Financial News

  • 7 February 2013, 10:13

Monopoly Tokens: Iron Voted Out, Cat Voted In

After 78 years dodging the Go To Jail square, the iron is out of Monopoly and has been replaced by a cat.

The brutal decision on the board game token cull was taken by fans in 120 countries.

In the closing hours of voting on Facebook the "token out" vote came down to a race between the iron, the wheelbarrow and the shoe.

It was the iron that proved the least enduring.

The incoming cat token, complete with an M on its collar, triumphed over the robot, the diamond ring, the helicopter and the guitar to take its place on Go.

Cat lovers were perhaps simply trying to restore the balance - there is already a Scottie dog token.

The online contest to change the tokens, launched by toymaker Hasbro Inc, stemmed from chatter on Facebook, where Monopoly has more than 10 million fans.

It was intended to make the game relevant to fans today.

Monopoly's tokens originated when the niece of game creator Charles Darrow suggested using charms from her charm bracelet for tokens.

The tokens have changed quite a lot since Parker Brothers bought the game from its original designer in 1935.

The eight tokens were an iron, a race car, a Scottie dog, a shoe, a thimble, a top hat, a wheelbarrow and a battleship.

Most of the pieces were introduced with the first Parker Brothers version of the game in 1935. The Scottie dog and wheelbarrow were added in the early 1950s.

Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president for Hasbro gaming marketing, said: "We put five new tokens out for our fans to vote on and there were a lot of fans of the many different tokens, but 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.

"Tokens are always a key part of the Monopoly game ... and our fans are very passionate about their tokens, about which token they use while they play."             

The game is based on the streets of the casino town of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and it has sold more than 275 million units worldwide.

To make the game relevant to fans abroad, the names are changed to well-known streets in when it is introduced to a new country.

Mayfair and Park Lane are the most coveted squares on the board for London.

Versions of Monopoly with the new token will come out later this year.

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