Recently, I’ve been engaged in reading about the history of Monopoly and listing Oz characters, so it’s not too surprising that my mind has gone back to the idea of an Ozopoly game. I referred to the idea and its general incompatibility with Ozma’s ideals back in this post, but concluded that it IS just a game. There already is a movie-based Monopoly, but since they only had one movie to work with, the resulting spaces don’t all make a whole lot of sense.
A book-based game would obviously allow for a lot more properties, but there’s still the issue of their placement. It would actually kind of make sense to just use the already existing color sets, since most of them do match up with the countries of Oz. I would think the Emerald City would be Boardwalk, though, so maybe the greens and dark blues would have to be switched. So what would be paired with the capital city? Maybe the Yellow Brick Road, but wouldn’t a green property with “yellow” right in its name be kind of confusing? Maybe the Yellow Brick Roads should take the place of the railroads instead. The other thing is that the order of the original Monopoly board roughly corresponded to the actual values of the Atlantic City streets. (Really, it kind of holds even today; Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues are in what’s still a rather poor section of town.)
As much as L. Frank Baum insisted Oz was a socialist paradise with no money, he still gave the impression of some areas being richer than others, and Ruth Plumly Thompson was even more likely to introduce particularly rich or poor kingdoms. For instance, her Pumperdink and Regalia, both located in the Gillikin Country, seem fairly well-to-do. On the other hand, Oogaboo in the Winkie Country is largely self-sufficient but still in the sticks, so you’d expect it to be near the beginning of the board. If you look at where the yellow and purple properties are located on the standard board, however, both sets of purples are fairly cheap and the yellows pretty expensive. Overall, though, there doesn’t seem to be any suggestion than any one quadrant is wealthier than any of the others. And what about the utilities? I’m sure that, if Hasbro were to actually release a book-based Monopoly game, they wouldn’t be this careful about it, but I’m thinking of this from a fan’s standpoint.
Anyway, here are some possible locations from the Famous Forty that could be included.
MUNCHKIN COUNTRY: Sapphire City, Keretaria, Mount Munch, Blue Forest, Halidom, Seebania, Mudge
QUADLING COUNTRY: Hopper/Horner Country, Land of the Barons, Quadling Forest, Hammer-Head Mountain, Jinxland, Ragbad
WINKIE COUNTRY: Oogaboo, Samandra, Patch, Sun Top Mountain, Perhaps City, Black Forest, Herku, Bear Center, Yip Country
GILLIKIN COUNTRY: UpTown, Pumperdink, Regalia, Forest of Gugu, Keretaria, Skeezer Isle, Flathead Mountain
Jail could have a picture of Tollydiggle, and Go to Jail one of Omby Amby. For Chance and Community Chest, I’m thinking they could be associated with magic items. Or to keep it closer to the source material, maybe Royal Storehouses instead of Community Chest? I suppose four houses would be followed by a castle instead of a hotel. Any other ideas from my fellow Oz fans?