This absolutely not a joke — the game is already available for pre-order from Target, which also happens to be one of the many brands you’ll find replacing favorites like and Marvin Gardens and B&O Railroad.
The Hasbro website doesn’t list all the brands involved in the game individually, but here are the ones we’ve figured out just from what can be seen in promo images:
And two-time reigning Worst Company In America champ EA!
It looks like Coca-Cola and Samsung must have paid Hasbro the most money, as these brands get the high-priced slots taken up by Boardwalk and Park Place, respectively, in the original game.
Meanwhile, squinting at images seems to reveal that Nerf gets the bottom-dollar Mediterranean Avenue position on the board, followed by what appears to be
Transformers in the Baltic Ave spot. Of course, these are both Hasbro brands, likely inserted because no outside brand would want to be associated with the low-rent district on the Monopoly board.
The branding continues on to the “Cool brand tokens” used to play the game are an Xbox controller, a Coca-Cola bottle, some McDonald’s fries, a Paramount slate, a Chevy car, and a Ducati motorcycle.
Here is the actual description of the game, which we hope was written in sections by several people so as to not have any individual copywriter become overwhelmed with the reality of how excruciatingly sad this whole endeavor is:
Choose one of the uniquely branded tokens, move around the board and start building your Empire! Buy your favorite brands one by one and slide their billboards onto your Empire tower: the game is a race to the top! Collect rent from your rivals based on your tower height. And be the first player to fill your tower with billboards to win!
With the Monopoly Empire game, you can own some of the biggest brands in the world! Every space on the board is an iconic brand, including Xbox, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Samsung! Splash your Monopoly cash to build your Empire tower as high as it can go. You’ll need to make tough decisions and smart moves to take down the competition and be the first to reach the top. Hit the big time and own the world’s top brands with the Monopoly Empire game!
This makes us long for the day when Monopoly’s most offensive version was the $40 Coca-Cola 125th Anniversary Collector’s Edition. That game was a 2011 finalist in the Campaign for the Commercial-Free Childhood’s annual TOADY award for the year’s worst toy.
So we asked the CCFC if it was aware of this brand-new, brand-heavy version of Monopoly, and whether it has to be considered a front-runner for this year’s contest.
“The TOADYs are going to be quite competitive this year — 2013 is turning out to be a banner year for awful toys,” says Susan Linn, Ed.D., CCFC Director and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. “Monopoly Empire is certainly a contender. It’s a marketer’s dream — kids as young as eight spending hours staring at, thinking about, and working to acquire YOUR BRAND HERE. That kind of ‘sticky’ advertising is much more powerful than a mere TV commercial.”
Honestly, at this point maybe we should just start naming our children little Samsung Galaxy Jr. and McChicken the Third and hopefully get paid for it, rather than being expected to pay $20-25 for the privilege of increasing brand awareness through a child’s board game.