If your mind immediately thought of Do Not Pass Go - Do Not Collect $200 when you read that title, you've played more than a game or two of Monopoly, the board game that's been around since the 1930s. I know I've spent my share of hours collecting rent on Marvin Gardens and St. Charles Place (Boardwalk was always to ritzy for me) or taking a ride on the Reading. There's still a version of the game on a shelf in the closet although the box is in such sad shape it's a wonder it's still holding together.
Now it seems one of those cute little tokens that became our alter ego in the game is about to be given the Go To Jail card...permanently. That's right, Hasbro is retiring either the race car, top hat, iron, thimble, battleship, Scottie dog, wheelbarrow or shoe. Heck, I'm not sure I even remembered there was a battleship token in the game; perhaps ours was lost early on. At any rate, one of these little silver icons is about to go to the great Monopoly board in the sky...or wherever game pieces of yesteryear go when they're no longer considered fresh and relevant to today's players.
My pick in the game was always the top hat unless someone beat me to it. There's research, you know, to determine the profile of the person who chooses each token. The hat tied for second with the Scottie dog in popularity and those who chose it tended to be introverted, strategic and considered the odds of return before investing in a property. Now I know why I chose the top hat...I fit that description.
Here's a quick run-down on the other pieces: Car: (most popular) Outgoing, adaptable and usually male. Scottie dog: Loyal, mild risk takers, usually female. Shoe: Generous but easily riled, long memories when crossed, more females than males. Battleship: Cutthroat, rely on math to make decisions, aggressive. Thimble: Practical, creative, usually female. Iron: "Pluggers" who hang in to the end, handle adversity well, evenly played by men and women. Wheelbarrow: (least popular) Tough competitors, imagine the wheelbarrow filled with money, usually male.
The good news is you have a say-so in which of these tokens sticks around for a while. Hasbro launched it's "Save Your Token" campaign on the Monopoly Facebook page on Wednesday. Just like a reality show, the one with the lowest number of votes goes home...and doesn't collect $200 on the way.
And while you're there, you can vote for the replacement too. Personally I like the robot or the ring but the guitar is fun too. I wonder what those will say about the people who choose them. And if you're a die-hard Monopoly fan, you'll want to be watching for the limited-edition "Golden Token" edition of the game that arrives in Target stores in mid-February. It will be the last edition to have all of the classic tokens and the only set to have all five of the potential replacements. Now there's a collector's item for sure.
I can't help but wonder given prices now versus 1935 when the game was introduced if you still only get $200 when you pass Go.