Art & antiques by Dr. Lori – Monopoly signs of the time

Hasbro Games, the makers of Monopoly, recently announced that the line-up of beloved player tokens will be enhanced by a new updated token.

Based on player votes cast on Facebook, one of the original tokens soon will be cast aside. Voting will take place until Feb. 6.

If you want a special Valentine gift for your loved one with the original tokens, then consider buying the “Golden Token” Monopoly game with all of the original tokens available in mid-February at Target stores.

The eight classic Monopoly game pieces include the racecar, thimble, shoe, Scottie dog, battleship, top hat, iron and wheelbarrow.

Those player tokens harken back to the early days of Monopoly and demonstrate the culture of America in the ’20s and ’30s.

Back then, players selected tokens based on their jobs or cultural relationships.

For instance, apparently women typically selected the thimble token and farmers took to the wheelbarrow. The Scottie dog was a symbol of politics as suggested by President Roosevelt’s favorite canine of the breed.

Times have changed, so it’s time for some new tokens.

The Monopoly game originally was used as a teaching tool at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business to educate students about the world of finance and buying-selling real estate holdings.

The game evolved in and around the cities of Germantown and Reading, Pa., and over time, the game was offered for sale by Charles Darrow, the purported inventor of Monopoly.

With a playing board that suggested street names from the city of Atlantic City, N.J., Monopoly has become a part of the American experience.

Initially, Parker Brothers rejected the game citing that it was too complicated to play and took too long to complete.

However, the company heads changed their minds and purchased the rights to the game. Monopoly was first marketed by Parker Brothers in 1935.

Today, Monopoly is the most played commercial board game in the world. Monopoly is licensed in 80 different countries and produced in 26 different languages.

In February 2011, one of the earliest versions of the Monopoly board game sold for 90,000 ($141,723) in the United Kingdom.

The circa-1933 game set of circular oilcloth measures 33 inches in diameter featuring hand-painted squares highlighting streets, avenues and railroad depots, and was produced by the hand of Charles Darrow himself.

It is one of only 5,000 game sets ever produced and it is said to be the last surviving example in existence.

To cultural historians, the Monopoly game token choices are a sign of the times.

Now, 2013 Monopoly players can choose new tokens including a robot evincing our contemporary interest in robotics, a diamond ring showing our cultural love affair with bling, a cat which is the pet that many report is a worldwide favorite, a helicopter highlighting advancements in air flight like the newly introduced cargo “blimp” and a guitar maintaining that it always is cool to be a rock star, no matter the era.

Personally, I was surprised that a cellphone was not a new token option since we are all connected to those objects on a daily basis.

Don’t let a Chance card decide which token remains on the board for your next game of Monopoly. Vote now.

Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents appraisal events to audiences worldwide.

Dr. Lori is the expert appraiser on Discovery channel’s “Auction Kings.” Visit, or call (888) 431-1010.