I suppose it was inevitable.
From next week, you can buy a Vegemite-themed version of Monopoly.
The game, which is being released to celebrate the iconic yeast spread’s 100th birthday, is being flogged exclusively by Woolworths from 14 April 2023, priced at $60.
I’m pretty keen on Vegemite merch, which has proliferated ever since Bega Cheese acquired the brand from Kraft in 2017. Here I am modelling a Vegemite party suit, bum bag and Volleys at our work Christmas party last year.
However, I won’t be buying the Vegemite Monopoly. Frankly, $60 is too much for yet another edition of a game that most folks grow out of rapidly once they’ve stopped playing it on family holidays.
That hasn’t stopped different versions of Monopoly from breeding faster than Uncle Pennybags, and I own quite a few of them. But you can do better than Vegemite. Here’s my pick of 5 versions of Monopoly that actually might be worth hunting down.
Doctor Who Monopoly
With 50 years of history to draw from, this anniversary edition Doctor Who release was a sensible choice for the Monopoly universe and I snapped it up on release. Naturally, my preferred piece is the Fifth Doctor’s celery. Way to judge on UNIT by making it the el cheapo Old Kent Road square though. It’s no longer in print; you can pick up a second-hand copy for as little as $20, while sealed copies seem to range from $60 to $140+ at Amazon.
If you want to regularly play Monopoly, I’d skip the specialty titles and just buy the standard edition (which means, in Australia, the UK streets version). That’s because I’m cheap. The official list price in Australia is $43, but it routinely goes on sale for $30 or less.
You’d think as a lifelong ABBA tragic I’d own this. You’d be wrong. I didn’t pick it up when it came out in 2014, and now it sells for stupid money ($300 or more on eBay). So I’ve never had the chance to send the star-shaped Bjorn guitar on a journey towards ‘One Of Us’ (the properties are singles, arranged chronologically).
Star Wars Monopoly
There are quite a few Star Wars Monopoly variants about, but the one I’m keen on is the Trilogy Edition, based on the original 3 movies. Why? Not because I’m a Star Wars purist. Just because I played this version quite a bit when it first came out, and because one of the utilities is replaced with a Moisture Farm, and that always makes me laugh. Indeed, Moisture Farm became the unofficial nickname for one of my friends. I wouldn’t pay the $150+ bucks a second-hand copy demands though – instead, maybe I’d go for the Mandalorian ‘The Child’ edition, which is current and therefore cheap.
World’s Smallest Monopoly
I am a sucker for tiny games. So a version of Monopoly where the board is just 7.5cm square is definitely tempting. The only downside? It’s the American board, not the UK one. Going price for World’s Smallest Monopoly is around $13.