Get Out of Jail for Free: A Brief Monopoly Retrospective

The newest Monopoly incarnation

The newest Monopoly incarnation

Ruining families since 1935, Monopoly is the record holder for most played commercial game in the world with the last statistic placing it the hands of 750 million players. You’ve played this game by now, and if you haven’t, I’m sort of wondering why not.

The Classic Monopoly Evening

Nothing makes for a game night quite like Monopoly. You begin with a few people laughing at losing some money, then suddenly an hour later your father is stealing money from you when you’re not looking, your sister is charging you thousands of dollars to stay at Park Place, and your dog has eaten the little dog from the game. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Best board game ever.

A Brief History

vintage-monopoly-board-game-box-05Monopoly began as a patent by Charles Darrow in 1935 but is more commonly known as being a Parker Brothers’ property, currently distributed by Hasbro. The concept of the game is very simple as you choose absolutely random items to represent your hotel-mongering self (really, dogs, thimbles, shoes, and irons have no place running hotel chains), then roll the dice to see how far you move.

Rules of Monopoly

When you land on a property that is for sale you can purchase it so that anyone else unfortunate enough to land on it must pay you the appropriate fees, though the same is true to you when you discover you’ve landed on a property with multiple hotels sitting on it.

Translation: Goodbye money.

The rules state the game is over when all but one player has gone bankrupt, though the typical end of the game comes when everyone gets tired of the six-year-old having The Electric Company, Boardwalk, and the entire Railroad monopoly.

A little trivia: the longest game of Monopoly lasted roughly 70 days. Not even Rich Uncle Pennybags cared that much about a single game of Monopoly.

Editions for Everyone


No surprise I like this one best.

Probably the most obvious joke with the game is how many variants one can find for Monopoly. You can literally name just about anything and there’ll be a Monopoly version for it.

There is an NFL edition. There is a Pokemon edition. There is a Seinfeld edition. There is a Nascar edition.  There is an edition for each major university or city.  And don’t forget the new Star Trek movie tie-in.  My personal favorite is the Nintendo edition. (Surprise surprise).

Most editions can be found for roughly $20 or $30, so no matter what you want you won’t be out much money.

The most recent official edition is the Here and Now edition, which has electronic banking as a bonus. No more messing with having a banker or clumsy bills since everyone has a credit card that takes care of that entire hubbub. The Here and Now edition retails around $39 but that changes depending on where you look. The more classic Deluxe edition retails at $19.99 while the specialty editions go from anywhere between $20 and $50.


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

1 Comment

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