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Entries in Hasbro (2)

Wednesday
Jan092013

Monopoly Contest Will Banish Classic Game Piece

Bjorn Andren/Nordic Photos/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Though the goal of the nearly 80-year-old Monopoly game is to win exclusive control of the board and all its landmarks, Hasbro is making a decidedly un-monopolistic move: The game company is leaving the fate of the game's tokens in the hands of consumers.

Hasbro has officially launched a global contest to determine which classic Monopoly piece will be replaced by a new symbol. The longstanding token with the least votes will lose its spot on the Monopoly board to a new token candidate with the most votes.

"The number one question I've been asked is: Are you serious? Are you really going to remove something from Monopoly?" said Ryan Mugford, senior director of worldwide gaming strategy for Hasbro.

"The answer is yes."

On a Facebook page called "Save Your Token," fans can vote for which piece they'd most like to "get out of jail" and prevent from being exiled, and which one they'd most like to "pass go" to join the board.

The car, thimble, boot, Scottie dog, battleship, hat, iron and wheelbarrow's fates hang on the click of a button.

The old Monopoly pieces stand in a shadowy lineup on the site, their futures looking grim in black and white. Scroll over each token and a case file pops up listing the piece's prosecution and defense.

"My friends from the U.K. were emailing me today asking if I could help them save their favorite token," Mugford said. "I told them it's out of my hands now. It's in the hands of the consumer."

Most tokens were born with Monopoly's public introduction in 1935, but the Scottie dog and wheelbarrow joined the game nearly 20 years later in 1952. Will fortune favor youth?

As of Wednesday afternoon, the page's leader board showed the iron and wheelbarrow as the most likely to be sentenced to life behind bars.

The model that will replace one of the classic tokens is not necessarily modern. Potential victors include a boxy robot, a feisty looking cat, a helicopter, a guitar and a diamond ring.

Mugford said the new tokens were chosen after internal votes on hundreds of candidates. Each token selected symbolizes a unique spot in Mr. Monopoly's life, he said.

The toy robot is Mr. Monopoly's favorite childhood toy. The cat is Scottie the dog's archrival. The helicopter shows Mr. Monopoly's passion for travel. The guitar is an essential accessory to Mr. Monopoly as what Mugford calls the "most interesting man in the world."

And the diamond ring? Mugford said that with all the money Mr. Monopoly has, he knows Monopoly has someone special in his life.

Fans can cast their votes until Feb. 5. On Feb. 15, a limited edition of the game will be released with all the old and new tokens included until supplies run out.

The new edition of the game will be released in the fall, Mugford said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

Will New High-Tech Monopoly Game Pass Go?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Don't count on stealing from the banker in this version of Monopoly.

In its latest update to the classic board game, Hasbro has added a computerized twist that makes paper money, dice -- and even cheating -- a thing of the past.

Monopoly Live, introduced by the company this week at the annual Toy Fair in New York, features a computerized tower in the center of the board that essentially manages the game.

The so-called "Tower of Power" contains an infrared camera that follows players' movements on the board and a speaker to deliver instructions. It also keeps track of players' money and makes sure that they stick to the rules.

"Kids are always telling that they really love playing board games and … video games. For us it was a great opportunity to bring the two worlds together," said Jane Ritson-Parsons, the global brand leader for Monopoly.

The new game, which will cost $50 when it goes on sale this fall, isn't intended to replace the old version, but to help the company engage an audience that's quickly moving to new platforms.

Monopoly lovers still enjoy the classic game that's been around for about 75 years, she said, but they're also opting for the higher-tech versions. The game exists on the iPhone and the iPad, and today Hasbro unveiled a version for Facebook.

"We're always looking to bring new ways to play to our audience because it is so broad," she said. "As you can imagine, the Monopoly audience is from 5 to 105."

The core audience for Monopoly board games are 8- to 12-year-olds, she said, but Monopoly Live is for kids and teenagers to play with each other and their families.

The basic premise of the game remains unchanged, but Ritson-Parsons said the new version "takes away the referee" -- no more rule books, no more banker, no more Community Chest or Chance cards stacked in the center of the game.

Instead, the Tower "hosts" the game. It knows if players haven't moved to the right spot on the board and it introduces unexpected opportunities.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio