We regret to announce the death of the Monopoly thimble.
Born in 1935, the aesthetically pleasing and protective finger cone was snuffed out in 2017 at the young age of 82.
No longer will you be able to safely land on “Just Visting” without the risk of being stabbed in your index finger (or the middle finger for you quilters).
That’s because the thimble playing piece — or “game token” as it’s officially called — is being phased out from the Monopoly game.
In a statement to PBSNewsHour, Hasbro wrote, “Despite being an integral part of day-to-day life when the token was originally added to the game in 1935, the lucky Thimble has lost its ‘shine’ with today’s fans, and will be retired from the game.”
Last month, Hasbro decided to ask Monopoly fans to vote for the eight tokens which will be part of the newest Monopoly game roll-out. The Scottie dog, top hat, car, boot, wheelbarrow, battleship, cat, and thimble were on the chopping block.
“Not even the Scottie dog is safe!” said Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming.
The thimble, boot, top hat, and battleship were part of the original 1935 game. In the 1950s, Scottie the dog and the wheelbarrow were added.
The iron was already put out to non-ironic pasture in 2013 after it received the fewest votes in a that year’s contest. A cat game token took its place.
Voters were able to choose from 50 game pieces, including the current set of eight. A penguin, rubber duck, dinosaur, and an emoji are some of the newbie options.
So what do gaming professionals think about the thimble loss? We had a chance to speak with Brooklyn’s best and brightest. And some of their answers may just surprise you.
Wife-and-husband team Sara Farber and Bryan Wilson are co-founders of Brooklyn-based Galactic Sneeze, which they describe as a “fun stuff think tank.” Their interactive board game inventions include Spank the Yeti: The Adult Party Game of Questionable Decisions as well as Schmovie. (We highly recommend both of them.)
Farber told us that she participated in Hasbro’s online vote, and did not choose the thimble.
“The thimble, like the iron, feels like outdated references to stereotypically-female domestic chores,” she explained. “When I played Monopoly as a kid, nobody wanted to get stuck with the thimble. Even the iron seemed more fun for some reason. It’s just not a particularly playful object. It’s great when game companies listen to their customers, and this vote is a smart way for Hasbro to update the game with more modern and relatable game pieces.”
Wilson sees it differently. “I’m sad to see the thimble go,” he said. “There are so many licensed versions of Monopoly on the market, each with their own unique pieces. It’d be nice to know that the classic edition was still available. My grandma always chose the thimble, and that piece will always remind me of playing with her as a kid.”
The hands-on board game venue Brooklyn Game Lab has been encouraging critical thinking in kids since it opened its Park Slope (353 7th Avenue near 10th Street) space in 2014.
“You’ll be surprised to hear … we couldn’t care less,” said Bob Hewitt, owner of BGL. “I have over 500 open board games in the shop and not one copy of Monopoly. Or Clue. Or Operation. Or Sorry. Etc.”
Hewitt’s shop focuses on recently published games, most of which are less than 10 years old.
“We are living in the golden age of board games. The Parker Brothers/Milton Bradley family games of the past are obsolete,” he says. “It’s like asking a PS4 [Playstation 4] player what their thoughts are on Pong.”
The Monopoly Token Madness Campaign ended on January 31, and the people have spoken.
Hasbro says they’ll be announcing final results on March 19, and they’ll be rolling out the new pieces in August.
The Galactic Sneeze duo is waiting on Hasbro’s announcement along with the voters and Monopoly fans.
For now, Wilson is willing to part with the thimble. “I won’t be rioting unless they lose the race car.”
“Thimbles aren’t playful,” asserts Farber. “You know what are? Penguins!”
We’re unsure whether or not Mr. Monopoly is teasing his mustache with pleasure or disdain.