September 14, 2006, - 3:55 pm

If it Ain’t Broke . . .: New Monopoly Icons Stink

By Debbie Schlussel
My favorite board games are Monopoly, Risk, and Mastermind (Checkers, too).
The old-fashioned metal tokens used as Monopoly are part of the game’s charm and kitsch. But Hasbro, which can’t come up with any new games to math the time-tested real estate game, decided to ruin it–by remaking the tokens, with a liberal, commercialized edge. The new “Here and Now” version of Monopoly (expected to replace the original in the future) is out today.
Remember the classic race car? It’s been replaced by a politically correct Toyota Prius. The old-school boot? It’s now a New Balance running shoe. Even the dog got an extrem makeover and was re-shaped. Other new and not-improved game pieces include McDonald’s Fries, Starbucks Coffee (well, at least it’s not terrorist-allied Caribou Coffee), and a Motorola Razr cellphone.
Classic Monopoly Tokens . . .

monopolytokens.jpg

Extreme Makeover Monopoly Tokens . . .
monopolytokensnew.jpg

Was this really necessary? No. Nor is the renaming of Boardwalk and Park Place, which will soon take place. If it ain’t broke . . . .
For those of us who like the original tokens, our version from the Depression days–as invented by Charles B. Darrow in 1934–will still be available. And at a more classic price–$12-$20, compared with the new “Here and Now” edition, which will cost a whopping $30.
When remakes of the same thing are all the game and toy world can do, it’s a decline of America’s creativity. And the decline of America’s creativity is a symptom of the decline of capitalism and freedom.
Monopoly “Here and Now” is emblematic of that. First, Bazooka Joe. Now, Monopoly. What’s next? Classic Coke. Oops, they tried that already. And it was a disaster.

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13 Responses

“When remakes of the same thing are all the game and toy world can do, it’s a decline of America’s creativity. And the decline of America’s creativity is a symptom of the decline of capitalism and freedom.”
Yes, all the game and toy world can do is remake the same old thing. If they’d only figure out to incorporate the television into the gaming world, then we’d see a burst of creativity. They could call them video games, and what a goldmine it would be. But no one’s thought of it yet.
You are a hoot.

Avalon on September 14, 2006 at 4:44 pm

Prediction: New Monopoly will go the way of New Coke … you may wish to buy a set as a collector’s item.

doc99 on September 14, 2006 at 5:02 pm

soon they are going to change the guy on the game operation to gender neutral and rock um sock um robots will hug after the game i wonder how much mcdonald’s paid to have there a gamepiece added GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!

PNAMARBLE on September 14, 2006 at 7:50 pm

One thing to say for Bazooka gum: it’s still being manufactured in Israel w/ comics printed in Hebrew. (I bought some at a kosher market in the Orthodox Pico-Robertson section of LA earlier this year.)

Jeremiah on September 14, 2006 at 8:38 pm

The new board pieces are beyond ridiculous. Sorry, liked New Coke, though. I know, I’m the only one.

Allen on September 14, 2006 at 11:37 pm

Actually, this isn’t news. There have been numerous variations made of the Monopoly game over the years. Right now in Iowa there are versions for ISU and the University of Iowa. I remember one based on SoCal, as well.

Craig C on September 15, 2006 at 7:21 am

I didn’t know about this until your column, and kind of thought it was a silly and outrageous thing for them to do, kind of like New Coke (which someone else here already compared).
I guess we’re both getting old, Deb…..

hairymon on September 15, 2006 at 2:44 pm

Quote “When remakes of the same thing are all the game and toy world can do, it’s a decline of America’s creativity. And the decline of America’s creativity is a symptom of the decline of capitalism and freedom.
Monopoly “Here and Now” is emblematic of that. First, Bazooka Joe. Now, Monopoly. What’s next? Classic Coke. Oops, they tried that already. And it was a disaster.”
Is this why hollywood keeps remaking movies from the past and not making new movies todays?
Great articles Debbie Schlussel.

INFINITE on September 16, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Is it so horrible for a board game manufacturer to change its product to correlate with our changing and more technologically savvy culture? If the company will make money from it, what’s the big deal? Maybe all video games should just be Pong. Wouldn’t want to change it all up for the “classic” gamers out there!
BTW, Debbie, I noticed you presented no new ideas for the game companies.

llDayo on September 18, 2006 at 11:27 am

Let me see if I have this right. The maker of an extremely successful board game based on products and services from the depression era, updates the game using specifically named modern products and services in order to boost sales. Presumably, not only did they not violate copyrights, but probably were paid a lot of money for that kind of product placement.
Ok, so what you are saying is that this is an indication of the decline of capitalism? Lady, I would rethink this. In fact, this should be a case study at Harvard Business school.
Oh wait! I get it. They didn’t pick the car you like. Ok that’s different. Never mind.

Chiefley on September 18, 2006 at 1:15 pm

So with the war, global warming, Geneva convention questions, the national election and the possible outcomes, the Popes comments, $3 a gallon gasoline, you select Monopoly pieces as subject matter? How far in the sand is your head? Maybe there isn’t anything you can argue for Ms. Schulussel? Heaven forbid we get better mileage with our vehicles.

Patco13 on September 18, 2006 at 2:03 pm

OK, lemme get this straight: You complain that the old pieces have been replaced, but then say not only that they haven’t, since the original monopoly set will be available, but that the price won’t even change.
What exactly is your beef? Seems like a non-issue and a problem with saving energy (what have you got against a PRius?!?).
And I agree with Patco13 and Chiefley.
And I think the new dog is cuter.

HelenWheels on September 18, 2006 at 3:07 pm

“When remakes of the same thing are all the game and toy world can do, it’s a decline of America’s creativity. And the decline of America’s creativity is a symptom of the decline of capitalism and freedom.”
——————–
Wait, did you just equate a board game with the decline of capitalism and freedom?
Yeah. Yeah, you did.
Wow.

Jlam on September 18, 2006 at 11:19 pm

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