New Monopoly token fits in purr-fectly on Boardwalk (+video)

New Monopoly token: The cat takes its place on the Monopoly game board as the newest token after winning a public vote.

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    Monopoly token at Hasbro HQ
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Earlier this year, the makers of the Monopoly board game announced that it had retired the iron –  and replaced it with a cat.

Hasbro held a vote for the new game piece. Given the choice between a cat, a guitar, a helicopter, a diamond ring, and a robot, voters from 120 countries chose the cat.

And that, of course, was probably inevitable since the feline had the home-court advantage: Voting took place on the Internet.

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The latest version of the Monopoly – a game of real estate development and financial ruin – is now on sale in retail stores.

As The Christian Science Monitor's Schuyler Velasco noted in a previous article, the Monopoly game tokens now include a dog and a cat, mirroring changes in American society. "The cat’s debut means that two of the animal kingdom’s most natural enemies will be squaring off on the streets of Atlantic City (off of which Monopoly’s properties are based) for the first time. And if US pet ownership demographics tell us anything, then perhaps the Scottie dog has gone unopposed for too long. According to Humane Society statistics, approximately 86.4 million cats are kept as pets in the United States, with 33 percent of households owning at least one cat. A higher percentage of households keep dogs, at 39 percent. But there are fewer owned dogs – 78.2 million. The majority of cat owners, 52 percent, own more than one cat.

While there's been a lot of marketing and media hype around the retirement of the iron, and the arrival of this Fat Cat, the Monopoly has been dropping and adding playing pieces since its launch in the mid-1930s by Parker Brothers.

The Monopoly pieces were "originally made by companies who also made charm bracelets (many of the original tokens, in fact, were popular charm pieces as well).  Discontinued pieces from the original version include a lantern, purse, and a rocking horse. Others, including a cannon, a man on a horse, and a sack of money, have come and gone," notes The Monitor.

May this new cat have at least nine lives on the Monopoly board.

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