Although video games have definitely taken over, there are types of games that never go out of fashion. On the contrary, some of them have taken on icon status. One in particular has reached the status of legend, from my point of view. The board game par excellence. We are talking about MONOPOLY. This is why, this year, Montegrappa has dedicated 4 limited editions to the board game “par excellence”. For the 85th anniversary of the game, Montegrappa has created a masterpiece that is incomparable in terms of magnificence.
Let’s go back a little bit back in history and better understand, how was it possible, that a game based on causing others bankruptcy is so loved by generations of players and has reached levels of acceptance that are second to none. Just a couple of figures to better understand the success of Monopoly: translated in 37 languages and evolved into over 200 licensed and localized editions for 103 countries across the world. Impressive figures, isn’t it? It’s not a surprise, that Monopoly holds the world record, documented in 1999 by the Guinness World Records, as the most played game, with over 750 million players since its first edition, protected by a patent. Right, talking about the first edition of Monopoly, let’s talk about the origins. The Game has been invented and designed by Lizzie Magie, the inventor of “The Landlord Game” and Charles Darrow. Darrow has actually adjusted Magie’s game and has started distributing it itself as Monopoly. Parker Brothers bought the game’s copyright from Darrow and Magie and on November 5th, 1935 Parker Brothers began the marketing of the game. Monopoly, as we know it, was born.
Based on the streets of Atlantic City, New Jersey, the board game also got another very distinctive factor: Rich Uncle Pennybags, also known as Mr. Monopoly. A portly old man with a moustache who wears a morning suit with a bowtie and top hat. The identity of the designer of the character, artist Dan Fox, was unknown until 2013, when a former Parker Brothers executive, Philip Orbanes, was contacted by one of Fox’s grandchildren. And this character is integral part of the logo of Monopoly until this very day. An incredible story that deserves a proper celebration for its 85th anniversary.
Celebration of a myth
I can distinctively remember, when in my family, around this period of the year, we were regularly playing board games and one of my uncles, at some point came with a special edition of Monopoly. The 50th anniversary edition of 1985. I was only 3 years old at the time, but I still remember the golden plated tokens, the golden packaging and the blue resin dice. I wasn’t able to play, obviously, but I remember my parents and relatives playing for hours and jealously keeping all the pieces together and as far as possible from us tiny kids. 10 years later, in 1995, the 60th anniversary edition was released. And I still own an almost immaculate example, with a number plate on packaging, serial #01520, that we still use today, after now 25 years, as THE version to play with, when the round becomes serious. A beautiful edition with wooden tokens, hotels and houses as well as money that feels like real. In terms of size and in terms of feeling. And this is where the Montegrappa Limited Edition kicks in.
The most useful packaging
When we first saw the Monopoly Limited Edition, together with a few friends, we immediately joked on the fact, that this might be the most expensive Monopoly of our life. But at least, you get a free writing instrument with it. Jokes aside, the quality of manufacturing and the whole experience when you unbox the Monopoly L. E. is a pure joy. It brings you back in those days, when board games were the only way to play around with your friends and family and the sheer quality of the whole packaging is truly a reference. The elaborate packaging, which doubles as a private deluxe version of the game is an unmissable accessory with this pen. Tokens cast from sterling silver are used to play upon a 50×50 cm wooden gameboard, which features secret compartments to house pen and play pieces. Really well done and useful.
Silver and Gold
Montegrappa has wisely combined the beautiful colors red and a very bright green together with silver or gold decoration all along the barrel and the cap of the pen. As soon as you look at it, you immediately recognize a lot of details. Let’s start with the nib of the fountain pens. Evidentially only in available in 18k gold, the nib features a large, barred M remembering the Monopoly logo as well as a finely engraved Montegrappa logo. On the cap of the pen, on the 85th anniversary variant, the artisans at Montegrappa have sculpted and engraved all the tokens as well as the different possible field symbols, such as the “Water Works” or the “Electric Company” and many more. On the other side, the Mr. Monopoly edition, features a similar decoration on the bottom of the barrel but the entire layout is dominated by this huge character of Rich Uncle Pennybags or Mr. Monopoly and an assortment of banknotes on the cap of the pen remembering the financial background of the game. All in all, a wonderful piece again that can’t be missed by the game aficionados and that will, particularly around Christmas, be again the ideal gift for the passionate of the game but not only. The beautiful packaging will make sure, that the coming holidays will be remembered, once again, for the players creating their real estate empire and the ones losing everything on the board. Thank you Montegrappa, for continuing the tradition of this great game.
85 Fountain Pens Silver – Mr. Monopoly, €4’450
8 Fountain Pens Gold – Mr. Monopoly, price on request
85 Fountain Pens Silver – 85th Anniversary, € 4’300
8 Fountain Pens Gold – 85th Anniversary, price on request
85 Rollerballs Silver – Mr. Monopoly, € 3’850
5 Rollerballs Gold – Mr. Monopoly, price on request
85 Rollerballs Silver – 85th Anniversary, €3’700
5 Rollerballs Gold – 85th Anniversary, price on request