Monopoly is a board game known all over the world, with many national versions. A geographical analysis of their distribution is an excellent example of the diffusion phenomenon. The choice of the cities in whose streets people play reveal the limits of the areas of influence of some of the major world powers, a real geography of the game.
Collecting Monopoly games is a hobby of relative a few people. They do collect the "authorised" games of Parker Brothers and Waddingtons (since about 1996 all HASBRO) as well as "related" games like the States, Cities and University games by USAopoly, Winning Moves, etc. and other versions like Medical Monopoly (USA), Homonopolis (NL), Petropolis (B.R.D.) etc.
There are other Monopoly collectables like place mats (1988 NL), prize glasses (USA) and lapel pins (USA) issued by MacDonalds; Chrismas tree ornaments (ENESCO Corp., USA); ties, butterfly ties. umbrella. watch. token style cufflinks, boxershorts, socks, handkerchieves, and a number of T-shirts (all items from "Magnificent Mouchoirs" of London); jigsaw puzzles of the gameboard (USA); mouse pads (WalMart shops, USA); milk chocolate sets (in English, German and French); Collector's cookies tin; Monopoly logo Pitchers with 6 glasses (USA); blankets (Owen, USA); rugs, ball-points, all kinds of fridge magnets, coin sorter tube bank, photo frames, money boxes (all Giftco, Inc., USA) and much, much more.
Whether you only collect "official" editions or you collect only certain editions, this page gives you an insight into what is available at a glance. For more details what is available, you will need to explore more of the website.
Various Monopoly Board Games In Relevant Sections
1. Collector's Editions
This game was issued in 1992. This very luxury set consists of the wood gameboard with gold plated hotels and silver plated houses (US$ 465), a wood stand (US$ 400) and a glass cover plate (US$ 75). Various European countries have their version as well, like England, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Holland.
The board is made of hardwood with a countersunk midfield with a lush green playing surface. The tokens are crafted in pewter and embellished with 22 carat gold.
The dimensions of the board are: 527 mm wide x 527 mm deep x 76 mm high, including the sliding drawer for the banknotes.
This is the most luxury version Parker Brothers ever issued.
The Heirloom Limited Edition is an issue of 1997. The game is in a mahogany coloured case of hardwood (in a green outer cardboard box) with a hinged lid and a lift out tray inside, all felt lined.
2. Anniversary Editions
1985 was the "official" 50 years anniversary of the game Monopoly. Some countries, amongst which the USA and The Netherlands issued for that event the game in a square tin.
Japan was the sole country which issued an exclusive suite case, whereas other countries restricted themselves to putting a sticker or a print on the cover of the standard box.
Ten years later there was a reason again for a special edition.
This time it was a high Gold box, of which the American version is just a bit more luxury than the boxes of for example Holland and Germany. Also this edition was only issued in a restricted number of countries.
3. European Editions
In 1991 Parker Brothers introduced the European Edition of Monopoly. In this game all 12 countries of the European Community of that time are represented by streets of one city (e.g. Berlin, Paris, London) or streets of various towns (e.g. The Netherlands).
The currency is Ecu's.
In 1999 a new edition was launched extended to 15 (+ 7 potential) member states and with the correct currency, the Euro. Erroneously this issue shows Genève as the capital city of Switserland, and for this reason, the same game was re-issued in 2001 with Bern as the correct capital.
These version are only issued per language (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, etc.).
4. Nostalgic or Classic Editions
These are re-issues of earlier games.
There are various ones available and new ones coming up quite often.
The photograph shows a square, wooden box with locomotive from the American 1957 edition, issued by Parker Brothers/Hasbro in 2001 and is available in a few countries in Europe as well as the USA.
4. Standard Editions
These are of course the most frequent occuring sets, although the appearance contineously changes, depending on the period of issue.
Especially in the early days many nearly equal but slightly different versions were issued per country. And since they bear no reference numbers it is very hard to distinguish and catalogue them.
Nowadays manufacturers are standardizing the dimensions and appearance of their boxes, like the European editions that are manufactured in Ireland from Ref. Nr. 14535 onwards.
5. Other Official Standard Editions
From the 1980s Waddingtons started to make teh first worldwide official special editions starting with a version for a Planning Consultancy in London.
Then in the 1990s, USAopoly was given permission to make official editions of cities (eventually expanding to other areas) for the USA and Canada market only.
In 1998, Winning Moves (UK) then got permission for making official versions in the United Kingdom. Thesedays Winning Moves UK now make official versions for other parts of the word including countries like Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic.
Other companies which have permission to make official versions include (but not limited to), Winning Moves France, Germany, Poland, Australia and USA, Dico Games, Identity Games and Eleven Force.
6. Travel Editions
Travel editions come in all sort of variations.
The magnetic pocket edition was an a awkward small, flat size. The tokens and houses "stick" on the board but the banknotes and cards however do not. It was published in many countries.
Then they started to be more practical with the "red suitcase" design.
This was a more practical game "to travel with". It is housed in a red plastic case, in such a way that the "gameboard" is on both inner sides. The tokens, hotels and houses can be put into the board, while a holder keeps the money and the cards.
Since that design, there are various new versions of travel editions and these varied from country to country.
7. Junior Editions
This game is virtually the same all over the world except for the language for the country it is issued.
The versions issued from 1991 to 1995 are square and look like the "normal" gameboard, but instead based on an amusement park.
From 1996 the boards were rectangular in a square box.
Thesedays, there are many different Junior Editions based on lots of different ideas.
8. Computer Programmes
In the seventies and eighties, more and less advanced Monopoly programmes appeared for Atari, Commodore, MSX and P2000.
Then they started appearing for the PC when everyone was having a computer at home.
Now you can get Monopoly and other variations for your X-Box and Playstation.
9. Other Official Variations
There are a few different official variations on the Monopoly name.
These include: Dice Games, Express Monopoly, Don't Go To Jail (as shown in image), Advance to Boardwalk, Free Parking, Water Works, Playmaster, A Train Set, Monopoly Deal, Stock Exchange and Jigsaws to name a few.
You can see more about these versions on the USA pages.
10. Patent Free Editions
In 1985, 50 years after Parker Brothers obtained the Monopoly licence, the patent expired so everybody can makes copies of monopoly. That was immediately done by countries like Tunisia, Syria, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
On their turn Parker Brothers rapidly expanded their assortment with sets for former cummunist countries like Russia, Croatia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, but also Turkey (all games manufactured in Ireland).
Though the original Charles Darrow/Parker Bros. Patent has now expired, a lot of parts of Monopoly are copyrighted.
This is what you will see on the copyright notices on official versions and taking note of this will help collectors know whether it is an "official" version or not.
MONOPOLY™, the distinctive design of the gameboard, the four corner squares, the Mr. Monopoly name and character, and each of the distinctive elements of the board, are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. for its property trading game and game equipment. ©1999 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Also, Hasbro has got a Trademark on the word "Monopoly" using the Monopoly typeface and is renewed every ten years. This can be seen here.
11. Editions of Inland Make
By this we mean those games who bear the name Monopol(y/i) but have nothing to do with Parker Brothers / Waddingtons / Hasbro.
Examples of these are the games of countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Poland and many Arab countries.
12. Related Editions
Anti-Monopoly: In America, The Netherlands, Germany and Finland, Ralph Anspach, a San Fransisco State University economist professor, in 1973 publishes his Anti-Monopoly game, an upgraded version of the Atlantic City Quaker's game.
Homonopolis (The Most Gayotic Game): Is a Dutch game with gay bars in the streets of Amsterdam, issued by Jerry Alexanders Group - Amsterdam.
In The Netherlands, many departments of Rotary Lions e.s.o. sold city games with the profit destined for good causes.
Petropolis is a Monopoly like game, based on oil trade.
Medical Monopoly (Copyright 1979, by James N.Vail) is based on the ins and outs of a hospital.
Gazdálkodj Okosan! and Takarékoskodj! are Hungarian games descending from the communist era. The purchase of a house and its furnishing is involved. Recent versions however are drasticaly capitalized.
There are 2 bible editions, viz. Shalom (of the German publisher Uljö Christliche Geschenke in Hackenburg) and Bibleopoly (an issue of Late for the Sky Prod.Comp.)
Late for The Sky Production Company made lots of versions for cities in the USA.
13. Self Made Games
Of course the Landlord's Games have to be mentioned here in the first place. But these, mainly in the east part of America handmade games in the Lizzie Magie age (ca. 1900 - 1930) are so rare. Thesedays, it is seen that Lizzie Magie is the original inventor of Monopoly, it was just that Charles Darrow patented it first.
In 1936 Elmer Fisher during his stay in a hospital made an all wood Monopoly of Detroit city.
About the beginning of WW II the Amsterdam inhabitant Mr.Horn made a Monopoly game with the streets of his own town.
The Dutchman Theo Schermers, the monopolist under the avid collectors, lives in a town called Hardinxveld-Giessendam, so it is obvious there exsists a game of his home town.
A maxi-game of 1.36 x 1.36 m of the Dutch city Eindhoven was made in 1976 by the members of the Monopoly club "The Bankers&]. This game was shown for the first time at the Dutch Monopoly Championship in Eindhoven in june 1992.
Jean François Dias got Metropoly for his 45th birthday which is a game made by 3 friends in honour of the Paris Metro 100th year anniversary.
Thanks to Albert C. Veldhuis for a lot of the information on this page and the time it took to put all this information together.