Monopoly Fans Dump Iron Token For New Cat Piece

Feb 6, 2013
Originally published on February 6, 2013 6:12 pm
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On a lighter, much lighter economic note, fans of Monopoly have spoken. After a month of online voting, one of the iconic game's playing pieces is being replaced. Goodbye Iron, hello Cat, which won after polls closed at 11:59 P.M. Tuesday.

As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the new feline will arrive on Monopoly boards by fall.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: For some, the news has been absolutely traumatizing. Walk the streets of New York City and you'll hear cries of distress over the death of the Iron.

Evan Forster hates cats.

EVAN FORSTER: OK, the truth is I'm a really OCD guy. And let me tell you what cats bring. They bring cat litters with them. And I don't mean little litters of cats. I mean pee and poop and smell and grossness. What do irons bring? Irons bring control. Irons pull it together for you. They give you creases. They give you angles.

CHANG: And they used to give you that one Monopoly piece that was always available if you picked it. Right? Kenyon Lang says when he was growing up, no one wanted the Iron because it was just so lame.

KENYON LANG: If you were racing to the end of a Monopoly board, who wins that race, the Guy on the Horse or the Iron? The Guy on the Horse wins. Everybody knows that.


CHANG: Of course, the guy on the horse has also been retired. Ah, such is the fickle, cutthroat world of the Monopoly game piece. A hundred twenty countries voted in the Save Your Token campaign on Facebook. Scottie the Dog had a huge cushion, almost one-third of the vote. At one point, the Wheelbarrow, Shoe and Iron were in a dead heat for the biggest loser ever.

As a replacement, the Cat was facing stiff competition, too - ready to swoop in as the newest game piece was the Helicopter, Guitar and Robot.

Jonathan Berkowitz is the head of gaming at Hasbro, the maker of Monopoly. And he said big organizations even got in on the voting action; 9 Lives Cat Food was gunning for the Cat. The U.S. Quilters Association fought for the Thimble.

JONATHAN BERKOWITZ: Purina started a campaign for the Scottie Dog, Zappos for the Shoe, Chevy for the Race Car.

CHANG: But no heavy hitter hopped on board for the Iron. And now it says farewell, after sitting so often idle in the Monopoly box since 1935.

Ailsa Chang, NPR News, New York.



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