The Forbidden Zone was once a paradise. Your kind made a wasteland of it…. Would an ape make a human Monopoly game, with ape street names? … Don’t look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you find. –Dr. Zaius (paraphrasing a bit)
In its most recent earnings statement, toymaker and licensor Hasbro reported that its gaming unit revenue for the second quarter was up significantly over last year. Its franchise brand revenues, driven by growth in games like Monopoly, resulted in a 21 percent revenue increase for the company, to $545.7 million. What does that mean for fanboys and fangirls? Not only is Monopoly thriving, the 115-year-old marathon board game about real estate that we’ve all played over the years is here to stay. Although it was slow to adapt to computing (the bootleg game Monopole was popular before then-owner Parker Brothers jumped in), to keep up with the times Monopoly partnered with municipalities, sports teams, movies, and other brands to keep Monopoly fresh. What? You missed the U.S. Navy edition? The Ford Thunderbird edition? The Superman Returns and Pokémon editions? The Heinz, Doctor Who, and Batman and Robin editions?
It’s a madhouse. A madhouse! … We finally really did it. You maniacs! –Astronaut George Taylor
For its next franchise tie-in, Hasbro has partnered with 20th Century Fox Consumer Products to release this summer’s strangest mash-up game: Monopoly: Planet of the Apes Retro Art Edition. It’s not just your typical Monopoly tie-in with a popular franchise.
For Monopoly: Planet of the Apes Retro Art Edition, Hasbro tapped artist Dan Perillo to give the game a design it might have had, had it been released when the movie premiered in 1968. Perillo is known for his retro style. One of his works was featured in last year’s Star Trek: 50 Years/50 Artists project (reviewed here at borg.com), and he’s produced some stunning work for Mondo. Perillo’s work for the new Monopoly game should appeal to Planet of the Apes fans, but it’s also a dose of silly fun that will appeal to fans of all things retro.
The standard game is altered–slightly. Instead of paying an Income Tax, in the new edition you get strung up on a spit by your hands and feet and led off. Instead of the joy of landing on Boardwalk you get to discover the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. And that’s Taylor’s marooned space capsule instead of the valuable Short Line railroad. Perillo created six character tokens to choose from: Taylor, Cornelius, Zira, Dr. Zaius, Nova, or a gorilla general (it looks like you could play the gorilla as either General Ursus from Beneath of the Planet of the Apes, Chief of Security Urko from the TV series, or General Aldo from Conquest of the Planet of the Apes). As with all Monopoly editions, the four corners of the gameboard never change.
It’s time to go there and back again, sci-fi style. You can pre-order Monopoly: Planet of the Apes Retro Art Edition now here at Entertainment Earth or here at Amazon, available everywhere next month.