Johnson City Press Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Out of My Head

Monopoly tokens put to a vote

January 14th, 2013 9:09 am by Jan Hearne

Chalk this one up as something I never expected to see in my lifetime: Hasbro is changing one of the Monopoly tokens. Knowing the controversy this will cause if they just arbitrarily eliminate one, they want the public to decide on Facebook which one gets the old heave ho.
If you don’t remember, and, really, how could you not, the current tokens are battleship, iron, race car, Scottie dog, shoe, thimble, top hat and wheelbarrow.
I always wanted the Scottie dog, though, being the youngest, I can’t remember if I ever got it. Runners up were the race car and the top hat.
It’s been decades since I’ve played Monopoly, but I think Hasbro should have the decency to wait until I’m dead to make changes to the game. There’s enough turmoil in the world without unnecessary and distressing revisions.
It appears the The Associated Press has taken a survey and 38 percent voted to ax the iron. I can’t say that I don’t understand, the 21st century being what it is, but the iron is a throwback to a simpler time when 20-pound hunks of metal were heated on the stove by women with no options and six children underfoot all under the age of 5. Well, maybe the iron can go.
I am not quite alone in my opposition to change, however. On Thursday, 44,550 Facebook fans were “talking about this.” Yes, I am talking to you about this but how did they know?
Comments on Facebook range from “Please leave the Monopoly pieces as is!! ” to “I HATE YOU HASBRO!!!!!!!!!!” My feelings fall somewhere in the middle.
The Hasbro company also wants the Facebook crowd to choose the new token. Our choices are cat, diamond ring, guitar, toy robot or helicopter.
The diamond ring cannot be an option. You do not play a game involving the acquisition of money while pushing a diamond ring around the board. It’s just not done. What if you go to Jail, I mean, directly to Jail? A diamond ring in jail — that’s just ridiculous.
If there must be a “winner,” it only seems fair that the cat win. Dogs have been represented since the 1950s, while cats waited on the sidelines, licking their paws as if they didn’t care, the brave pose masking a broken heart.
I’m not saying I want anything to change. Change is bad, unless it’s good, and this one is bad.
The AP poll shows the robot in the lead with 38 percent (the same people who voted against the iron, I presume.)
Voting on the Facebook site does not begin until Tuesday and ends Feb. 5. It is not so much a mandate on the worthiness of our old tokens but more of a publicity stunt to draw attention to Hasbro’s products. As if the Easy-Bake oven gender stereotyping controversy weren’t enough.
If you’ll read the comments on Facebook, you’ll soon understand, as I have, a Monopoly token is being sacrificed to draw attention from the Furby debacle of Christmas 2012.
A representative Facebook comment: “Shame on your for scaring kids with the expensive, satanic, evil Furby that chants some incoherent thing the Furby translator cant [sic] identify then the next day dies and won’t work after battery change or re-set [sic].”
I’m on to you Hasbro.

Jan Hearne is the Press Tempo editor. Reach her at jhearne@johnsoncitypress.com.

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