Sunday, August 2, 2015

Monopoly cat has a tale to tell

The new Monopoly kitty pounced onto the world's stage on Wednesday and it was not on little cat's feet.

Monopoly cat has a tale to tell

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The new Monopoly kitty pounced onto the world's stage on Wednesday not on little cat's feet but with a bang.

Hours after gamemaker Hasboro announced live on NBC's "Today Show" that the cat design had beat out the robot and three other new token candidates, fireworks went off across social media.

As well it should, cats are king on the Internet.

The pun-filled reaction ricocheted from tweets to blogs to videos. Francesco Marciuliano, who writes the comic Sally Forth and is the author of the bestseller “I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats" offers a few, um, "rules" for the new Monopoly that will tickle anyone who shares their home with a feline. 

The lowly iron token was dumped by Internet voters, but the iron's fan club didn't take long to registered their displeasure on Twitter.

Hasbro officials say the cat token clawed its way ahead of the robot among hundreds of thousands of voters in 180 countries to clinch the title by a paw.

Now it turns out, like many of the original Monopoly tokens, the cat has a tale to tell.

The silver feline looking perky and ready to meet the Scottie dog token on the world's most famous game board is actually modeled after a real cat.

The man widely credited as the Monopoly creator, Philadelphia plumber Charles Darrow, in 1935 used his daughter's charm bracelet for inspiration for token designs. This time Hasbro considered ideas from its employees and picked the cat from the hundreds of submissions.

But that's no generic kitty token. The design is based on a real-life feline named Shadow, a black cat picked up as a stray by one of its staff.

The newest symbol of the world's most popular board game is a rescue pet.

"We looked at bunches of pictures and he had personality," said Hasbro marketing manager Ryan Musburgh.

He said although Shadow, who had a long, pampered life, has since passed away, his image - complete with a little tag around his neck - will be legend.

The president of the nation's largest animal welfare organization was thrilled with the news, even if it means having to give up his favorite piece.

“I was always prone to be the shoe or wheelbarrow, but now if I don’t pick the cat from this point forward, my 18-year-old Mungo may decide to start flipping houses and hotels – and I don’t mean selling them for profit,” said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States.

In other monopoly token news, a veteran token with a Pennsylvania connection was spared thanks to an outpouring of support.

A full-court social media press by Harrisburg-based Ames True Temper - the world's largest wheelbarrow maker - is credited with saving the wheelbarrow token from banishment from the board.

But the race was close, the wheelbarrow and the shoe hung on by only a few hundred votes, Musburgh said.

Hasbro says while the newest version of the game won't be available this fall, collectors and fans of the iron (Pittsburghers listen up), can pick up a special edition Monopoly starting Feb. 15 at Target. It will contain all eight of the old tokens and the five proposed new tokens.

 

 

Inquirer Staff Writer
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Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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