Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The color of money

I finally got around to picking up a copy of Monopoly. I thought about getting an old one on eBay, but the standard edition is only $10, brand new. Oh, I could have got the electronic banker edition, or the Clone Wars edition, or the Indiana Jones edition for two to four times as much. I'm shocked that there wasn't a Hannah Montana edition. Perhaps they were just out of stock.

Anyway, old people like me will already have noticed something wrong with the picture above. Purple fifties and blue tens! The horror!

I played against the kids over the weekend -- Thomas and Ava as a team, Johanna & I each played alone. Ava lost interest pretty quickly, other than playing with the houses and hotels.

As Banker, I was constantly mistaking the blue tens for fifties. Despite this handicap, I was, after two grueling days, able to prevail over my opponents.

Apparently I just missed out on the old-style colors. It says here that they changed in August, after 60-odd years of the familiar white-pink-yellow-green-blue-tan-goldenrod.

Other changes: Mediterranean and Baltic are brown, not purple. The property deeds are narrower, which I think is good. The income tax is a flat $200 (I blame Steve Forbes), which is simpler, but not so good if you're poor. The design and some of the wording on the Chance and Community Chest cards has changed. The rules don't seem to have changed, but they've rewritten them to be easier to understand.

The board, the tokens, and the houses and hotels are, to my memory anyway, indistinguishable from the ones I used as a child.

Check out Monopoly-history.com for a wealth of information about the great variety of different editions over the years. I'll always have a soft spot for the old #11 deluxe edition, with the gray (not brown!) styrofoam deed holder and the gigantic red box.


Anonymous said...

Did you play by the rules? Free parking is just an empty space on the board. No cash goes into the middle of the board. Once a property is landed on, it must either be purchased at face value, or auctioned to the highest bidder.

I'm always amazed by how many people have never played by those rules. These are the same people who complain about the game taking two long to play. It's a two hour game... unless you're playing with kids (of course). :)

Italian Collection said...

pass the monopoly money off to drunk bartenders as euros.....sorry.....euros may be a super currency now, but they still look like monopoly money to me.....i guess that makes me feel better when i pay rent :)