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Monopoly Gets New Token, Loses One
PHOTO: The newest Monopoly token, a cat, rests on a Boardwalk deed next to a die and houses at Hasbro Inc. headquarters, in Pawtucket, R.I., Feb. 5, 2013.

The votes are in and the iron is out.

In what some might call a ruthless abandonment of the old and others a democratic approach to the new, Monopoly magnates have spoken. The board game's month-long "Save Your Token" contest ended at midnight, and fans' least favorite token was officially replaced with a newer model.

From now on, a cat will round the board in iron's place.

By visiting Monopoly's Facebook page, voters chose which piece they most wanted to preserve in the nearly 80-year-old board game. The car, thimble, boot, Scottie dog, battleship, hat, iron and wheelbarrow's fates hung on the click of a button.

Fans from 120 countries, including Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Guam and Liechtenstein, voted in the contest, said Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming. A History of the Monopoly Board's Tokens

"It's been an exciting campaign and a lot of Monopoly fans around the world have gotten involved," Berkowitz said.

As the clock ticked toward 12 a.m. on Tuesday night, the competition grew tighter between the wheelbarrow, iron and shoe.

As of 6:30 p.m., each held 8 percent of the total votes.

"The shoe was surprising to all of us because there's definitely a large fan base out there for shoes," Berkowitz said. "Thankfully my race car has pulled through."

In the end, Monopoly fans locked the iron in jail forever. Hasbro will immediately cease production of the piece, Berkowitz said.

Now, the cat's being let out of the bag.

"Because there's a Scottie dog, there was always a conversation about, 'Should there be a cat?' so that's how it ended up being one of the options for the voting," Berkowitz said.

"We chose all of the new token options by really listening to our fans and hearing what they were talking about," he said.

Once businesses got word of the token wars, they took up arms in support of their favorites. Companies like Zappos created campaigns for the shoe, while others like Ames True Temper made videos pulling for the wheelbarrow.

And those companies that didn't have a token to support, like JOLLY TIME Pop Corn, petitioned to create their own.

The write-ins weren't included in the ballot this time around, but if enough fans speak out for a change, Berkowitz said Hasbro will pay attention.

"We're going to keep listening to our fans," Berkowitz said. "We're going to make sure we keep Monopoly current and exciting, as we're doing with the token vote."

Hasbro will release an exclusive version of the game that includes all the old token pieces, along with all the new candidates, on Feb. 15. The new version of the board game, in which the iron will be replaced with the cat will be released in the fall, Berkowitz said.

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