Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go
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 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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