 million people have played the game in 80 different countries and 26 languages since it was first created by Charles Darrow in 1935.  Hasbro Australia told The Punch that approximately 2.5 million copies of the original boardgame have been sold over the past 40 years.

Imagine what he’s thinking right now? I’m guessing it would something along the lines of: “It’s taken you 78 years to change something about my awesome game and only NOW you want to get rid of the iron?”

Hear, hear Mr Darrow. But in the interests of being a good team player, (unlike some people!) if we really have to give something the chop, why not make it that silly thimble? Give it another five years and that archaic, albeit very practical piece of domestic engineering, will be completely unrecognisable anyway.

Oh and in terms of replacement, my money’s on the diamond ring - you’ve got to have something to wear once you’ve lined up all that fancy real estate.

Follow me on Twitter, and I’ll give you a free Chance card: @lucyjk

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36 comments

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    • Ridge says:

      10:19am | 10/01/13

      Hah, it’ll be the thimble or the iron.

      Lucy, for your prediction on the diamond ring, you may pass Go and collect your $200.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      10:33am | 10/01/13

      I don’t care what they include—though the robot does strike my fancy—because I won’t be buying a set.

      And that’s because of the cheap plastic crap they include the box.

      Tokens should have some heft and solidity to them; you should WANT to touch them, appreciate the artistry and craft that goes in to their making.

      But the lightweight plastic pieces of rubbish that are used in modern Monopoly don’t do any of these things.

      So, no purchase.

    • Christian Biggins says:

      10:37am | 10/01/13

      Thimbles have no place in nostalgia. Good riddance.

    • patsy says:

      12:20pm | 10/01/13

      I use a thimble. I have just hemmed up fiances’ mums’ skirt and mended a seam in his good pants.

      You may as well throw away the thimble to represent the throw away world people live in now.

    • bg says:

      01:42pm | 10/01/13

      Rubbish. I have a collection of antique silver thimbles and some of them are absolutely stunning. They’re also useful little objects and I do use them, especially when mending socks and putting buttons back on.
      Oh hang on, repairing things has no place in modern society. oops

    • Tim says:

      10:40am | 10/01/13

      They should update other things in the game too.

      Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place.

      Instead of getting a hotel when you get four houses, you should be able to convert two houses into a McMansion and four houses into a multi unit slum block

      A Too Big To Fail card where once you own enough assets you become immune from taxes or jail time.

      I’m sure there’s plenty more they could change, who cares about nostalgia.

    • nihonin says:

      10:55am | 10/01/13

      lol

      +1

      Brilliant updates.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      11:49am | 10/01/13

      Nice smile  I’d play that game…

    • sunny says:

      12:26pm | 10/01/13

      I reckon there should be mandatory building inspections. Some poor sod might think snapping up Old Kent Road for a song is a bargain, but when they find out it has cracked foundations, white ants and 75 year old wiring they’ll soon realise with the ongoing outlay they might as well have just splurged on Leicester Square.

    • Roxanne Ford says:

      12:32pm | 10/01/13

      @Tim.  Best thing I have read all day.  Thanks for the great laugh.

    • AFR says:

      01:15pm | 10/01/13

      Sunny, I also thought that in the Community Chest you might draw the NIMBY card, where hippies try to stop you building your hotels.

    • sunny says:

      01:42pm | 10/01/13

      AFR - if that happened then Tim’s Dodgy Lawyer card would be the only option - sue the dreadlocks off their hippy asses ..or maybe just send in the bulldozers anyway! smile

    • Tim says:

      02:52pm | 10/01/13

      Now that I’m thinking about it, there should be a Gina or Twiggy card as well.

      Any property you buy, you can turn into a Mine and get massive revenue.

      But just watch out you don’t get the dreaded MRRT card. Then you have to pay all of your profits to the government or spend 10 rolls on the “Africa” space.

    • sunny says:

      05:01pm | 10/01/13

      Tim - if you look to your right you’ll see that you are the worthy winner of the Nosebleed Prize for Literature. Champion effort. As previous holder of the title I feel like I have to hand over a green jacket or something and say a few words. I’ve enjoyed my time at the top and the fame, adulation and free alcohol it has brought, but it’s time to pass on the sceptre, and I can’t think of a more deserving recipient. Rule wisely, go forth and do good. I’m tearing up now so I’m off to find a hanky.

    • Ally says:

      10:40am | 10/01/13

      I love Monopoly, but haven’t played for years and years. This is mostly because family games descend very quickly into arguments over who got to be the dog, bouts of cheating, sneaky thefts from the bank, gloating, victory dances and the occasional flip of the board.

    • SLF says:

      11:33am | 10/01/13

      +1 Monopoly has once again been banned in our household until next Christmas or Hasbro include a UN peacekeeper, Fraud Investigator and Banking Watchdog with the board.

      Played Monopoly many times and never yet completed a game.

    • Christian says:

      10:59am | 10/01/13

      As long as the top hat stays I’ll be right as rain!

    • LJ Dots says:

      01:39pm | 10/01/13

      oh man, I knew someone would claim the top hat before I got here in time - I’ll take the thimble damnit.

      The slipper has to go though.

    • Arnold Layne says:

      11:05am | 10/01/13

      They lost the plot years ago when they created 127 different versions of Monopoly.  Having said that, the original version of the game should remain sacrosanct.  Don’t they have enough other versions of it to mess around with?

    • Economist says:

      11:17am | 10/01/13

      Pthu! I spit on Hasbro. They’ve been milking this cash cow for ages. What difference will it make when there are over 250 versions of the game already! Though I must confess I have the Star Wars version http://monopoly.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Monopoly_Games_(Board) .

      I’m surprised with Canberra’s centenary anniversary this year they didn’t release a Canberra version, but who would buy State circle?

      I despise Hasbro though because they’ve ruined the best board game, Trivial Pursuit. I have every edition of Trivial Pursuit when it was run by Parker Brothers with the exception of 7 versions, mainly US editions and the mini packs, who need Nickelodeon! Damn you Hasbro for dumbing the game down with your Bet you know it and ridiculous questions.

    • b2 says:

      11:20am | 10/01/13

      Our new version of Monopoly has a whole new set of tokens, and no cash money, it’s got debit cards instead.

      The new tokens are Skateboard, Rollerblade, Hamburger, Passenger Jet, Mobile Phone and F1 Race car.

      Apart from this, it’s still exactly the same, boring, crappy game that my wife loves to play smile

    • SAm says:

      11:29am | 10/01/13

      The entire point was to get people talking about Monopoly. hasbro got a win here

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      11:31am | 10/01/13

      Real boardgamers don’t play Monopoly. Having said that, one of the most popular boardgames on the BoardGameGeek website is Agricola, a boardgame on farming, so go figure…..

    • walshsy says:

      11:34am | 10/01/13

      What about a real monopoly game where we get to vote out Coles or Woolies? Might save some farmers.

    • DocBud says:

      12:14pm | 10/01/13

      Of course, in Monopoly one is sent to Jail, not gaol, the headline offends my nostalgia.

    • Jack says:

      01:15pm | 10/01/13

      You can take the wheelbarrow from my cold, dead hands.

    • PW says:

      01:26pm | 10/01/13

      It’s a long time since I played this game, but I do remember that a property can have only one hotel, and either houses or a hotel, not both. So what’s with Mayfair in the pic?

    • Ally says:

      01:59pm | 10/01/13

      Don’t you have to buy four houses before you can get a hotel? So you could theoretically have hotels already and be started on buying enough houses to get the next one.

      I’m really not sure. My elder brother used to hide the official rules and just make up his own when we played.

    • Nostromo says:

      01:45pm | 10/01/13

      I had a really nice Star Wars collector’s monopoly set…until my wife made me get rid of it an a garage sale a few years back… :(

    • Anubis says:

      02:07pm | 10/01/13

      Nostromo was that number one or R2?

    • Billy Bob says:

      01:50pm | 10/01/13

      on my 60 year old set of monopoly the colours are all different to they are now. times have already changed

    • MarnieGirl says:

      02:07pm | 10/01/13

      Well it’s certainly come a long way from the original game which was drawn on a tablecloth by a housewife fed up with the capitalist system!

      I love my mum’s 1970s monopoly board; all the cards are miscoloured (pall mall is now a very ugly maroon, and the light blues are almost completely faded away) and I won’t be buying a new one. I agree with the person who said that the new plastic pieces have nothing on the old, heavy, metal pieces that are heaven to touch.

      Add in the “The Young Ones” nostalgia of making up your own rules (“You have won second prize in a beauty contest; smash Ric over the head with the bank”; “There is a bank error in your favour; set fire to Ric’s bed”) and you have a golden game!

    • subotic says:

      02:45pm | 10/01/13

      What about keeping up with the times and adding, say, a “gay” piece/figurine?

      Eco-nazifeminist piece/figurine?
      Islamic piece/figurine? (can’t look like The Prophet ® tho)
      Justine Beiber’s Bong piece/figurine?
      Climate Change piece/figurine? (all plastic melty looking)
      Warnie piece/figurine? (dito)
      Mass Shooting piece/figurine? (a gun maybe)
      HD TV Station piece/figurine? (lots of the same old shit. but even more of it)

      God, there’s not enuff hours in the day to do this…..

    • Aussie Wazza says:

      03:05pm | 10/01/13

      Probably adaptable for any city, but my ideas are based on Sydney.

      Here if you bought a Westy property you would not be able to buy a North Shore or Eastern suburbs property.  But if you had one of those North or Eastern properties first, you could buy the Westys properties AND then with your purchase you would get a bonus two hotels. You could also put up to 5 hotels on a Westy and 6 factories (A new addition).

      Westys would only be allowed the iron, thimble or washboard (new) and anyone with a full set of any North Shore or Eastern Suburbs colour could select the token they want if it is ‘owned’ by a Westy.

      ‘CHANCE ’ cards added would be 1/  Upset a traffic Cop = 1 x $100 fine for the next six throws. (VOID if you have a full set of North or Eastern properties.)  2/ Marry a millionaire card. which entitles you to select ‘free’ any property not yet sold. 3/ A ‘met a parking warden’ which means that you must pay to the bank &100; every time you land anywhere.

      As in true life there would be a ‘buy a politician’ card which would allow you to select and buy any property without actually landing on it, avoid tax, and fit out your properties with whatever buildings you desire at half price and you would get an extra turn every round.

      An ‘upsetting a politician’ chance card would mean you MUST hand over any utilities to the player with the most Northern North Shore properties and you would miss three turns.

      Passing ‘GO’ you will receive 50% of the value of the properties you own.

      I like the ‘shonky lawyer’ idea but that would only be available to anyone with a set of North Shore or Eastern Suburbs properties.

      There would be an ‘Inherit a mine’ card which would treble the holders payment when passing GO and eliminate your tax for the rest of the game.

      On and on the ‘true to life’ ideas keep coming, but that will do for now

    • stephen says:

      03:09pm | 10/01/13

      Hah ... the picture has a super tax of $100.

      Can’t be a game for miners.

    • Gordon says:

      03:25pm | 10/01/13

      We recently bought a new set for friends w/ young kids. Noticed The field gun has already gone.  Hippy peaceniks must have got in their ear.

      Suggested updated tokens:
      a drill rig and a wind turbine
      a tank and a little John Lennon
      a big Mac and stick of celery

 

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