Edition: August 21, 2002
THE WORLD SUCCESS OF MONOPOLY
(From the article in the French periodical
"Mappemonde" edition 66)
Abstract from "Le succès mondial du Monopoly" in Mappemonde
66 of 2002,
written by Marie-Françoise Fleury (Marc Chagall college - Gasny - F) and
(ENS - Paris):
Monopoly is a board game known all over the world, with many national versions. A geographical analysis of their distribution is an excellent example of the diffusion phenomenon. The choice of the cities in whose streets people play reveal the limits of the areas of influence of some of the major world powers, a real geography of the game.
Collecting Monopoly games is a hobby
of relative a few people. They do collect the "authorized" games of Parker
Brothers and Waddingtons (since about 1996 all HASBRO) as well as the games of
"inland make" and the patent free games, which appeared on the market
after 1985 and finally the "related" games like the
States-, Cities- and
University games - Medical Monopoly (USA) - Homonopolis (NL) - Petropolis (B.R.D.)
Also the monopoly-like games (sometimes called "knock-offs"),
which are often used as business-gifts, have to be mentioned here.
also gather all relevant collectables, concerning Monopoly, like place-mats
(1988 NL) - prize glasses (USA) and lapel pins (USA) ever issued by MacDonalds -
Chrismas tree ornaments (ENESCO Corp. - USA) - ties - butterfly-ties - umbrella
- watch - cufflinks of tokens - boxershort - socks - handkerchief and a number of T-shirts (all items from "Magnificent
Mouchoirs"- London) - jigsaw puzzles of the gameboard (USA) - mouse pads (WalMart
shops-USA) - milk chocolate sets (in English,German and French) - Collector's
cookies tin - Monopoly logo Pitchers with 6 glasses (USA) - blankets
(Owen-USA) - rugs - ball-points - all kinds of fridge magnets - coin sorter tube
bank - photo frames - money-boxes (all Giftco, Inc.-USA) and much, much more.
There are a lot more editions of the Monopoly
game than you might imagine. I will try to distinguish them in the order of the
luxury of the execution:
This game was issued in 1992. This very luxury set consists of the
wood gameboard with goldplated hotels and silverplated houses (US$ 465.-),
a wood stand (US$ 400.-) and a glass cover
plate (US$ 75.-). Various European countries
have their version as well, like England, Germany, France, Belgium,
Austria and Holland.
The board is made of hardwood with a countersinked midfield with a lush green
playing surface. The tokens are crafted in pewter and embellised with 22 carat
The dimensions of the board are: 527 mm wide x 527 mm deep x 76 mm high,
including the sliding drawer for the banknotes.
This is the most luxury version Parker Brothers ever issued. The Heirloom
Limited Edition is an issue of 1997. The game is in a mahogany colored
case of hardwood (in a green outer
cardboard box) with a hinged lid and a lift-out tray inside, all felt-lined.
50 years ANNIVERSARY editions 1985.
1985 was the "official" 50 years anniversary of the game Monopoly.
Some countries, amongst which the USA and Holland issued for that event the game
in a square tin and/or a high blue
cardboard box (= the Deluxe edition).
Japan as the sole country issued an exclusive suite case, whereas other
countries restricted themselves to putting a sticker or a print on the cover of
the standard box.
3. 60 years ANNIVERSARY editions 1995.
So ten years later there was a reason again for a special edition. This time it
was a high Gold box, of which the American version is just a bit more
luxury than the boxes of for example Holland and Germany. Also this edition was
only issued in a restricted number of countries.
1991 Parker Brothers introduced the European Edition of Monopoly. In this
game all 12 countries of the European Community of that time are represented by streets of one
city (e.g. Berlin, Paris, London) or streets of various towns (e.g. Holland).
The currency is Ecu's.
1999 a new edition was launched extended to 15 (+ 7 potential) member
states and with the correct currency the Euro. Erroneously this issue
as the capital city of Switserland, reason why the same game was re-issued in 2001
with Bern as the real capital.
These version are only issued per language (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, etc.).
5. NOSTALGIC or CLASSIC editions.
This are re-issues of earlier games. Examples:
|In Holland the values were a factor 100 lower
than today until about the year 1961. Those "black boxes" are
reissued as "Classic" nowadays.|
|The German game "Bayerische Ausgabe"
was reissued in 1978 under ref.nr. 6011012. |
| Another German game is
"Das/l' Original Anno 1904", a re-issue
in German and French (!) of 1986 of the original, American game The |
Landlord's Game, by Lizzie J. Magie.
|The square, wooden box with locomotive from the American 1957 |
edition, issued by Parker Brothers/Hasbro in 2001.
Very STANDARD editions.
This are of course the most frequent occuring sets, although the appearance
contineously changes, depending on the period of issue. Especially in the early
days many nearly equal but slightly different versions were issued per country.
And since they bear no reference numbers it is very hard to distinguish and
catalogue them. Nowadays manufacturers are standardizing the dimensions and
appearance of their boxes, like the European editions that are manufactured in
Ireland from ref.nr.14535 onwards.
Editions of INLAND MAKE.
By this we mean those games who bear the name Monopol(y/I) but have nothing to
do with Parker Brothers/Waddingtons/Hasbro. This are for example the games of
countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Poland and many Arab
8. PATENT FREE editions.
In 1985, so 50 years after Parker Brothers obtained their licence, this
patent was expired and since everybody can unhindered copy this game. That
was immediately done by countries like Tunisia, Syria, Indonesia
and Saudi Arabia (=London).
On their turn Parker Brothers rapidly expanded their assortment with sets for
former cummunist countries like Russia, Croatia, Slovenia, Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, but also Turkey
manufactured in Ireland).
9. RELATED games.
|In America, Holland, Germany and Finland Ralph Anspach, a San Fransisco State
University economist professor, since |
1973 publishes his Anti-Monopoly game,
an upgraded version of the Atlantic City Quaker's game.
|"Advance to Boardwalk", "Ga verder naar Kalverstraat" and "Auf der Schlossallee" are
identical games, that are |
closely related to Monopoly and also issued by Parker
|Homonopolis (The Most Gayotic Game) is a
Dutch game with gay bars in the streets of Amsterdam, issued by Jerry |
Group - Amsterdam.
|Originally City games were only issued in America by Parker
Brothers/Hasbro (manufactured by Usaopoly, inc. - Encinitas) |
for The Sky Prod.Comp. - Cincinnaty (own make). Since 1998 Winning
Moves is introducing city games in a number of European countries.
|The same companies (except for W.M.) also make Univerity- and College
|In Holland many departments of Rotary, Lions e.s.o. sell city games, the profit
of which is always destined for good causes.|
|Petropolis is a Monopoly-like game, based on oil trade.|
|There are 2 bible editions, viz. Shalom (of the
German publisher Uljö Christliche Geschenke in Hackenburg) and Bibleopoly
issue of Late for the Sky Prod.Comp.)|
|Medical Monopoly (Copyright 1979, by
James N.Vail) is based on the ins and outs of a hospital.|
|Gazdálkodj Okosan! and Takarékoskodj! are Hungarian games
descending from the communist era. The purchase of a house and its
involved. Recent versions however are drasticaly capitalized.|
10. JUNIOR editions.
This game is, like the European editions, not by the country but only by the
language. So the German version is for the kids of Germany as well as of
Switserland and Austria.
The board of the games issued in the period 1991-1995 are square
and look like the "normal" gameboard, but instead of streets the
properties are Ticket Booths of an Amusement Park.
Of the sets issued from 1996 on the boards are oblong
and the box is square.
11. POCKET MAGNET editions.
This is the well-known game, but in a awkward small, flat size. The tokens
and houses do "stick" on
the board, the banknotes and cards however do not.
Published in many countries.
12. TRAVEL editions.
This indeed is a more practical game "to travel with". It is housed in a red
plastic case, in such a way that the "gameboard" consists of both
inner sides. The tokens, hotels and houses can be put into the board, while a holder
keeps the money and the cards.
13. DICE games.
A very special way of playing Monopoly:
One has to gain a beforehand determined number of points by playing with 10 dice.
A funny pocket edition in which indeed all elements of the Monopoly game board
|Of course the Landlord's Games have to be mentioned here in
the first place. But these, mainly in the east part of America |
games in the Lizzie Magie age (ca. 1900 - 1930) are so rare that I have not
even seen such a set sofar.
|1936 Elmer Fisher during his stay in a hospital made an all wood Monopoly of Detroit city.|
|About the beginning of WW II the Amsterdam inhabitant Mr.Horn made
a Monopoly game with the streets of his own town.|
|The Dutchman Theo Schermers, the monopolist
under the avid collectors, lives in a town called Hardinxveld-Giessendam, so
is obvious there exsists a game of his home town.
|A maxi-game of 1.36 x 1.36 m of the Dutch
city Eindhoven was made in 1976 by the
members of the Monopoly club "The Bankers". |
This game was shown
for the first time at the Dutch Monopoly Championship in Eindhoven in june
|Jean-François Dias got Metropoly for his 45th's birthday, a game
made by 3 friends in honor of the Paris Metro 100 year anniversary.|
In this chapter special cases will be described like "stamp of a
painting of the middle
age Monopoly players, offices with a Monopoly game board floor and
"Monopoly in the Park".
Already in the era of the home-computers, the seventies and eighties, more or
less advanced Monopoly programs appeared in the market , for f.e. Atari,
Commodore, MSX and P2000.
Nowadays of course only the games for the PC and Internet are of interest.
Except those programs developped by Parker Brothers/Virgin and Westwood, there
are various Monopoly programs made by others as well.