Monopoly markets in everything, French edition

Monopoly games filled with real money, in this case euros, from France:

In honor of the game’s 80th anniversary this year, its French manufacturers have replaced its traditional fake bills with real money in 80 boxes now on sale.

As if Monopoly needed higher stakes.

Agence France-Presse reported that 69 of the prize sets will include five 10-euro notes and five 20-euro notes, while another 10 will include five real 20-euro notes, two 50-euro notes and one 100-euro note.

For the final box, the entire “bank” has been replaced with real bills, making the game — which costs about 26 euros before shipping and handling — worth 20,580 euros, or about $23,000.

The notes were replaced during a covert operation last month in the small forest town of Creutzwald in northeastern France.

The monopoly boxes are selling for the normal price, although of course without notice as to which boxes have the real money inside.  Hasbro’s U.S. wing, by the way, is planning a ““vintage style board” to complement the 27 other variations currently available.”

The article is here, hat tip goes to NinjaEconomics.


Fine, to be sure. But I'm waiting for the Greek edition.

The Greek version has in select sets the 100-euro notes replaced by real 1-euro notes.

"Income tax! Pay €0.00"

Hasbro and the Greek Finance Ministry are already planning the publicity stunt for the market in Greece, when they will sneak into the banks overnight and replace all the Euros with super fun colourful Monopoly Money.

In (un)cooperation with the European Central Bank, they hope to be ready to execute their plan sometime in March.

What's the return policy on Monopoly boards?

Reminds me of this:

>>>Miles for Nothing: How the Government Helped Frequent Fliers Make a Mint Free Shipping of Coins, Put on Credit Cards, Funds Trip to Tahiti; 'Mr. Pickles' Cleans Up<<<

Enthusiasts of frequent-flier mileage have all kinds of crazy strategies for racking up credits, but few have been as quick and easy as turning coins into miles.

At least several hundred mile-junkies discovered that a free shipping offer on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value by the U.S. Mint, amounted to printing free frequent-flier miles. Mileage lovers ordered more than $1 million in coins until the Mint started identifying them and cutting them off.

Coin buyers charged the purchases, sold in boxes of 250 coins, to a credit card that offers frequent-flier mile awards, then took the shipments straight to the bank. They then used the coins they deposited to pay their credit-card bills. Their only cost: the car trip to make the deposit.

Richard Baum, a software-company consultant who lives in New Jersey, ordered 15,000 coins. "I never unrolled them," he says. "The UPS guy put them directly in my trunk."

That's small change compared with what some mile collectors did. The coin program was a popular play on, an online community where frequent travelers and mileage mavens share travel tips and profitable mileage plays. One FlyerTalker, identified by his online moniker, Mr. Pickles, claims to have bought $800,000 in coins. He posted pictures of the loot on FlyerTalk.

He says his largest single deposit was $70,000 in $1 coins. He used several banks and numerous credit cards. He earned enough miles to put him over two million total at AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, giving him lifetime platinum-elite status -- early availability of upgrades for life and other perks on American and its partners around the world. He also pumped miles into his account at UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and points into his Starwood Preferred Guest program account.

Even with all the offers that are available, the deal the Mint offers -- free miles without spending any dollars -- is unique. The Mint says the dollar-coin free-shipping offer began in June 2008. About $130 million in coins have been issued to 40,000 buyers, mostly coin collectors, community banks and small businesses such as vending-machine companies and car washes.

In late August and September, officials noticed a sharp uptick in "large repetitive orders" from a group of individuals, Mint spokesman Tom Jurkowsky says. At about the same time, the Mint received reports from banks around the country that coins were being deposited that were still in their U.S. Mint boxes, he says.

Officials found Internet chat rooms where the coins-for-miles scheme was detailed. Letters were sent to customers asking whether their intended use complied with the program's purpose. Customers who didn't respond were blocked from the program, Mr. Jurkowsky says. Fewer than 400 buyers were blocked, he says.

"Letters were sent to customers asking whether their intended use complied with the program's purpose. Customers who didn't respond were blocked from the program, Mr. Jurkowsky says."

So, If I wrote back with a "Yes", they would keep shipping the coins?

It appears they now have a surcharge on buying dollar coins.

What are the economic and other costs of living in a culture where there is little expectation of honesty and fair dealing? I imagine even from a purely economic perspective, culture matters as much as taxes or regulations.

Does the real money have a different weight than the fake money?

Asking for a friend.

That sounds like trying to calculate your car's fuel consumption mileage stats by weighing it on a weighbridge.

"Does the real money have a different weight than the fake money?"

Probably not enough to tell. But it does make me wonder if any of the new security measures built into the modern Euro notes is detectable through a cardboard box?

By my rough estimate:
there are 300.000 copies of Monopoly sold in France every year.
in total, there are 34.000 Euros in real Money hidden in These copies.

If the average retail price of one copy is 25 Euros, the average cash Bonus is about 0,5% of retail price.

So this is a really smart move by the manufacturer.
A 10% anniversary discount wouldn't have gained them a mentioning on MR.
A nicely advertised 0,5% discount did the trick.

Besides the purchasing elasticity in response to a lottery sounds like it'd be higher than a flat discount.

People seem to value the uncertain chance of a windfall far more than a guaranteed small discount.

300k sounds like a huge lot to me. France only has about 25m households and from observation I know most already own a copy.

So we can be sure there are no transponders are RFIDs in Euro money now, that's for sure :)

I predict one of two things:
(1) Monopoly cases stored behind glass
(2) A lot of sliced open Monopoly packages

Hopefully a TOP hat tip.

By the way, is there a new Monopoly: Piketty Edition?

We all know that Monopoly is a metaphor for capitalism. But Piketty would say: "non, non, it is a literal model of capitalism" (if you own Park Place etc., r > g).

My understanding is that the game was originally designed to be ideologically very Pikettyish, but it ultimately backfired as millions of Americans got a kick out of pretending to be rich landlords conquering the real estate world.

We're living in the golden age of board games. Dont waste your money buy-in another monopoly set. Settlers of Cayman is far more enjoyable, and doesn't drag out forever.

"Settlers of Cayman"

Ah yes the legendary Settler's of Cayman. Where you can build a port on Grand Cayman and sail off to Little Cayman.

Just kidding.

I think you really meant Settler's of Catan.

In related news, Kosmos and Mayfair games are issuing a limited edition of Settlers of Catan with each box containing a two-by-four, an ASTM standard building brick, a peck of common wheat, an ingot of pig iron, and a live sheep.

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