Cat in, Iron out as Monopoly changes game pieces

Cat in, Iron out as Monopoly changes game pieces

Of the handful of metal pieces whose journey around the board depended on a throw of a dice, a month-long ballot conducted on Facebook will result in the iron being consigned to history, the game's maker, Hasbro, said on Wednesday.

A cat will take its place on the board, setting up showdowns with the much-loved Scottie dog, which was the first token that online voters chose to save from extinction. The wheelbarrow and shoe tokens also survived.

"We know that cat lovers around the world will be happy to welcome the new cat token into the Monopoly game," said Eric Nyman, senior vice president and global brand leader for Hasbro Gaming.

"While we're a bit sad to see the iron go, the cat token is a fantastic choice by the fans and we have no doubt it will become just as iconic as the original tokens."

Fans from 185 countries took part in the Internet vote, Hasbro said.

The cat, with a 31 percent share, proved more popular than a toy robot, guitar, helicopter and a diamond ring, which were also vying to pass go and collect some money for the first time.

Monopoly revolves around the players' quest to make money from a host of properties, streets, railway stations and utility companies, which combine with "Chance" and "Community Chest" cards on a four-sided board.

The most-keenly avoided space is "Go to Jail," which takes a player out of action.

The game's format has seen countless variations over the years, but US and British editions pay tribute to pricey real estate such as Boardwalk and Mayfair, alongside cheaper properties such as Baltic Avenue and Old Kent Road.

Hasbro will begin to replace the iron with the new cat token on production lines immediately, the company said, leaving a limited time to pick up the existing version of the game.

The new Monopoly game featuring the cat token will arrive on store shelves in mid to late 2013.