It was just announced that Monopoly would “retire” 3 game pieces and replace them with a new series – a T-Rex, a Penguin, and a Rubber Ducky. Not bad choices. But who lost? No – don’t worry, the Scottie Dog survived. But we will no longer see in new game boxes the Wheelbarrow, the Boot, nor the Thimble … THE THIMBLE for God’s sakes!? These changes have definitely shifted the paradigm of power and respect for inanimate objects the world over, and so I thought it important to call out some winners and losers from the decision:
WINNER: 5-7 year old boys
There isn’t a young man alive that I know of that hasn’t enjoyed a “Dinosaur Phase,” including yours truly. And while we may no longer carry them around or play with figurines and Dino-toys, … our fascination never quick goes away (Look at the Shark Week demographics!) Now, I’m sure plenty of young ladies are into the prehistoric creatures as well, so enjoy your newfound respect as well. But make no mistake, it will be young boys hitting the play dates and playgrounds with a puffier chest (great, just what we need).
LOSER: The Working Class
Monopoly was ironically invented in the middle of the Great Depression. So it is particularly cruel that the sewing Thimble, work-person’s Boot, and Wheelbarrow have been put out to pasture. All great symbols of manufacturing or working up a sweat outside of a cushy office job.
WINNER: The Fight to Save the Glaciers
Penguins may not be as “hot as Handel right now,” but about 10 years ago, you couldn’t turn the corner without a penguin movie or documentary. And they remain popular. How could they not? They come in different sizes, walk funny, slide down things, and even look cute hopping into the freezing cold water. Cats and dogs don’t stand a chance against them in the “cute animal porn” department on social media. So what does this have to do with Global Warming? Well, for starters, Antarctica is nearly in danger of breaking in half, and you know how ice cubes work – more surface area exposed to water, faster melting of each piece. So perhaps the silver lining I’m hoping for in the Penguin game piece is it will again draw attention to our disappearing glaciers as much as Morgan Freeman and those Emperor Penguins did as they Marched into our hearts in 2005.
LOSER: Purists and Sentamentalists
I realize I even exclaimed shock at the absence of the Thimble – perceived as America’s easy to move favorite. But I am actually in favor of games and other traditions updating themselves to meet the times they are in. . . if I like the changes, of course. So there will be some National League stalwarts who curse the DH in baseball, that may rise up to stand against Parker Brothers’ changes to its beloved Monopoly. But I would remind them and any other Norman Rockwell that strolls by that even a classical game as revered as baseball continues to experiment with new rules and regulations. Just look at the last couple of seasons where Major League Baseball has made changes to shrink the time between innings and pitches so that the pace of games is more acceptable to the modern attention span.
WINNER: John Perez
Apologies to those for whom this reference may be unfamiliar… But the former Speaker of the California State Assembly and widely respected political hand has been known in state political circles to collect and gift various rubber duckies to friends and allies, and endorsees over the years. Now, John has his own Monopoly piece to boot! (oh, but we got rid of the boot!)
WINNER: Memorabilia Collectors
I can see it now – (we’ll call it) “millions” of rabid game collectors and eBay junkies running to toy and game shops, garage sales, and robbing their neighbor’s homes in search of as many retiring game pieces they can to horde until their value on auction sites meets a fever pitch!
LOSER: Memorabilia Collectors
… only to find the market quickly flooded given the lack of panic, or interest, from the general public.
One thing is certain — Monopoly will never be the same. . . . actually, it will really be quite familiar. I mean – practically the same. We’re just talking about a new game pieces here, people!