Hasbro has gone one step further after updating Mr Potato Head by removing a number of “outdated” elements of this iconic board game.
Hasbro has gone one step further after updating Mr Potato Head by removing a number of “outdated” elements of this iconic board game.

Monopoly as you know it changes forever

After 85 years of cheap hospital bills, moderate stock earnings and maturing "Christmas funds" (whatever that means), Hasbro now plans to bring Monopoly into the increasingly "woke" 21st century.

The game-maker has decided to update its 16 Community Chest cards, which featured outdated prompts such as winning a "beauty contest," actually receiving a "tax refund" or the now-rarely seen "bank error in your favour."

In their place are more contemporary cards that evoke community service and social awareness. Swaps could include a reward for "shopping local all week," rescuing a shelter pet or helping tend the community garden. But Hasbro wants players to decide which to include via voting.

"Since Monopoly became a household name more than 85 years ago, the world has changed and embraced a new sense of community - particularly after the unprecedented year of 2020," said Anne Leonhardi, a marketing director at Hasbro.

"With community being more important than ever before, this year is the perfect time to give fans across the country the chance to show what community means to them through voting on the new set of Community Chest cards," Leonhardi said in a statement.

Other scenarios include rewards for visiting with an elderly neighbour, patronising the school bake sale or donating blood. One may even be praised for being a good friend: Video chat them on a "tough day" and you could call on that friend later to "get out of jail free" - because, yes, Monopoly knows how that game is played.

 

HASBRO SHAKES UP MR POTATO HEAD

The classic spud-shaped plastic toy is getting a new, gender-neutral name - just plain Potato Head - with the toymaker Hasbro scrapping the "Mr." portion.

The company said Mr. Potato Head, which first hit the shelves nearly 70 years ago, needed a fresh, modern makeover. The toy's new moniker will begin appearing on boxes next year.

"Culture has evolved," Kimberly Boyd, Hasbro's senior vice president of global brands, told Fast Company. "Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists - with the 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.' - is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure."

Some cheered the "woke" change while others called it half-baked to label a vegetable "non-binary."

"Mr. Potato Head will always be… a potato. Hasbro can't take away the genitals of a spud that never had any to begin with. #thiscountryisNUTS," one observer tweeted.

Others wondered about the fate of Mrs. Potato Head, who launched in 1953 with traditionally feminine accessories, such as hair bows and red high heels.

"What I want to know is are they retiring Mrs. Potato Head?" one Twitter user asked.

There was also no word on Potato Head's preferred pronoun - or whether the study spud will keep its signature black moustache.

The move by Hasbro comes after several toymakers have updated their brands to appeal to kids today - including Barbie, who shed her blonde image and got a makeover to include more skin tones and body shapes.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was republished with permission

Originally published as Monopoly as you know it changed forever


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