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Ingenuity Helps NZ Cities Make Monopoly Board

August 20, 2008

Kiwi Ingenuity Helps NZ Cities Make Monopoly Board

Good old Kiwi 'can do' has saved the day for thousands of Monopoly fans who voted for New Zealand to be part of the first ever world edition of the game, but missed out by the narrowest of margins.

Earlier this year, fans worldwide were asked to vote on their favourite cities to make the MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition board. Loyalists in Auckland and Queenstown got voting in their hundreds of thousands, but in the end, Queenstown just missed the top 20 city cut off, finishing in the 21st position, with Auckland missing out as well in the Wild Card vote.

Thanks to good old Kiwi ingenuity, New Zealanders will still be able to play the game with Auckland and Queenstown on the board using a local innovation, the 'Kiwi D.I.Y. Bonus Pack'. This allows local game enthusiasts to pass go and land on Auckland or Queenstown whenever they want by 'upgrading' their game with permanent or temporary place markers that include the two New Zealand cities.

"Despite going head to head against countries with up to 100 times our population, the Monopoly global team was really impressed by just how close New Zealand came to making the board. We think Kiwis have earned the right to play the new MONOPOLY World edition game with these great New Zealand cities included," says Stephen Imm, NZ Product Manager Hasbro.

"In the spirit of the competition Hasbro New Zealand recalculated the world vote, adjusting the results to base them on per capita voting which showed that Queenstown would have come second in the main vote and Auckland would have topped the Wild Card vote. With true Kiwi D.I.Y. flair, Hasbro New Zealand came up with a great way to reflect this with the world first Kiwi D.I.Y. Bonus Pack and subsequently, other cities around the world that missed the cut have also adopted this unique Kiwi approach."

Queenstown does feature on the official game board in another capacity as one of the Community Chest cards to be included in games worldwide, where it is touted as the 'adventure capital of the world.'

Montréal will represent the most expensive property on the new MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition game board. After an unprecedented national campaign galvanized by the country's media and officials, Latvia's capital, Riga joins Montreal in the dark blue property group.

During a six-week period in early 2008, MONOPOLY fans from around the world voted for the global cities that they would like to see represented on the first-ever World edition game board. More than 5.6 million votes were cast for 70 world-class cities, which ran the alphabetical gamut from Amsterdam to Zurich and both Auckland and Queenstown were in with a chance to win a space. The results of the vote determined 20 of the 22 cities featured in the game. The 20 cities with the most wild card votes, including Auckland, faced off in a bonus vote in March 2008 and the two with the most votes, Taipei and Gdynia, earned the brown property spaces on the game board.

The World edition will also feature updated game movers, houses and hotels, Community Chest and Chance Cards, and utility spaces, which reflect international icons and scenarios. There is also a new electronic deal timer which speeds up play by limiting the amount of time available to make that all important deal - anything from 5 to 45 seconds.

MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition will be available on shelves on August 26, 2008 and one lucky New Zealander will purchase the world's first edition of the new game at 12.01am on the 26th August from Toyworld at Sylvia Park, Auckland. MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition will be available in more than 50 countries and in 37 different languages. Please check www.monopoly.com for local availability and price.

Today, fans of the game can play MONOPOLY in a variety of ways that best fit their schedule and lifestyle. Digital versions of MONOPOLY Here & Now: The World Edition will be available for download on mobile phones, online at pogo.com and for console systems including Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS2 and PS3. The mobile game and online game at pogo.com will be available on August 27, 2008. The console versions of the game will be available on October 7, 2008.


ENDS

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