'Monopoly' fans elect a token cat to the board
Brian Truitt, USA TODAY9:12p.m. EST February 6, 2013
Scottie the dog survives, but voters pull the plug on the iron.
(Photo: Steven Senne AP)
- The cat edged out a toy robot, a guitar, a diamond ring and a helicopter
- The Scottie was the top vote-getter among original pieces, beating the race car
- Fans' love of pets appears to have fueled the selection of a cat token
Pets are running wild on the Monopoly board.
Hasbro announced Wednesday the results of fan voting in a "Save Your Token" campaign conducted on the game's Facebook page. An overwhelming majority made sure the Scottie dog would live to pass "GO!" another day — to the dismay of fans of the losing iron token, which has gone off to retirement. Among proposed new pieces, a cat won out over a toy robot, guitar, diamond ring and helicopter.
The cat and dog will have to play nice starting this month, which sees the release of a limited-edition "Golden Token" Monopoly game sold exclusively at Target that features gold versions of each token in the current lineup and the proposed new pieces. The feline token will take its place as a permanent member of the regular-edition Monopoly this summer.
"It's going to be unforgettable the first time you're playing a game and the dog and the cat land on the same space," says Monopoly expert Philip Orbanes. "It's probably a lot more appealing to have that possibility than to have the iron and the shoe together.''
Hasbro wouldn't release any vote totals, but it said the Scottie won handily over the second-place race car, 29% to 14%. The contest to become the new piece was tighter: The cat upended the toy robot, 31% to 27%.
The dog's and cat's victories are due mainly to people's utter love for their pets, says Chris Byrne, content director for TimeToPlayMag.com.
There are approximately 70 million dogs and 74.1 million cats in the USA, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook.
"You look at all the cat and dog videos we post and watch on YouTube," Byrne says. "People do have an affinity for their pets and we relate to our pets differently than we do a battleship or a car or a hat or, clearly, an iron. In the world of spray-on fabric relaxer, an iron is probably pretty alien to most kids."
Steve Dale, author of the e-book Good Cat!, was excited to find out there would be a feline piece heading to Boardwalk.
"Cats in many ways are like the Rodney Dangerfield of pets," he says, "so I'm thrilled that finally cats have gotten some respect.''
Orbanes had a hunch that the cat would do well in the voting, and as a judge of both national and international Monopoly championships, he expects it to be a perfect — or at least purr-fect — piece for many players.
He thinks a lot of people will adopt the cat "just for the sake of saying, 'I'm going after the dog.' There's always someone who wants the Scottie in the game, and the rivalry sensation is going to be irresistible."