By Emily Senger - Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 0 Comments
‘For shame internet.’ Tweeps weigh on Hasbro’s move
Nobody, it turns out, has the monopoly on bad ideas.
In an apparent effort to inject some life into its most historic brand, Hasbro is held a Facebook vote to permanently replace one of Monopoly’s iconic board game pieces.
Would the thimble get the boot? Or was the wheelbarrow on its way out? Possible replacements included a helicopter, a guitar and, the winning choice: a cat. Yes, a cat. Thank goodness Hasbro doesn’t own the rights to chess.
By Rosemary Westwood - Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:07 AM - 0 Comments
Why build a house on Boardwalk when you can build a hotel on Banana Island?
Forget Boardwalk: players scheming and dealing real estate in the latest version of Monopoly will have their sights set on Banana Island. The man-made island is home to the wealthiest citizens in Lagos, Nigeria, the first African city depicted by the popular board game. In the new Lagos edition, the cheapest property—Mediterranean Avenue in the original game—can be found in Makoko, the vast slum built over a lagoon on the edge of the city. “The cards have been tailored to the Nigerian peculiarities,” says Adeoye Omotayo, spokesperson for the PR company handling the launch. Players might pick a card that sends them to a psychiatric facility for driving the wrong way down a one-way road, he explains, adding that that particular traffic oddity is common in Lagos.
So why base the first African city Monopoly board on Lagos? By some estimates, it is now Africa’s largest city. “Lagos is a megacity. It is a strong commercial hub for Africa,” Omotayo says. And it is the heart of Nigeria’s oil-driven economy. The wealth—and corruption—generated from oil exports are visible on the new board game, too. A wrong roll of the dice could hand you a card that reads: “For attempting to bribe a law enforcement agent, pay a fine.”
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 7:26 AM - 54 Comments
Today’s front page of the National Post features an amusing column by William Watson about an “access problem” that Canada Post has very suddenly discovered at the Montreal domicile he has occupied for two decades. Watson’s entryway has a few wide, shallow steps with no railing. It’s a situation that would not challenge an infant above the age of twenty months, and no particular carrier has filed a complaint, but a safety officer doing a “preventative” check of Watson’s premises has decided that he must either renovate or cease receiving his mail at home.
One is mindful, reading of Watson’s experience, that the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is still bitter about being sent back to work by statute with a poorer-than-expected wage deal. His tale sounds like the outcome of a work-to-rule effort, and that is certainly what one would anticipate after a
strikelockout that had been ended by fiat. Canada Post’s customers want to put a Conservative government in Ottawa?—Very well! Let’s see how they like the results! How happy for CUPW, really, that one of the suckers to whom it’s applying random abuse turns out to be a loathsome, venomous right-wing pundit of the sort that’s forever agitating for privatizations and competitiveness and the rest of the gore-grimed apparatus of capitalism. Continue…
By John Geddes - Monday, March 29, 2010 at 12:05 PM - 23 Comments
Never mind expert advice, Ottawa won’t go after this monopoly
When the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development issues a judgment on a country’s economy, governments, businesses and unions often snap to attention. The prestige of the 30-nation, Paris-based club of leading democratic economies is such that its typically pro-competition prescriptions tend to be held up by those who like them as gospel, and denounced by those who don’t as too dangerous to ignore. So when the OECD issued its latest “Going for Growth” report—a yearly compendium of advice for policy-makers in member countries—its provocative call for the Canadian government to sell off the post office seemed bound to ignite another heated round in the on-again, off-again debate over the future of Canada Post.
The OECD couldn’t have been more blunt in calling for decisive change in Canada’s mail business. Under the heading “Reduce barriers to competition in network industries,” the report urged: “Liberalize postal services by eliminating legislated monopoly protections and privatizing Canada Post.” Although that proposal might sound radical, it’s not out of step with international developments. Postal services in Germany and Holland were privatized years ago, and the services in Scandinavian countries and New Zealand opened up to competition. With those examples to guide them, in line with their avowed pro-market bent, the governing Conservatives might have been expected to embrace the OECD recommendation as a chance to advance a smaller-government agenda.
Instead, silence in Ottawa. The OECD’s March 10 report prompted an annoyed response from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. But from the government and the opposition parties, nothing. And that surprisingly inert reaction suggests the extreme trepidation with which Canadian politicians view the post office. It’s not as if privatization isn’t a live subject: the government plans to sell off the reactor division of Crown-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., and, in the wake of his budget last month, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said he expects to announce other privatizations within the next year. Yet the government signalled that Canada Post isn’t going on the auction block. “We’ll continue to ensure that Canada Post remains on a firm financial footing to maintain its universal service,” said an aide to Rob Merrifield, the minister of state responsible for the postal service.
By Tom Henheffer - Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Hollywood’s hot on kids’ toys. Coming soon: movies based on Monopoly and . . . Ouija board.
Basing a movie on the board game Battleship is no different than basing a movie on Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. At least that’s what studio execs would have us think.
Hasbro and Universal Studios are partnering to put the game, along with Candy Land, Monopoly, Clue and the Ouija board, up on the silver screen. It’s part of a growing trend in Hollywood—studios have fallen in love with the idea of making kids’ toys into movies. Continue…