How many times has THAT impassioned plea—or a variation thereof—been heard during a heated discussion while deciding which player is going to use which token for a game of Monopoly?
Well, the cherished old race car has been coming in for quite a bit of notoriety in recent days with the news that Hasbro, Inc., current owner of the iconic Parker Brothers game has announced it plans to drop one of the tokens and replace it with something else. The announcement has been met with an overwhelming response from the general public on behalf of either this token or that token and while certainly lagging considerably behind the dog in popularity, our beloved race car nevertheless currently ranks second.
Along with the call for support for the race car has come quite a bit of discussion concerning just how long it has been part of the Monopoly package, not to mention some theories as to why the particular design.
Well, in spite of recent statements claiming the race car was one of the tokens at the time of the game’s debut by Parker Brothers in 1935, this statement turns out to be not exactly correct.
In 1937, after the game had been “out” for a couple of years, several die-cast tokens became part of the package and while one of them was indeed a car, it was a 1930s-style “roadster-type” convertible passenger vehicle—top down—containing a driver as its only occupant. It seems the race car did not replace the convertible until around 1950, right around the time the massive popularity of post-war midget car racing in the United States was in the process of rapidly winding down. While a theory has been put forth suggesting that it was based specifically on a Kurtis-Kraft midget, our guess is that it was something rather more generic, created by a design artist who likely used a variety of photographs of both “single-seaters” from European road racing events as well as cars from American short tracks.
As to the specific reason for a race car being one of the tokens? Well, the answer to THAT one is something we would really like to know.
Don’t let the roadster disappear from Monopoly! Follow Josef’s directions below and go to http://apps.facebook.com/saveyourtoken