Toy making giant Hasbro (HAS) revealed their Monopoly Ultimate Banking edition this week at the 2016 International Toy Fair in New York. The new version of the classic game mirrors 21st century payment technology and is set for release this fall costing around $25.
The Monopoly Ultimate Banking edition has ditched paper money and instead uses scannable “credit cards” that are tapped to a handheld digital “banking unit”. Players complete financial transactions such as buying property and paying rent using their bank cards. The move away from paper money stands to speed up the notoriously long multi-player game and cheaters will be disappointed that they can no longer steal or hide paper money. A previous version of the game called Monopoly Electronic Banking also eliminated cash but required players to manually enter figures on a keypad, slowing down the game.
A new twist in the upcoming release is the introduction of events such as market crashes and rent changes. Property values, accumulated wealth and rental rates can all rise and fall, closer reflecting real world conditions.
Monopoly has always provided a valuable introduction to saving money and making strategic investments. The Ultimate Banking Edition familiarizes young players with digital payment technology and also introduces the concept of assets fluctuating in value. However, it has the drawback that no basic math in counting bills to complete transactions is necessary. (For more, see: 5 Lessons Monopoly Teaches Us About Finance And Investing)
The Bottom Line
Monopoly, first released in 1935 by Parker Brothers, has featured numerous different versions over the years. Hasbro has successfully integrated the latest cultural trends into the game with current versions such as Monopoly Star Wars, where players battle to dominate the universe. The upcoming Monopoly Ultimate Banking edition in turn reflects our gradual movement towards a cashless society. (For more, see: The Top Game & Toy Stocks of 2016)