Jan 10, 2013, 5:51 PM EDT
There are already more versions of the board game Monopoly than one can count — Monopoly Here and Now features versions with landmarks from just about every major U.S. city. And take a look at this frightening vision of a dystopian board game future: Monopoly City. Yikes. But to me, it’s still the classic game I grew up with: it took six hours to play and always ended with the dog eating three or four motels. Also featured: at least one violent argument over which game piece each person would use.
Speaking of that, the classic version of the Monopoly game will be undergoing a change very soon. In February Hasbro will be killing off one of the original game tokens. Right now there are eight: battleship, iron, race car, Scottie dog, shoe, thimble, top hat, and wheelbarrow. But in its new Save Your Token promotion, Hasbro is taking your votes to eliminate one of those, with a new piece then rising to glory in its place in new versions of the game this summer.
Those choices: toy robot, helicopter, cat, guitar, or diamond ring. Votes are being taken on Facebook right now. According to their latest data, the Scottie dog is the most popular, with 33 percent voting to keep it. The least popular? The iron and the wheelbarrow, with 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
My favorite, the thimble, is hovering in a dangerous no-man’s land at 9 percent.
Believe it or not, there are wagering odds on all of this.
Oddsmaker R.J. Bell of Pregame.com says the wheelbarrow has the best odds, 2-1, of being ousted because of “unstable board play” and it being “even less attractive to aspiring tycoons in today’s wired world.” That’s followed by the iron at 5-1 (“Who wants to iron in 2013?”); thimble, 6-1; battleship, 7-1; shoe, 8-1; and hat, 20-1. The two he thinks are pretty safe are the Scottie dog at 25-1 (“No one chooses to retire a dog”) and the race car, 30-1 (“Only if they want half as many kids to play”).
Of course this entire thing is a naked publicity grab for Hasbro, which has to know that the writing is on the wall for board games — even the venerable Monopoly. They need to develop a version that can be played on your cell phone with friends, and with an unlimited array of game pieces. “Well, well, well Mr. Trump, I notice by your tiny, silver hairpiece that you’ve landed on my hotel. That will cost you, my friend.”
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