GI Joe Monopoly (2009)
There’s a Monopoly for everything. From the usual suspects of pop culture, to world famous cities (and not-so famous like my hometown of Kansas City) and even historical figures (an evening of Alan Turing Monopoly, anyone?) the famous board game has been licensed to death. Thankfully, that also means GI Joe got a turn. This special edition Monopoly game was released in 2009, during the heyday of the first movie merchandising as well as the tidal wave of 80s Joe nostalgia spurred by the 25th Anniversary toys.
The art for the set appears to be mostly sourced from the 25th Anniversary packaging, even including some of the new and/or reworked elements like jet pack Duke. The overall look is nicely put together, although I almost blew my drink out my nose when I saw a pretty awful Snake Eyes typo. Snakeyes? Is that a Cobra clone of the Joe team’s top ninja/commando? Goof ups aside, there’s a lot of nostalgia at work here, especially for the Sunbow cartoon, as the locales/properties are based on the various mini-series and regular cartoon. Though it would have been nice to see some nods to the comic, the ‘toon was ripe for picking in terms of exotic places that could stand in for Monopoly’s usual street names.
The playing pieces are nice little pewter approximations of famous GI Joe objects. The coiled cobra I can understand as a symbol, but they could have thrown a HISS tank at us instead. Oh well. The money and cards are centered around the mythos as well, with Cobra and Yo Joe replacing Chance and Community Chest. Railroads are replaced by vehicles, and the utilities are the Cobra TV station and the BET from GI Joe the Movie.
A few GI Joe centered special rules were also included, based again on Sunbow cartoon concepts. Oh, and the houses and hotels are now howitzers and defense systems. Again, I had to stifle a spit take when I read about those, considering the tokens themselves are still houses and hotels. Suspend your disbelief, I suppose.
In the end, the game is fun to look at and the Joe elements liven it up for those of us who are well versed with the mythos. If the game lacks anything, it’s the fact that the whole thing is centered only on the Real American Hero era of the brand. I imagine an Adventure Team set could be just as colorful and fun. Until then, we will probably break this set out more often than the other Monopoly editions we have floating around the JAD HQ.