The “world’s most popular board game” is taking a hot-air balloon ride to California wine country: Monopoly Napa Valley Edition lands on Go this fall.
Napa’s Mayor Scott Sedgley and Visit Napa Valley President and CEO Linsey Gallagher held a press conference at the Napa Valley Welcome Center in February to announce the forthcoming special-edition boardgame. They were joined by a 9-foot tall Mr. Monopoly. “We know that people come [to Napa] to play and relax, and connect with family and friends,” said Gallagher, “and we can think of no better way to get to do that at home than through Monopoly.”
Longtime Monopoly fans can still expect to squabble over who gets to use the thimble or the race car; the eight original player pieces, as well as the familiar four corners, will remain unchanged for the new edition. Select squares will be reserved for Napa landmarks and community organizations, with the rest sold to local businesses through a series of sponsorship opportunities.
”It’s fun to think about how you tell a Napa Valley story through the series of squares on a board game,” Gallagher told Wine Spectator. Which Napa Valley institutions will appear in Monopoly’s new Napa Valley edition remain to be scene—they’re currently being vetted with the input of local wine lovers and board game enthusiasts.
But this isn’t the first time a Napa Valley edition of Monopoly has appeared. A version that was released in the mid-1990s featured eight pewter wine-themed game pieces, including a barrel, grape bunches, a goblet and a corkscrew; “Wine Spectator”-themed Chance cards; the traditional railroad squares were dedicated instead to grape varieties; and among the board’s real-estate opportunities were Robert Mondavi Winery, Caymus Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Beaulieu Vineyard and Mustard’s Grill.
The 2022 Monopoly Napa Valley Edition ($40), from Top Trumps USA under licensing from Hasbro, is expected to hit wine-country retail shelves in October, and will also be available for purchase through the Top Trumps website. For those who can’t wait until harvest season, there are still a few of those 1990s editions available on eBay ….
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