Monopoly is the famous property trading game that features property and little trading. It also functions as many people’s first serious board game and, in the process, functions as what is perhaps the most heavily house-ruled board game out there. How else does the whole Free Parking myth continue to subsist? It’s also very bad at ending, and that factor alone may have resulted in turning people away from board gaming altogether.
In spite of that, it’s become an iconic part of the board game landscape, one that’s recognized pretty much everywhere it goes. With that recognizability and iconicness comes opportunities to do countless rethemes. While it’s not uncommon to see a Monopoly version of a hit franchise like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, Monopoly’s marketability has resulted in some pretty bizarre re-themes over the years. And for this list, we didn’t even have to dig into some of the more offensive versions like Ghettopoly and Redneckopoly. If you’re curious about the weird Monopoly variants out there, here’s 5 worth considering:
This Monopoly variant is a joke pointed directly at our 44th President, Barack Obama, by seizing upon notable events in his political career. To start things off, Obamanopoly morphs the Chance and Community Chest cards into simply “Hope” and “Change”. No surprisingly, the properties are also themed according to campaign-related material or things that happened during his presidency. There’s Iraq and Afghanistan where Mediterranean and Baltic used to be as well. The Affordable Care Act also materializes in the Health Care Surtax along with other things like the Stimulus package and the bank/auto bailout. Go to jail and get sent to Guantanamo! But the thing that takes the cake? All that Soviet iconography on the box cover!
Like many classic things around the holidays, you get stories like a Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, and, of course, A Christmas Story, the tale about Ralphie’s Christmas hijinks as he yearns for a Red Ryder BB Gun. Its a humorous take on Christmas gives this movie staying power, and the staying power is apparently enough for there to be a Monopoly set based on the movie. In other words, an iconic board game retheme of an iconic Christmas movie. One of the main features of the game is being able to play as Ralphie’s Bunny Suit or even the kitschy Leg Lamp, both of which are also a part of the properties including the aforementioned (Red Ryder) BB Gun and the frozen flagpole, the object of a Triple Dog Dare which replaces Chance on the board.
There’s an intriguing history behind Monopoly and World War II and how it’s used to help Allied POWs escape. A more cynical mind would say that the board game was so dull they had to come up with another use for the game. But absent that history, would a property trading game centered upon the greatest conflict within the last century work? Stranger things have happened. What this version of Monopoly throws at you are WWII themes; you have battles like Iwo Jima and iconography like the one accompanying the Home Front space, which uses the famous picture of Rosie the Riveter. While the theme is an odd one, I can appreciate the classic photographs and drawings included on the board. It’s not a bad way to learn history if you have someone historically inclined to explain what those pictures or photographs mean. And I guess playing the Sherman Tank also beats playing the iconic Car piece as well.
If this Monopoly set means that a Justin Bieber Monopoly set is an eventuality, then I don’t want to live on this world anymore. But here it is, an AC/DC-themed Monopoly set. AC/DC’s presence in American culture has come from such hits as Highway to Hell, Back in Black, and Stiff Upper Lip, all of which appear in some shape or form in this Monopoly set while Electric Company is “AC” while Water Works has been replaced by “DC”. The band’s exploits are on full display here through the album covers that adorn each of the properties. Oh, and you can play as the Bundle of Dynamite, Bell on Fire, Lightning Bolt, Angus School Boy Hat and Stacks of Cash. Probably worthwhile for people who want to use this Monopoly set as a conversation starter about the owner’s passion for AC/DC.
The only thing more American than Bacon-Opoly would probably be Eagles-Freedom-Explosions-While-You-Stuff-Your-Face-Opoly, and I guess this set is meant to appeal to that part of the American psyche. As you expect, this game can get pretty meaty, what with properties that bring out every type of bacon flavor imaginable. You have benign squares like Bacon strips and Bacon bits to slightly incredulous peanut butter and bacon to the unbelievable Bacon floss. Although I realize there’s a cultish reverence for bacon in many parts of the country, I’m not sure Bacon-Opoly needs to exist. If you get it,I suggest not playing it too much you lest you get Burnt out (Just Crispy, according to the board).