A Conversation for Monopoly Board Game

52 mistakes

Post 1


I've read that 'Monopoly' was rejected initially because it had "52 design flaws". Does anybody know what the flaws were?

52 mistakes

Post 2


What, all 52? I read somewhere that the main ones where that it was too complicated, too unglamourous, and there were too many pieces too keep track of.

Fifty-two Fundamental Errors

Post 3


The Errors in Charles Darrow's Game

This is a reference from the Monopoly Apocrypha. Several books recount both the creation of Monopoly by Darrow and the buyout of rights to other existing games by Parker Brothers later on to ensure clear rights to the game.

Darrow had been making the Monopoly sets in his home in 1934. When a Philadelphia toy store began sending wholesale orders (for Christmas), it became clear to Darrow that he and his printer friend could not keep up with demand. It was at this time that Darrow submitted the idea for his game to Parker Brothers in Salem, Massachusetts, which by then had been making and distributing family games globally for more than fifty years.

The following bit of information is culled from "The Monopoly Book" by Maxine Brady, printed in 1977 (available from ebay or Amazon.com):

" But the company had evolved a set of inviolable ground rules for "family games," which they held to be mandatory for any game that could be successfully marketed. According to the Parker precept, a family game should last approximately forty-five minutes. Monopoly could go on for hours and hours. Parker also felt that a game should have a specific end, a goal to be achieved....In Monopoly, the players just kept going round and round the board. The only goal was to bankrupt the other players and emerge still solvent yourself. Furthermore, Monopoly's rules seemed far too complex to the Parker staff; they thought the general game-playing public would be hopelessly confused trying to learn how to handle mortgage, rents, and interest.
" After testing the game for several weeks, Parker Brothers made the unanimous decision to reject it. The company wrote and informated Darrow of this decision, explaining that his game contained "fifty-two fundamental errors." It would never be accepted by the public."

Of course, Darrow was not deterred, and sunk his own meager fortune into producing the game himself. Within the next year Parker Brothers would purchase the game and the rights to produce it from Darrow, unable to ignore the game's wild popularity.

In addition to the publication of the game, Parker Brothers made Darrow approve an ammendment to his rules; the inclusion of "Short Game" rules, or the timed game we are now familiar with today. With a 90-minute version, Parker Brothers attemptd to at least meet the 45 minute game rule.

This unknown timeframe, complicated rules, no clear ending point, and others are the 52 Fundamental Flaws commonly referred to in Monopoly. (Other errors, such as "Money under Free Parking" or "$400 for landing ON GO" are Different Errors made by Players and are not to be confused with the "52 Errors" already in possession of Parker Brothers [rights sold to Hasbro in 1982 or so]).

Hope this helps,
Nullmuse, Monopoly God

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