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Unboxing History: A 1940s Monopoly Throwback

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by Darwyn Carson — Okay, so I haven’t played Monopoly since I was a kid and by kid I mean, teenager, sixteen-seventeen years of age. We played games in my house of sibs. There were seven of us, so there was always someone to entice, ready for a role of the die.  My absolute favorite, was Stratego. I played it with my cousin and best friend, Rebecca and I was good at it. However, Monopoly, I would wager, was always one of the first go-to games of choice amongst friends and family members.

Contributor Ernest Kearney turned me on to this video by Filmmaker, Video-Blogger and Monopoly Lover, Austin McConnell.

I found it nostalgically captivating and historically intriguing, as in, I’d like to learn more about the war-time version.

Enjoy and learn….

 

 

The Kearney Addendum to the story:

“The “Secret” World War II set, was only declassified like ten years ago…

Also, did you know that Monopoly started off as an anti-capitalism game?

Yep, 1904 it was “The Landlord” game to rail at the scumlords. Times change.

Below is a partial list of the Monopoly variations.

These are for real:

ABBA Edition (YES! THAT ABBA!!)
AC/DC Collector’s Edition
Alan Turing Edition (HONEST!)
Alpaca-opoly (NOT A CLUE)
Armenian Edition
Barbie Edition
Bean-opoly (COFFEE NOT “MISTER”)
Beaveropoly (GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER IT WAS FOR OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY)
Bibleopoly (YOU DIDN’T WANT TO BUY PROPERTY BECAUSE JESUS WAS COMING SOON)
Big Bang Theory Edition (TV show)
Boy Scouts of America Edition (GAYS CAN’T PLAY)
Clintonopoly (THE BATTLE SHIP WAS REPLACED BY A CIGAR.)
Croatian Edition
Detroit Edition (IF YOU PULLED THE CHANCE CARD FOR “DEVIL’S NIGHT” YOU HAD TO SET THE BOARD ON FIRE)
Disney Theme Parks Edition
Family Guy Collector’s Edition
Gay Monopoly (DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY USED IN PLACE OF THE “OLD SHOE?”
Grateful Dead-opoly
Hershey Park-opoly
Hershey’s Collector’s Edition (SAW IT – IT WAS ENTIRELY MADE OF CHOCOLATE – I BS YOU NOT!)
Love Lucy Collector’s Edition
Ireland-opoly (NO APARTMENTS & HOTELS – ONLY POTATOES)
Isle of Man Edition
John Wayne Collector’s Edition
KISS-opoly
Legend of Zelda Edition (HUH?)
Leipzig Edition
Monster-Opoly
NASCAR Collector’s Edition (AH NASCAR – AMERICA’S SECRET SHAME)
New York City Edition (THEY HAVE PRE & POST 9-11 ED’s – GUESS WHAT’S MISSING.)
Omaha-opoly (KNOWN DEATHS AMONG PLAYERS FROM BOREDOM)
Paris Edition (GET OFF OF DEVIL’S ISLAND CARD)
Peanuts Edition (comics)
Penguin-opoly (NO IDEA – BUT THERE HAD TO BE ICE INVOLVED)
Pirates of the Caribbean Collector’s Edition
Polish Edition (NO COMMENT)
Powerpuff Girls Edition
Pug-opoly (dog breed)
Puerto Rico Edition (IT HAD A HURRICANE CARD IN THE “CHANCE” STACK)
Québec-opoly
Rhode Island Edition (CAME IN A VERY SMALL BOX)
RipperOpoly ( I KID YOU NOT – JACK THE RIPPER. SEEN THIS ONE, IT HAD ALL THE MURDER SITES)
Salt Lake City – The Game of Monogamy (I’M NOT MAKING THESE UP!)
San Francisco Edition (THE OBJECT WAS TO FIND A STRAIGHT BAR)
Santa Barbaraopoly (I THINK THE OBJECT WAS TO FIND A PARKING SPOT)
Sacramento-opoly (AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!)
Sexopoly (ALL THE PLAYER PIECES WERE SEX TOYS)
Sonic the Hedgehog Collector’s Edition
South Park Collector’s Edition
Spider-Man Edition
Star Trek Continuum Edition
Star Trek Limited Edition (TOS: Original Series)
Star Trek Next Generation Edition
Star Trek Klingon Edition
Star Wars Limited Collector’s Edition
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Edition
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Edition
The Simpsons Edition
The Smurfs Collector’s Edition
The Three Stooges Collector’s Edition
The Wizard of Oz Collector’s Edition (YES, THE OLD SHOE WAS A RUBY SLIPPER)
Thunderbirds Edition (YOU HAD TO SHOUT “GO THUNDERBIRDS” A LOT)
Trump Entertainment Resorts Collector’s Edition
Twilight Junior Edition
Ultimate 007 James Bond Collector’s Edition
U.S. Space Program Edition
Vikings Collector’s Edition (Minnesota Vikings NFL)
Villains Collector’s Edition (Disney)
Walking Dead Survival Edition
Washington-opoly (Washington, DC)
World of Warcraft Edition
Men Collector’s Edition
Yellow Submarine (The Beatles) Edition
Zombie-opoly
Zoo-opoly”
–  (ek) –

I got away from games for a while. Was never into D&D or other role-playing crazes. Digital games appealed in a things-to-do-when-sitting-in-a-waiting-room kind of way. And then David, my husband, who was my new love interest at the time, introduced me to Terra Mystica and I lost my mind.

No, I didn’t literally lose my mind. I simply went TM crazy for a few months. And it was good. Hooked, I found myself hanging out at Board Game Geek and Daily Darkling, on the hunt for insider tips and rule clarifications. I only backed away from the board to allow my signif-other some breathing room.

However, having been introduced to TM also brought me an awareness of what I’d been missing in the realm of game boards. Among the games in our house are: Letters from Whitechapel, Pandemic, Agricola, Eldritch Horror, Twilight Struggle and Pandemic Cthulhu. I still have a lot to learn, but that’s my start.

The Guardian’s Martin Hickes went into the World War II Monopoly spy tool, in depth, in 2013 in a detailed article entitled, How Monopoly Boards got Second World War Prisoners out of Jail Free, which is accessible HERE.

What’s the favorite go-to in your game arsenal and do you own any version of the afore-mentioned Monopoly sets?


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Written by

TVolution Founder and Managing Editor DARWYN CARSON completed a six-year stint as Managing Editor of Leonard Maltin’s Annual Movie Guide in 2015. She has been covering film since her early association with entertainment journalist Michael Symanski at Zap2It.com. She also covered film and restaurant news in her column Carson’s Corner for a variety of social publications. Her articles have appeared on Zap2It, Indiewire, leonardmaltin.com and, of course, The TVolution. Follow Darwyn @bnoirlikeme. Follow The TVolution @thetvolution. Please Like The TVolution on Facebook.

Latest comments
  • Big Monopoly and Stratego fan, but even bigger RISK fan. I still play, on my computer, against software opponents.

    • Really! ? There are Risk game tournies? That’s cool . I also liked Clue. That was a good party game.

      • Steve Schlich

        There probably are tourneys, somewhere. I mean that the game I’ve used has computer-generated opponents.

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