Fort Lauderdale tapped by Monopoly for new city edition of board game, more cities to follow

Top Trumps USA company tasks research team with finding more cities for iconic board game

"Mr. Monopoly" is leaving New Jersey and is headed to South Florida

Other cities await his presence as well. 

The mascot of the popular board game Monopoly has been snatching up real estate recently in cities throughout the U.S., with Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as his latest conquest.


It's part of an effort by Rhode Island-based Top Trumps USA to create special U.S. city editions of the bestselling board game of all time.

Top Trumps USA – the U.S. arm of London-based game company Winning Moves International – announced earlier this week the launch of the Fort Lauderdale edition of Monopoly, which has been a Hasbro property since it acquired Parker Brothers in 1991.

The Fort Lauderdale edition of Monopoly will be released in early 2025.

The "Monopoly Man" poses for a photo along the New River in Fort Lauderdale, selected as the newest city edition for the popular board game. (Fort Lauderdale / Fox News)
Fort Lauderdale has become the latest city to receive the distinction, joining fellow Florida city Tampa, whose version was released earlier this year.
Other notable cities to receive their own version of Monopoly are Cleveland, Kansas City, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Sacramento. 

And coming up, an Omaha, Nebraska, edition is set to be released in time for Thanksgiving, Top Trumps USA sales executive Sarah Bowman told Fox News Digital.
Why Fort Lauderdale?

Winning Moves is Hasbro's No. 1 global licensing partner, Bowman said, and has been producing Monopoly editions for international cities since the late 1990s. 
Starting in 2020, Winning Moves entered the U.S. marketplace as Top Trumps USA and began licensing a handful of Monopoly city editions throughout the country.

Top Trumps USA has released 34 city editions to date. Bowman couldn't say how many more will be selected this year or in the future.
Monopoly man with elected officials
The "Monopoly Man" poses with Fort Lauderdale's Mayor Dean Trantalis, left, and Vice Mayor Steven Glassman, right, in front of a water taxi. The Fort Lauderdale edition of Monopoly is set to be released in early 2025. (Fort Lauderdale / Fox News)

Because of the size of New York City, Top Trumps USA chose to focus on its boroughs. The Brooklyn game was one of the first city editions to be released, and a Queens version is in the works, Bowman said.\
The company's research team is responsible for selecting the cities and spacing out editions in relation to each city's geographic location, Bowman said.
"We look for those cities with a lot of community pride, just flair, personality, a community aspect – a family-friendly aspect – and so Fort Lauderdale has popped up on our radar," Bowman said.
'Pass Go and collect $200'

The economics-themed board game made its debut in 1935 — but its origin can be traced to 1903, when anti-monopolist Lizzie Magie created The Landlord's Game, which was patented the following year. 
Magie's game was self-published in 1906, according to Philip E. Orbanes' 2007 book "Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game & How It Got That Way."

Several variations of the game, based on a similar concept, were developed in the years after that, according to the Smithsonian Institution — prompting Magie to apply for another patent, which was approved in 1924.

By the time Parker Brothers acquired the rights to Magie's patent and began marketing the game as Monopoly in 1935, it was Philadelphia heater salesman Charles Darrow who was credited as the game's sole creator, the Smithsonian also noted. Darrow earned the Monopoly patent in Dec. 1935, one month after Magie sold hers to Parker Brothers for $500.
Monopoly board game, with money shown
A Monopoly board and play money from the German standard version. Monopoly is one of the most successful board games all over the world. Invented in the 1930s, it can be bought in dozens of countries and hundreds of local variants.  (iStock / iStock)
Darrow's version now included references to Atlantic City, New Jersey, locations like Baltic Avenue, Boardwalk and Marvin Gardens (a misspelling of the real Marven Gardens).
The character of Milburn Pennybags – who has several aliases, among them "Rich Uncle" Pennybags, "Mr. Monopoly" and "Monopoly Man" – first appeared in U.S. editions of the game in 1936, wrote Orbanes, a former Parker Brothers executive, in his book.

There have been plenty of revisions to Monopoly over the decades, including ditching original game pieces like the iron and thimble. But the face of the game has endured.
Imitations are out there
While there have been copious sanctioned editions of the classic Monopoly game, Bowman cautioned that there are plenty of "imitation" games out there as well.

College campuses are flooded with their own versions of Monopoly, such as Texas A&M University's Aggieopoly, the University of Oregon's Duckopoly and Florida State University's F.S.U.-opoly.
There are also prehistoric versions (Dino-opoly), rock band-themed versions (AC/DC and Metallica), movie versions ("Ghostbusters" and "The Godfather") — plus TV show versions ("The Golden Girls" and "Seinfeld"), Disney-themed versions, pro sports team versions and even pet versions ("Dog-opoly").
Basically, any game that has a fill-in-the-blank subject and "-opoly" at the end isn't licensed by Hasbro, Bowman told Fox News Digital.
"Go to jail" card in Monopoly
A "Chance" card instructing a player to "go directly to jail" from the game of Monopoly is shown here. Monopoly is a property trading game published by Parker Brothers, a subsidiary of Hasbro. (iStock / iStock)
The imitation versions also have substitutes for "Community Chest" and "Chance" cards, Bowman said.
Orbanes, speaking to Fox News Digital, said a "legal oversight" allowed anyone to create a game with the letters "-opoly" at the end.
For example, "you could make Fox News Digital-opoly," he said.
Bowman, for her part, noted that the licensed editions "will say ‘Monopoly’ and then ‘Fort Lauderdale edition.’ There is a difference in quality," she added. 
What's with Monopoly mania?
Orbanes said when he first wrote his book about Monopoly, he contacted the company that, at that time, owned the rights to the game's licensing.
"I think they gave me over 200 titles," he told Fox News Digital.
He believes the nearly century-old obsession with Monopoly is a testament to the strength of the game, but he also believes the "affinity" editions are more for collectors than lovers of the game.
"A lot of people just collect them because they have a fondness for the theme," Orbanes said, adding that the games are "not necessarily bought to be played."
Monopoly board
A Monopoly board game shown during play with money, property cards, houses, hotels and dice.  (iStock / iStock)
Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, which promotes tourism in Tampa and Hillsborough County, Florida, said the early returns on its city edition of Monopoly have been encouraging.
"We've sold over $10,500 worth of the game, just us, on our retail site," Corrada told Fox News Digital.
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Corrada said it's "great" that other tourism destinations like Fort Lauderdale and Omaha – home to the men's College World Series – will soon be getting their own editions of the game. 
"Rising tides lift all boats," he said.
'Community pride'
Unlike the imitation games, the community also plays a role in shaping the game, Bowman said.
Fort Lauderdale is no exception. "These really spark community pride," Bowman said.
"Mr. Monopoly" joined Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis and Vice Mayor Steven Glassman for the announcement this past Monday. The costumed mascot got a tour of the New River that runs through the heart of the city, affectionately known as the "Venice of the South," and got a glimpse of possible game spaces such as Las Olas Boulevard.

The Bonnet House and Las Olas Boulevard are possible spaces in the new Fort Lauderdale edition of Monopoly. (Fort Lauderdale / Fox News)
"Generations of people have enjoyed playing the traditional Monopoly game and it is a real honor for Fort Lauderdale to be featured in such an iconic game," Trantalis said in a statement. 
"A Fort Lauderdale edition of Monopoly is another great way to share with the rest of the world the great news about what a wonderful place Fort Lauderdale is to call home."
The game has not been made yet, so community input is now being welcomed through July 31. Anyone can learn more by visiting the website of the city of Fort Lauderdale. 
"Long term in the U.S., like 10 years down the road, too, our goal is to do custom editions with specific brands – big brands like the Empire State Building," Bowman said.
Once suggestions have been collected, the Top Trumps USA design team will create the look of the game, submit it for testing and then do product development, Bowman said.

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