John-Michael Gariepy

The Top 11 Classic Monopoly Player Tokens – Part Two

Previously, in The Top 11 Classic Monopoly Player Pieces – Part One, we discussed the fastest and easiest way to lose a game of Monopoly:  By choosing one of those six inferior pieces.  The good news is that you don’t have to choose any of those pieces.  There are eleven Monopoly pieces to choose from, and Monopoly is a game for 2-6 players.  As long as you choose one of these six pieces, you’ve practically won the game already against the ignorant riff-raff who chose to play The Ship.

Oh, hold it.  We appear to have a snag.  Monopoly boxes vacillate on how many people can play the game.  The original game says… well, it didn’t list the upper number of players… I guess that’s where the confusion stems from.  But most modern boxes say from 2-8 players.  That means that if you’re unlucky and are forced into last choice of token, you’ll need to use some fancy reverse psychology to keep your opponent’s greasy hands away from these bad boys…


Number Six: Sack of Money

We’re at the halfway point, which means that The Sack of Money is as middle of the road as you can get.  Introduced in 1999, The Sack of Money was voted in by the players over a piggy bank and a biplane.  So I have the whole lot of you to thank that I can’t run around the board squealing like a pig, or run around my living room, biplane in hand, shooting down The Red Baron.  Thanks, internet community.

The Bag of Money, getting back on point, is an odd token.  It’s like I’ve already won.  I got this bag of money.  If I lose (and let’s face it, unless I’m a tactical genius, the odds are against me), I’ve still come out a winner, because I still got an overflowing sack of cash, and no one can take that away from me (except, maybe, the owner of the game).  It’s like playing ‘Deal or No Deal’, choosing the minimum amount of suitcases I need to open, and yelling ‘Deal!’ before the banker has a chance to give his offer.  I’m going to walk out a winner.

It’s nice to know that The Sack of Money isn’t going to screw anything up, but unless that fella puts everything on the line, he will never be a Rockefeller, just be a spoiled rich kid.  The sort of person who can buy subservience, but never loyalty.  Loyalty costs a lot of money.


Number Five: Boot

Kicking around at number five is The Boot.  There’s something embarrassing about seven of the icons being stomped on by someone’s old footwear.  But, the boot’s done a good job, pulling itself up by the strap and complaining about a lack of bubblegum.

The boot isn’t about claiming financial domination so much as kicking the other players when they’re down.  As you march around the field of battle, feel free to stomp all over your opponents icons with mock apologies.  Step on The Top Hat, ride The Wheelbarrow, and kick that stupid Scottish Terrier in the gut.  Grind your heel into the competition, and threaten to track mud through every hotel you visit unless you get the trade you want.

While you probably won’t win with the boot, you’ll definitely leave your mark.  If you do happen to find yourself in a winning position, however, you can lock yourself into victory by perfectly quoting O’Brien’s famous line from Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell:

“Always… at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”


Number Four: Scottish Terrier

I’m no fool.  I know the Scottish Terrier looks like a puny pup.  If I’m to judge by the way that players jockey and maneuver to get their hands on him, though, I’ve got to warn you:  That pup’s a winner.

Unlike The Ship and The Top Hat, The Scottish Terrier doesn’t pretend to live a life of class well beyond its means.  Real rich people don’t spend their money on showy items to prove that they’re rich.  Why would they need to prove something to you?  They’re rich.  They buy nice clothes without expensive designer labels dangling out the back.  They eat luxurious meals, not prepared in trendy restaurants where they can be seen, but in secret clubs by unknown masters of their craft.  And when those rich debutantes buy a dog to run alongside them as they drive their golf cart through their mansion, they choose a spunky, loyal, pure-blooded terrier.

The owner of The Scottish Terrier is a fierce competitor, more than capable of taking on their share of challengers.  This may come from the ingrained desire to admire that which is best in life, or best in show, and an equal desire to maintain this high cost of luxury.  The owner of The Terrier may also prove their ruthlessness by taking the dog solely to keep it from those who desire it the most.  This maneuver, when backed with psychological torture can bring a star player to their knees.  Play with The Terrier.  Come up with a digustingly cute names for it.  Then, fake cries of anger at it.  Threaten The Terrier.  Talk about The Terrier behind its back.  Question The Terrier’s taste and heritage.  After a mere twenty minutes of this, the deposed Scottish Terrier player will be reduced to a slumped over mess in their own wheelbarrow.


Number Three: The Cannon

Boom!  How does The Cannon move around Atlantic City?  Boom!  Boom!  That’s how!

Sure, it’s impractical, marching your personal howitzer through town, but the looks you receive from the locals are priceless.  As the local law enforcement scramble a telegraph to the U.S. Military, you and your trusty cannon can leave quite a few big impressions on this city.

And the deals!  People will offer you their houses in exchange for a meal and a train ticket out of town.  With all the money you receive from the ‘goodwill’ of your fellow citizens, you can load your cannon full of twenties, march it down Park Place and fire a few rounds of dollar bills through the grand hotel’s front windows.  If they aren’t keen on accepting your cash, you can always remind them of the many other things you can fire into the building…

The cannon is a strong choice, but if it isn’t always attacking, it’s losing.  Can you really spend the entire game as the aggressor?  If you do, this city will drop to its knees.  Let a single player maneuver to your rear guard, however, and it’s lights out.  Colonel Mustard, with The Iron on Kentucky Avenue.  Oh, and if one of the players has chosen The Horse and Rider, you’re out of luck.  Cavalry always trumps artillery.


Number Two: The Racecar

Speeding around the corner in spot number two is The Racecar.  And not just any racecar; this is a classic racer, reminiscent of one of Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows.  These spitfires were built for speed during a time when the concept of a ‘racetrack’ meant a road without cows on it.  During land speed record runs in 1937, Mercedes-Benz ran a car that could drive over 400 kilometers per hour (249 miles per hour).  During the 1930s, no other machine prompted so much respect for the sheer muscle it provided.  The mechanisms were monsters, and the men who piloted them were dashing adventurers of the road.

The Monopoly board makes a fine circuit for your drive.  Peel out of Go, sideswipe The Ship, trundle over The Cannon, swerve around the ‘Just Visiting’ and make a spinning stop at St. Charles Place.  When it’s your turn again, roll the dice, pop a wheelie and drag down the street.  Heck, you don’t even feel bad if you land on Free Parking.  Step out the vehicle, stretch your legs and take a walk around.  Beautiful weather today, eh?

The Racecar is a gas, but that’s only when you’re making trades and rolling doubles.  The unfortunate side effect of being a celebrity is that everyone expects you to be a dashing adventurer all of the time.  The first time you roll a ‘three’, it will be met with jeers.  “Don’t worry,” The Racecar will call out. “Just a flat.  I’ll take care of that in no time.”  The next time a non-double four pops, eyebrows will arc and you’ll be forced to pretend that you’re out for a casual Sunday drive.  One more four, and you’re a has-been.  No one is impressed by your shiny car anymore.  Suddenly all those swift deals belong to days past, and you’ll have to mortgage your properties and spend your nights in the open air, sleeping in the rumble seat of your once great roadster.


Number One: The Man on Horseback

Hargrave moved some papers to the right, then, to the left of the desk.  He had been desk clerk at The Traymore for less than a week, and needed to impress his boss.  But, right now, his duties were done, and he wasn’t sure what else he could do.  Hargrave moved the papers back to the right.

The front doors of the hotel swung open in the large hands of a gentleman dressed in a fine suit and cravat.  Servants ran to catch up with the ebullient man who marched to the front desk and slammed a hand across the counter, throttling Hargrave’s hand.  “Damn fine place you have here!  Damn fine!  What’s your name son?”

Hargrave couldn’t help but be drawn to the man’s winning smile, or his engrossing mustache.  He checked himself, “Hargrave, sir!  Welcome to the Traymore.  It appears that you have quite the entourage.  Shall I send for some bellhops to help your men?”

“Oh, no, we’ll have none of that.  I don’t pay these men to lie about and drink whiskey!  Besides, they’ve been instructed to teach each other Chinese when there’s no physical work for them to do.  Keeps the mind sharp you know.”  The large gentleman gave Hargrave’s tortured hand one more squeeze, and winked.  He looked around  the hall, took his suit jacket off and threw it over an attendant.  “Oh, yes, yes.  This will do nicely.”

“How long do you plan on staying with us, sir?” Hargrave asked, but was stopped by a “Shhh!” from the large man, as he put a finger to his lips, and one to Hargrave.  The entourage stood still.  “Hmm.  Yes.  Very Good,” the man replied as he took off his vest and cravat and rolled up his sleeves.  “How many floors does this building have?”

“Seventeen, sir.”

“Hmm.  That being the case, I suppose I shall have to claim number seventeen.”

“Excellent choice, sir.  The seventeenth floor features some very fine suites indeed.  We have four available right now.  The Presidential, The Corinthian…”

“No, no.  You misunderstand me.  I intend to buy the seventeenth floor.”

“Buy the seventeenth floor, sir?”

“Yes.  And the seventh floor and the twelfth one for good measure I suppose.  But it is very important that you and your men put up a good fight, you understand?  The staff of the Marlborough-Blenheim turned out to be a pack of pushovers.  I barreled right through them, and barely put up a sweat before I got to floor number five.  That big Indian fellow on floor eleven was a bit of a surprise, though.  Nothing a good right cross couldn’t fix!”  The large man ripped off his pants to reveal a pair of khakis underneath.  He reached out an arm and a staff member tossed a cowboy hat to him, which he caught and slapped on his head.

“I don’t know if our staff is prepared to, er, provide resistance?”

“No, of course not, boy.  You’ll need to beef up staff and hire some men off the street if you plan to keep old Teddy from reaching the seventeenth floor, by Jove.  But, maybe you’re on to something.  I need something besides basic staff and neer-do-wells.  I tell you what; hire a few prizefighters and put them on floor ten, and get two packs of timber wolves, and have them roam floors four and fifteen.  That should up the ante some, eh?”


“Teddy,” said the man as he spun on his heels, “Call me Teddy.  You know, they plan to make a bear out of me in tribute?  Some sort of automaton full of threads and stuffing!  What I wouldn’t do to wrestle that bear, eh?”

Teddy marched back to the front doors.  Hargrave half-jumped on the counter after him.  “Sir?  Teddy?  Who shall I bill for all this?”

“Oh, my man there will take care of the bill,” Teddy said as he swung the door wide.  “You shouldn’t concern myself over it, however.  I just bought the Boardwalk, yesterday.  The whole thing.  I own this town now, so, if it comes to it, I can just give you all the other building’s electricity and water!”

As Hargrave watched Teddy’s entourage run out the door after him, he could still see Teddy, framed by the door, riding his horse as it reared up on its hind legs, waving his cowboy hat in the air.  “Ki-yah! Ki-yah!” Teddy yelled.


Hey, you’ve read a lot of words about Monopoly.  Would you like to read more?  May I interest you in one of my other two Monopoly articles?  Free Parking: Gazing into The Abyss or Double Monopoly?


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One thought on “The Top 11 Classic Monopoly Player Tokens – Part Two

  1. Pingback: The Top Ten Monopoly Pieces – from John-Michael Gariepy

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