Poor pull-string Woody didn’t have it this bad in “Toy Story.”
Sure, he felt pretty awful when Andy demoted him from top toy in favor of Buzz Lightyear, that way-cool spaceman who liked to shout “To infinity, and beyond!”
But at least he didn’t get thrown out of the closet.
Tell that to the timeworn tokens of Monopoly: the shoe, top hat, wheelbarrow, clothes iron, battleship, race car, thimble and Scottie dog.
One of them is being forced into exile — taking a ride on the Reading or perhaps left to shuffle along the streets of Atlantic City, New Jersey, muttering about the glory days.
Rather, to go directly to jail.
Hasbro, maker of the board game available in 111 countries and 43 languages, is replacing one of the tokens with one “that’s more representative of today’s Monopoly players,” according to Eric Nyman, senior vice president for Hasbro Gaming.
In a campaign replete with marketing genius and every cliche you can think of, Hasbro is encouraging fans of a special Facebook page to vote daily until February 5 for the token they want to save and for the one they want added.
New choices are a diamond ring, guitar, toy robot, cat or helicopter.
The game was introduced by Parker Brothers in 1935 during the heart of the Great Depression. According to Hasbro, which bought the company, more than 1 billion people have played the game in its various versions.
Some tokens are long gone, among them the lantern, cannon and rocking horse.
The winning token will make its debut in mid- to late 2013.
The classic token with the fewest votes will get the boot. Ironic if that turns out to be the shoe.
“Fans who would still like to play with the classic eight tokens have a limited time to pick up the existing version of the game,” said Hasbro.
Comments on the “Save Your Token” Facebook page were hot and heavy.
“Get rid of the iron and bring in the kitty,” one commenter said. “That way the dog will have something to chase around the board.”
Others pleaded for the game to be left alone.
Some, including Jan Blackstock Harville, waxed nostalgic while looking ahead.
“That ugly shoe needs to go,” she wrote. “Although I did swallow the top hat when I was 3 so we never had it! I vote for the robot.”
Wednesday night, the leaderboard of old tokens showed the Scottie to be the safest, followed by the race car.
Pity the wheelbarrow. It’s looking for a miracle.
By Phil Gast and Joe Sutton
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