1978 Monopoly – Our Latest Thrift Bargain

Sunday is generally a day where the computer is switched off and the phones are ignored. It is our day for enjoying our space, whether it be playing, gardening, creating, or just relaxing. Yesterday was the perfect day for bringing out the 1978 version of Monopoly we recently uncovered at our local thrift shop for around $5 – all pieces intact! So we set up on the outdoor table in the front garden under the dappled light through the trees while the children marveled at the idea of board game currency including $1, $2, and $5 notes.

monopoly set up
We love board games – totally portable, no batteries required, and a brilliant opportunity to have fun while you learn. In playing monopoly, we are learning about maths, reading, economics, geography, social ethics and enterprise, and of course the all important etiquette required to be an honest, considerate and co-operative team player. As a home-educating family, board games are an important educational tool.

What is interesting about this particular set, is that it has a panel outlining all of the frequent misrepresentations of monoply game playing rules, and sets all of us misguided monopoly players straight! We were quite surprised at how many commonly accepted ‘rules’ are actually not part of the original game:

Free Parking – we have always played it that income tax, super tax, jail bail money, and any monies payable on Chance or Community Chest go into the centre of the board and whoever lands on the Free Parking space gets the lot. Apparently all money is paid into the bank and when you land on Free Parking, you get just that – the opportunity to park on a board space without paying any money.

Mortgage rules – we thought that you could only mortgage your properties when you had a debt payable that was more than the cash in hand, and that once a property was mortgaged that it was mortgaged for the remainder of the game. Now we know that you can mortgage property at any time when you want a loan (e.g. you want to buy Mayfair and you don’t have the cash, or you already have both Mayfair and Park Lane and want to stack the rent by adding houses), and you can then release the property from mortgage by paying the mortgage back with an additional 10% interest.

Doubling your Rent Prices – If you own all of the properties in one colour group, the rent payable when another players lands on one of the properties is doubled. This applies even if one of the properties is mortgaged.

Building on your property – You can transact business, such as buying and selling houses and hotels, at any time on your turn, or between moves by other players. You also have to build evenly across your properties of the same colour group.

Deals between players – I had always thought that this was our lenient family rule. Apparently not. unimproved properties, railroads, and utilities may be sold to any player as a private transaction for any amount that the owner can get! You may not, however, borrow money from anyone but the bank. The bank can never go bankrupt; if it should run out of money, then all transactions are carried out using slips of paper to keep track until the bank has enough paper money to operate again!

monopoly game

So we played happily with the new/old rules until Wiremu (the 2.5 year old) decided that drawing quietly down the other end of the table was no longer satisfying and began to throw tokens, property, and money all around the front garden. Sigh. I call a half-time break, we work out which pieces go where, and I take Wiremu for a walk around the block – he is fast asleep in mere moments.

We continue the game when I get back, short one player, because Angus (6) would rather jump on the trampoline. Isabella (11.5) manages to snap up both Mayfair and Park Lane, but makes some poor financial decisions using the revised mortaging for loan money rules and I end up winning the game. She is gracious about her loss, and we chat about how many people get caught out in real life with the promise of easy money through credit cards, personal loans, pay-later financing and the like. Hopefully the lesson sticks!


2 thoughts on “1978 Monopoly – Our Latest Thrift Bargain

  1. I guess my parents were/are Monopoly purists: those were the rules we used growing up. I always had to argue against the Free Parking thing in particular when playing with friends!

  2. Ha! Classic – I imagine that at some point we played according to the official rules, but then as we played with other kids the rules got modified along the way. Interesting that all of the things that we did differently were listed specifically though – they must have been quite common misconceptions. I’m sure Parker Brothers will be thrilled to know that there are still some Monopoly purists out there!

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