I own Park Lane! A history of Monopoly
Ah, Monopoly. The game of rampant capitalism and oddly priced railway stations. It’s definitely an easy way to find out who your true friends are; simply put them through a round of Monopoly and you’ll get a glimpse into their soul.
Monopoly is a massively popular board game and, like the Madonna of the toy world, reinvents itself every few months with pop culture editions, cities, credit cards – you name it!
However, you may be surprised to find out that the first Monopoly game was not about capitalism and amassing wealth, nor was it made in the 1930s to cheer up those living in the Great Depression by providing delusions of grandeur for $4. It was first developed by a young entrepreneur, Elizabeth Magie, who developed, revised and reinvented the game between late 1800s and 1910, to show the issues and consequences linked to land-grabbing, which was a major issue in the sociopolitical landscape of the late 1800s.
Magie smartly got a patent on The Landlord’s Game as she called it and set about continuing to refine the game to better explain the political economy and Henry George’s Single Tax Theory (the idea that a tax on land would become the single stream of government revenue and replace all other taxes). Then, of course it was popularized by Parker Brothers and Charles Darrow, who definitely capitalised on the game’s success. With a slick coat of paint and new design, The Landlord’s Game was presented to the Great Depression as Monopoly!!
However, in the 1930s Monopoly did not have a smooth take off, it was initially rejected by Parker Brothers for being too complicated and too long to play. However, after many revisions, Charles Darrow struck proverbial gold and became a millionaire, the first person to make millions from a board game. However, this came at the great cost to Lizzie Magie, whose game was bought out for $500 with no future royalties. But she stood up for her cause and in an interview said she was ok with only getting $500 so long as the Single Tax theory was spread across America.
So, while you’re buying up the town and charging your mates extortion fees to land on your street, remember the humble beginnings of Monopoly and it’s main goal to teach the pitfalls of rampant capitalism! Available in-store and online we have some fab pop culture editions to challenge your friends and family to a round of!
You can also check out some more amazing, world changing inventions by women on this Buzzfeed list!
Monopoly – Marvel Comics Edition
Get in touch with your inner hero with the new Marvel Comic Books Monopoly. Some of the awesome stuff you’ll find inside includes tokens such as Magneto’s helmet and Captain America’s shield and iconic comic books covers for each of the 22 property spaces.
Monopoly – The Walking Dead Edition
The Walking Dead Monopoly delivers classic Monopoly wheeling and dealing game play. Players vie for, and then must fortify, the prime real estate and resources that will sustain their lives. There’s only one victor that will outlast the others. This completely customized game features six collectible tokens, optional speed play, and a fight to the finish! The Walking Dead Monopoly – everything you know and loved about Monopoly, but with 100% more zombies!
Monopoly – Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Edition
Celebrate 50 years of the world’s favourite time lord with this very special edition of monopoly! Featuring all eleven doctors, the best loved companions and, of course, the monsters and badies from across space and time.
Monopoly – Perth Edition
West Coast Aussies rejoice you can now play your favourite board game, Monopoly, with a local spin – thanks to Monopoly’s Perth Edition! In this fun Australian edition the streets and landmarks of Perth can be bought, sold and traded amongst your friends!
Monopoly – Sydney Edition
In this fun, Australian edition Sydney Harbour takes prime position in place of Mayfair, with Taronga Zoo, The University of Sydney and some very famous beaches not far behind! With Monopoly’s Sydney Edition, even the most expensive Sydney properties can become yours,without worrying about RBA interest rate hikes!
Monopoly – Millionaire
First to a million wins! This Monopoly Millionaire game is all about making a million dollars, fast! Race around the board making a fortune, and live like a millionaire as you go. Diamonds! Luxury limos! Movie premieres! They’re just part of everyday life in the Monopoly Millionaire game.
Love to splash the cash? Then indulge in a property shopping spree with the classic version of Monopoly! Buy streets, houses and hotels and become a respected real-estate mogul, while negotiating and haggling your way to the top.