GS TABLE GAME: Review Monopoly: Nostalgia 1930s Edition

Most people will have played Monopoly in their lives and it is well known that retro is nuevo today. Therefore Hasbro have put the two together by creating Monopoly: nostalgia 1930s edition. As you know Monopoly is the property trading game where you buy property and try to set up a business by making houses and hotels with the challenge being to try to bankrupt the rest of the players. This is a stunning set that any collector or player old and new will enjoy.

This version of the game feels like we have gone up into the attic and made a remarkable find. Here we get Monopoly in a beautiful wooden box, with everything resembling the original board game that came out in the 1930s. When you open the box you are greeted with a board that looks and feels stunning. This is a game that is not just value for money it feels like you are getting a steal from Mister Moneybags. On the other side of the top of the box there is the history of Monopoly and its rise to prominence as one of the main board games by any family can enjoy. Monopoly was created in the heart of the Great Depression and was seen as a tactic to promote capitalism. This subtle idea has never disappeared.

The board itself is stunning with fake thumb prints and dirty marks embedded onto it to give the look that this is actually a board from the 1930s and that it has been used and enjoyed by many people over the decades. It is the little touches on this board that will make you smile. It will make you feel reminiscent even if you were not born at the time. For example the board states that the patent has been applied for.

There are many subtle and yet important difference from today’s game that makes this an even more intriguing version to have. Mister Moneybags (the Monopoly mascot) is usually seen all over a contemporary versions of the game with his face prominently in the centre of the board. In this version his presence is minimal with him only seen on the front of the box, driving a train. Even here, Mister Moneybags does not seem to be the star but instead it is the train – harking towards the ideal to promote industrialisation and work.

Further, many of the cards are different showing how life has changed; our perceptions and what we see as crucial have moved with the times. When picking up a card for Community Chest or Chance, you will not be told you have won a beauty contest. Nothing like this was of the importance as it is in today’s society. As well as the cards that are not there, it is even more interesting to see the cards that are. You could end up paying poor tax (something that people in Britain no longer do as the money went to the poor houses) or even pay your hospital bills. Again this is such a nice feature and shows the love and attention that has come into restoring this board to what it was in the 30s. In Britain at that time there was no NHS and therefore if you wanted to go to the doctor you had to pay for it. So this card makes perfect sense. However once the NHS arrived in 1948, Hasbro clearly changed the card’s meaning. It is great picking these cards up in 2012 because you feel a great shock as you read that you have to pay for your hospital bills.

Another sign of trying to lovingly restore the original board for a new audience can be seen by looking at the pieces and money that is supplied with the set. The money is a different colour to what it is in modern times. The colours are less vibrant and it seems that there is less of the bigger figures such as £100 and £500. This is interesting because in the 1930s there was less big amounts of money and to see it mirrored in the board game is astounding. Further the colours of the money were probably due to the lack of being able to get as many varying colours and therefore we really get a social historical picture of what life was like as well as enjoying the game.


The cards also feel like they have come from another time. Like the board they are slightly coloured to show their age. They feel more utilitarian and have an essence of German expressionism to them. The chance and community chest cards are also aseptically pleasing. Unlike a modern version of the game there is nothing printed on the card apart from what it tells you to do. They are minimalist and fashionable. No flashy logo; nothing. Again when you first get the cards out you smile and laugh to see how much the world has changed. However others may think that it was the one flaw, looking slightly home made.

The pieces that you choose to be such as the dog still look the way they look today but again it is the little touches that make this such an endearing board to have. The pieces look more like they are brass as it was probably easier to get hold of at the time.

All in all Monopoly: nostalgia 1930s edition is a brilliant buy for anyone. Feeling anything but archaic it is a retro memento of what society was like and how it has changed. The game itself is its usual amazing fun and in many ways might be even more so as you delve into chance and find even more cards that would relate to the past that have no place in modern Britain such as the doctor’s bills. This is truly a fun game that will make you think if you want it to and if you don’t it will let you have fun trying to become the best entrepreneur.

Rating: 5/5
Reporter: Luke Halsall

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One comment

  1. deanjsimons /

    That sounds way more exciting that playing dull old modern monopoly

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