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What’s Next For These Unemployed Monopoly Pieces?

By Stacey Zapalac | Apr 4, 2017

Do not pass go; do not collect $200. That’s the message Hasbro HR sent to Monopoly’s beloved thimble, boot and wheelbarrow game pieces last month when the global entertainment company announced the three iconic game pieces will be replaced with more “fan-friendly” tokens. 

Why are these pewter classics getting the pink slip? And who are their replacements? 

Sew long, thimble

Sure. Thimble is old fashioned, adverse to change, and paid twice as much as her younger counterparts, but she offers loyalty, maturity and experience only a seasoned token can provide. However, Hasbro is looking past thimble’s worldliness and opting for an efficient, tech-savvy rubber ducky to bring a fresh millennial perspective to the time-honored game.

Forced retirement won’t keep thimble’s closed-end cap down for long. Rather than succumbing to reclusive retirement (like the Monopoly iron), thimble is working with AARP on freelance placement options with Clue and Chutes & Ladders. 

Thimble continues to hold on to hope that rubber ducky’s demand for work-life balance and instant gratification (combined with a desire to wear leggings to work) will not be met by Mr. Monopoly. When this happens, thimble will be ready, willing and able to backfill the empty game piece role.

The boot gets the boot

The boot thought he would forever be a part of the Monopoly world. He was one of the first employees to take a chance and sign on with the board game. He even trained Rich Uncle Pennybags when he joined the company in the 1940s. The boot was sure Mr. Monopoly would have his back when the latest round of cuts was announced. Hasbro had other plans and kicked boot to the curb, replacing him with a T-Rex. 

Little did boot know the king of the dinosaurs has something boot lacks: a relationship with the boss’s favorite game piece, Scotty Dog. If Scotty is happy, then Mr. Monopoly is happy. Mr. Monopoly cashed in on a few favors, and Scotty’s bestie T-Rex is now part of the Monopoly family. 

The boot is pursuing a wrongful termination lawsuit hoping to see a $350,000 jury award in punitive damages and $1 million in past and future lost wages. 

Wheelbarrow put out to pasture

Family game night just got a big dose of ageism. The latest victim? The wheelbarrow. Instead of embracing and promoting the fortitude and hard work wheelbarrow represents, Hasbro opted to recast the game piece with a youthful, perky and silicone-enhanced penguin token. 

Wheelbarrow fondly remembers when players used to fight for her to be the lead game piece.  With her once-firm bucket and ability to carry the little green houses around the game board, wheelbarrow was a fan favorite. Those days are long gone for the over-40 token. Yes, wheelbarrow’s wooden handles are a bit worn, and her wheel doesn’t shine like it once did. She hoped her one-time superstar power would win over fans, but alas it did not.   

Wheelbarrow plans on pursuing commercial roles and knows she will come back around in popularity, just like Betty White. 

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Stacey Zapalac (@smzapalac) is a humor writer who has studied improv, writing and satire at The Second City Training Center in Chicago.

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