There are many ways to win the game of Monopoly and thus, become champion of the entire world or at least lord it over your three brothers. Any strategy includes scooting around the board with a token you choose to symbolize the defeat of your enemies. Whether you pick the race car, iron, Scottie dog, wheelbarrow, shoe, top hat, thimble, or battleship, you’ve probably got a favorite (old shoe). But soon, perhaps too soon for anyone with even one nostalgic bone in their body, Monopoly is going to get rid of one of those forever.
Perhaps not everyone is so resistant to change — I would absolutely refuse to play if the shoe wasn’t in the box at a friend’s house — but if you want to keep your favorite token, Monopoly is holding a vote on its Facebook page to save seven of the objects. Whichever one gets the least amount of votes by Feb. 5, well, you might just be bidding adieu to your Scottie dog. Permanently.
The replacement tokens include toy robot, helicopter, cat, guitar or diamond ring, and you can vote for those as well. Does this mean our culture just likes technology, cats, music and fancy jewelry instead of ironing and top hats? Perhaps.
Out with the old and in with the new and all that notwithstanding, Monopoly is going to capitalize on this publicity buzz long enough to sell a “Golden Token” limited edition Monopoly set that will be the last edition to include the classic tokens as well as the five young upstarts. The first game to have the shifted lineup will debut in late summer.
And lest you think you’re alone in your obsession with one, specific token, an actual Monopoly expert says that’s not true.
“There’s a love affair with the token that each player has settled on over time. It’s very seldom that you see a player not care about what token represents them on the game board,” a Monopoly expert who’s written three books on the game tells USA Today.
So why, why is Monopoly inflicting this pain on us? Because whatever doesn’t change can’t move forward and people get bored with routine. It’s an attempt to freshen the brand, says the vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming.
My beloved shoe will always have a place on my game board, and if it should be cast out, will make a perfect, tiny vessel for my tears. That cat is kinda cute, though.