I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I guess I’ll just get it out in the open: the iron is dead.
As of February 6, Hasbro Inc. decided to change one game token in the Monopoly game, replacing it with a new token. The new piece was decided by a contest via the Monopoly Facebook page (which has ten million fans), where fans were polled to find out which Monopoly token they did not like, and what they would want in its place.
The existing pieces are racecar, thimble, old shoe, Scottie dog, the battleship, the bag of money, the iron and the wheelbarrow. Obviously, the iron was eliminated.
The choices for new pieces were diamond ring, helicopter, guitar, cat and robot. The Facebook poll revealed the cat to be the winner.
Those of us who played monopoly as a kid but were the last to come to the table always had to choose between the old shoe and the iron. Everyone always preferred the racecar or the Scottie dog, or in the case of the monopoly game at my house, the bag of money. Why is the shape of the token so important? I don’t know. However, as a child, it was practically the worst fate in all of board game history to be saddled with an ugly token.
In an interview, Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president for Hasbro game marketing said, “Tokens are always a key part of the Monopoly game. Our fans are very passionate about their tokens, about which token they use while they play.”
My question is, who came up with the monopoly pieces in the first place? Who thought that a thimble was a good token for a game of savage property purchase and races to free parking? The iconic tools for our beloved monopoly game originated from the niece of its creator, Charles Darrow, who wanted to use charms from her charm bracelet to represent her placement on the game board. Most of the pieces were introduced on the original production of the game in 1935, but the Scottie dog and the wheelbarrow were added in the early 1950s.
My next question is why would any person vote for the cat when a robot, a diamond ring, a guitar and a helicopter are available?!
“I think there were a lot of cat lovers in the world that reached out and voted for the cat to be the new token for Monopoly,” was Berkowitz’s reason. Is he insinuating that many monopoly fans are crazy cat ladies/gentlemen, by any chance?
That doesn’t excuse a thoroughly uninteresting decision. Out of all of the cool new pieces to choose from, the cat was by far the least innovative. Cats are great, but to be frank, robots are so much out of the ordinary. Basically, anything would be out of the ordinary in comparison to the cat token.
As much I love Monopoly, this change is probably the least important piece of news that has happened so far in 2013 (which isn’t saying much). The thing that makes the change newsworthy is that this is the first time that the tokens have changed since the ‘50s. It is also the first time that fan input has been a part of the inclusion or omission of tokens in the game. However, other than that, this is a small piece of news when you think about all of the budget cuts coming up and other pieces of world news. •