Monopoly: great game. Also: takes too long, someone usually cheats and there’s always a fight about who gets to be the race car.
But a new version of the classic board game (which has been played by more than one billion people since it was introduced in 1935) has squashed the potential for race car beef.
How? By replacing that token with a whale on a skateboard.
Simply put: art. And commerce. The "Traditional Japanese Arts & Crafts Edition" of Monopoly, which celebrates the 300th anniversary of Japanese fabric brand Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten, features pieces, properties and Chance and Community Chest cards inspired by the rich history of the arts in Japan.
The limited edition set of 5,000 has also swapped out game pieces such as the top hat, thimble and wheelbarrow for tokens like a waving cat, brown deer and sweater-clad white rabbit.
Instead of houses and hotels, players will build studios and shops for their opponents to shop at or establish a stranglehold on the hato-guruma (dove cart) business as opposed to taking the reins of the railroads.
Whether house rules apply or not is unclear...and we’re not quite sure of the significance of the whale Tony Hawk, but we do know that the set costs 5,400 yen — about $46.
By the way, muryō chūshajō is “free parking” in Japanese.