Worldwide Vote on Monopoly Tokens: End of the Scottie Dog?

Worldwide Vote on Monopoly Tokens: End of the Scottie Dog?

In the latest example of The Future devouring The Past, one of Monopoly's decades-old tokens is destined for the rust (pewter?) pile. And while the beloved Scottie dog and race car seem safe, things don't look good for the iron and wheelbarrow. A worldwide vote is underway on - where else? - Facebook, and a new token will be revealed on February 6, 2013, incorporated in July.

“Some of the current tokens date back to the 1930s and are a representation of society at that time. We felt it was time for an update, to make them more reflective of modern day life and aspirations.”

--Kay Green, Hasbro UK’s marketing director

This isn't the first time the public has voted on a new Monopoly token. On 1999, fans choose a sack of money. In a likely reflection of today's economic gloom, the token was retired since people of today are more likely to use a wheelbarrow than they are a sack of money.

Monopoly

Image: renaissancechambara via Flickr

Been awhile since you've strolled Marvin Gardens? Here's a review of the classic Monopoly game tokens:

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Battleship
  • Sack of money (1999–2007 editions)
  • Man on horseback (no longer in classic edition)
  • Racecar Locomotive (Deluxe Edition only)
  • Thimble Howitzer, better known as a cannon (no longer in classic edition)
  • Old-style shoe (or boot)
  • Scottie dog
  • Iron
  • Top hat (my personal favorite)
  • Koala (Australian version)

Previous tokens retired in the 1950s:

  • Lantern
  • Purse
  • Rocking horse

One of the old tokens will be replaced by a symbol "more reflective of modern times." And if you are Hasbro, the makers of the legendary real estate game, you consider that to be one of the following:

  • Robot
  • Diamond Ring
  • Cat
  • Helicopter
  • Guitar

Furthermore, my 9-year-old nephew, Robbie, (the son of two real estate geniuses) became addicted to the classic version of Monopoly over Thanksgiving. When he learned of a credit card-ish version of the game existed (cash is replaced by a charge card and electronic swiper), he requested it for Christmas. I indulged him and the tokens include:

  • Hamburger
  • Skateboard
  • Indy race car
  • Airplane
  • Rollerblade
  • Cell phone (looks basic, not "smart" at all)

Also, Robbie gave me quite a beating. I'll probably end up working for him someday.

Random Monopoly Trivia because I can't help myself:

The game's history can be traced back to 1903 when an American gal, Elizabeth (Lizzie) J. Magie Phillips, created something called The Landlord's Game. Her goal was to educate folks on the single tax theory of Henry George, specifically, the downsides of a market monopoly.

Henry George was an American writer, politician and political economist and chief proponent of the land value tax, also known as the "single tax" on land. He inspired an economic philosophy known as "Georgism," wherein people can own what they create, but that everything found in nature, most importantly the value of land, belongs equally to all humanity.)

Okay, just one more nugget….In 1941, the British Secret Service commissioned a special edition of Monopoly for World War II prisoners of war, the unlucky souls held by the Nazis. Distributed by phony charity groups, the games included maps, compasses, real money, and other tools for aiding escape. Genius!

Finally, in his incredible Beacon Theater performance (worth much more than $5) Louis CK does a hilarious bit on playing Monopoly with his daughters (ages 6 and 9) and how it differs from a loss at, say, Candyland.

"A Monopoly loss is dark. It's heavy."

--Louis CK

So true. Whether or not you're traveling 'round the board with Scottie dog or a hamburger, that rent always come due.

Wishing you Free Parking now and always,

~Heather Clisby

BlogHer Section Editor, LIFE & GREEN

She blogs at ClizBiz and Second Chance Ranch.

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