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But I Don't Want to be a Thimble!

Updated on June 19, 2013

UPDATE! New Token Named; One Voted Out!

Monopoly announced the iron has been voted out! The new token will be a cat. Out of the new choices I would have picked the toy robot but apparently there are a lot of cat lovers who also play Monopoly. As for the Iron, it will say goodbye to Monopoly boards this fall. I can't say I will miss it. At least the thimble (or cheese grater) will live to see another day.


"That's a Thimble? I thought it was a cheese grater"

An election that could have far reaching economic impact is underway. No, I'm not talking about the re-election of President Obama. This election could affect real estate from the high rise luxury hotels on Boardwalk to the single family dwellings on Baltic Avenue. That’s right, Hasbro, which bought Parker Brothers, which owns the board game Monopoly, is going to "retire" one of its game pieces. A Wheelbarrow, a battleship, a racecar, an old shoe, a dog, an Iron and a Top Hat, one of them will no longer come with the game. Gone forever.

Why do companies continue to make changes that no one likes? Didn’t anyone learn anything from the whole Coke/New Coke fiasco? Americans do not like change in their products. Monopoly has been around for several generations. As a teenager, we would play long marathon rounds of it late into the night on the weekends. It takes way to much time to play, hardly anyone I know plays with the official rules, everyone adapts their own, and really the best part of the game is before the game begins when people argue over which little metal token they want to be. "I'll be the old shoe," my brother would say. Big surprise there, he was always the old shoe. "I'll be the race car" one of my sisters would exclaim, grabbing the car before anyone else could. Again, big surprise. Everyone always wants to be the same token game after game year after year. As if the token alone would be the secret to their success.

"Mom, they wont let me be the car or old shoe," I would protest. Now one of two replies would come from the other room where my mother was watching the Showcase Showdown on The Price Is Right with Bob Barker, "Let your brother be the old shoe and quit arguing" at which point my brothers and sisters would say, "Fine, you can be the old shoe but if you are, we aren’t playing!" At which point I would let them be the old shoe or car. The other response was, "Quit arguing and just be the thimble!" "But I don’t want to be a thimble!”.

Come on, who wants to be a thimble? Do people even use thimbles anymore? My son didn’t even know it was a thimble. He thought it was a cheese grater. There is nothing worse when playing the game of Monopoly than being the Thimble. Unless you are the poor schmuck who has to be the Iron!

Arguing over who gets to be which token is half the fun of Monopoly. Come on, it’s basically a very long boring game about acquiring real estate and forcing people into bankruptcy. Not exactly a Barrel of Monkeys.

Despite the boringness of the game, the tokens are an important part of it and why do they have to change them? The new choices are a diamond ring, guitar, toy robot, cat or helicopter. Okay I will admit all of those are better than a thimble or an iron, but do we really need to make this change?

Do they expect people to flock to the stores to buy up the original games so they will have the original token? Then flock back to the stores to buy the game with the new token? People really flocked to the stores to buy New Coke now didn’t they?

I guess I’m more of a traditionalist. Keep things the same. No need for change. While researching for this article, I learned something I hadn’t known before, something that shocked me. This isn’t the first time this has happened!

In the 1950’s three other Monopoly game pieces were retired! A lantern, a purse and a rocking horse. I never had the opportunity to play with those pieces. Maybe if I had my entire destiny would have been forever changed. No, I had to be the Thimble.

The Thimble sucks!

As much as I dislike the thimble, it is part of the game. Why change the game? A few years ago, Clue changed their game. To update it, the new weapons became a baseball bat, a dumbbell, a trophy, poison and an axe. I guess the NRA didn’t want them to include an assault rifle. Colonel Mustard became Jack Mustard. Professor Plum became Victor Plum, a millionaire video game designer. They added rooms like a Spa, Guest House and Patio. Come on now, Colonel Mustard did it in the Conservatory with a lead pipe. Not Victor did it on the Patio with a dumbbell. The changes were made in 2008 for Clue. By 2012 they had switched back to the old version.

People do not like change. Are they going to make a Sugarless Candyland next? Are they going to make Twister a non-contact game?

As much as I do not like the thimble or the iron, they have earned their spot on the Monopoly board.


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