File under: Amazon, eToys, For Kids, Games, Holiday Shopping 2006, Monopoly Here and Now, Product Launches, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart
Shopperism (the concept, not this website) has taken over our world and no where is that more evident than the new Monopoly Here and Now. The latest reissue of the classic Parker Brothers board game has been redesigned to what Hasbro considers “a representation of America in the 21st Century”. The game boasts five new tokens including a Toyota Prius Hybrid, New Balance running shoe, McDonald’s French Fries, a cup of Starbucks coffee, and a Motorola RAZR. The remaining three tokens are not branded and they include a Jet, a Labradoodle, and a laptop (couldn’t get Apple or Dell branding on this one?). It’s interesting that these products, representing the best and worst of mainstream American commercialism, were chosen. Despite their denials, I still suspect it has more to do with deals cut by the Hasbro team than anything else. Also, unlike the other products, Toyota is not an American company but they are the largest car company on the planet and if you look at the roads today, you’ll see that they are as American as Soccer and Gelato (meaning we’ve adopted them as our own).
Continuing the modernization of the game, which was based on Atlantic City real estate in the Great Depression, the new properties represent expensive real estate across the country. Boardwalk is now Times Square while Park Place was dropped for Fenway Park. How will kids ever know about Ventnor Avenue or Marvin Gardens? The four railroads were replaced by the four busiest airports in the country: Atlanta’s Hartsfield, Chicago’s O’Hare, LA’s LAX, and New York’s JFK. Also, inflation hurts, so dollar amounts are higher (pass “Go” get $2 million).
Monopoly Here and Now is available for around $30 from several online merchants including, Amazon, eToys and WalMart. Expect to see a significant advertising campaign in the near future. Those of you still craving for the original Monopoly (as designed in 1935) can continue to purchase the classic version and the many custom versions out there.