branded Monopoly Game

The History of Monopoly





The History of the Monopoly Game

is fascinating….

It can be traced back to 1904 when an American woman, named Elizabeth  J. Magie Phillips, created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George [Henry George was an American political economist in the late 1800s].  The game was intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies.  Her game, was called ‘The Landlord’s Game’ and was commercially published in 1924; just in the US.

This is interesting….

In 1941, the British Secret Service had John Waddington Ltd, who was then the licensed manufacturer of the game outside the U.S., create a special edition for World War 2, ‘prisoners of war’ that were held by the Nazis.  Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping! They were distributed to prisoners by secret service-created, fake charity groups.  I am astonished on how they got away with that…. and, I’m afraid I have no figures for you on how many people made their escape using the hidden tools!

After the war, a lengthy court process ensued relating to the trademark and ownership of the term ‘Monopoly’ and  it wasn’t until the late 1970s that it was resolved, making way for the game to then be created as the game we know today.

Monopoly is one of those huge board-game success stories that is too big a success story for anyone to ever try to compete with.  Demand for the game has never waned and is still growing in demand today globally, after many decades of sales.

Naturally, the game has seen many modifications over time. The biggest change for Monopoly though, is how it has been re-worked commercially, with limited and special editions created for cities; regions; countries; landmarks and brands all over the world.  The US is flooded with state, landmark and corporate editions.  Monopoly is a lucrative game and has come a long way from it’s humble beginnings.

Virgin's branded money version

You can NOW have your own branded Monopoly game – available here in the UK.  You can pretty much design your own, down to the board design, the outer box, customizing your money and the chance and community chest cards.   Many big names have already taken up this opportunity, such as Virgin, Wrigley, Vodaphone, and even Harrow School.  Minimum quantities for a bespoke version is from 1,000 pieces.  These are perfect for corporate gifts, events, staff rewards, marketing campaigns and even for re-sale.



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