Only a Pre-War Racing Car and Top Hat Remain

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Since 1933, over 80 years, Monopoly has been the joy of some and to others…monotonous. It’s endured with surprisingly little changing. But times they are a changin’. World Monopoly Day is on March 19th (yeah, we didn’t know either) and on this historic day in 2017 some changes have been made. The owners of Monopoly, Hasbro, have booted the boot, pushed the wheelbarrow down the hill, and given the thimble the finger in the game’s new edition for the fall.

Recently Hasbro has a Monopoly Token Madness campaign and with over 4 million votes choosing which game pieces would be included in the revised version of the classic game some old favorites were replaced. With more than 50 pieces to select from the new edition will have the race car, top hat, scottie dog, battleship, cat, t. rex, rubber ducky, and penguin.  

Since first on sale in 1933 only the race car, thimble, top hat and boot remained from the original 1933 play pieces with more than 20 pieces created over the years in total in an attempt to keep it fresh and with the times.

If you’ve attended concours, cruise nights, car club activities, and other automotive centric events you may have noticed a lot more grey hair than in the general population. There are also auto magazines, online forums, and car club board members from every marque asking the question “How do we get the younger generations interested in the cars?”.

It’s a serious problem for some clubs with membership dwindling and many auto publications suffering the same fate with dwindling readership.

But if we take a look at Monopoly as a sign of the times perhaps not all hope is lost. The monopoly piece after all is not only a car but is now a vintage 1930’s race car (when the piece was first crafted in 1933 it was quite modern). If with over 4 million votes were cast and with over 50 choices of new Monopoly pieces the pre-war racing car and top hat were still voted in and have endured since inception then perhaps there is hope for the future of the auto hobby. 

People still apparently think the car is cool…and top hats apparently, but we think that has more to do with Rich Uncle Milburn Pennybags, the Monopoly mascot, than a possible resurgence in the fashion trend. Yes, that is his name.

So when you’re out with your classic and you see a kid checking it out, chat with them, let them sit in your car, ask them what cars they like, you may just be the one that starts them down the road of becoming an enthusiast. Their opinion is what is going to shape the future of the hobby and perhaps will even reveal the secret of what the next hot trend will be.

Let’s face it, if the youth doesn’t take an interest who are we going to sell these vintage cars on to when we can’t cherish them anymore? If we don’t keep the interest high the top hat may be the only remaining original Monopoly piece left.

Article: Jason Burton
Images: Pixabay public domain

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