Thimble 1935-2017

The Monopoly thimble is being retired.

Following 4 million votes in an online poll, toymaker Hasbro announced that one of its original token pieces will be replaced in the 2017 edition of the popular real estate board game.

It makes sense. I was trying to remember the last time I used a thimble in real life, or maybe the last time I did any hand-sewing. Okay, any sewing at all ?


Image. Hasbro, Inc.

Everyone had a favorite token back in the day, and I can guess it was not the thimble.

I remember folks fighting over the top hat, the race car, or the Scottie dog. For some reason, I liked the shoe.

In a similar “token madness” campaign in 2013, the iron was replaced by a cat.

The most surprising aspect of this story might be the 4 million voters who responded.

Not including power outages, holiday gatherings, or vacations in Wifi dead zones, how many people still play Monopoly, or any board game ?

Maybe the votes reflect a bit of nostalgia for a simpler game and a simpler time.

There was just enough interest to encourage the public vote on a new token piece, to be announced on March 19.

Stay tuned.

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72 Responses to Thimble 1935-2017

  1. Our game of Monopoly, from the 60’s had standard plastic tokens – all the same shape, but different colours. Must have been a regional thing? If I had the option, though, I think I might have chosen the thimble. Sewing was a big deal in our household, at least with my mom.

    I note a trend these days – I wonder if it’s in the US, too? The bookstore near us hosts family games nights – either in their place, or in partnership with a pub or restaurant. Seems that getting folks together around a table works only if it’s outside the house?

    • It’s hard to compete with the stimulation of electronics, but many of us crave the relative calm of those table games. Along with family dinners, they may be making a return one day. Value there.

  2. J.D. Riso says:

    I didn’t have a favorite token when I played Monopoly. I just let others pick what they wanted and chose from what was left. Board games are making a comeback (along with LPs and analog photography) with young hipsters. Maybe deep down they yearn for simplicity in this chaotic tech driven time.

  3. Gee when we played Monopoly the playing pieces were all shaped the same, just different colors. I had no idea the changes that were made. Huh. Seems as though Monopoly is still being played. But of course! It’s all about MONEY. Hmmmmm ….

  4. Nurse Kelly says:

    I love the thimble! Oh no! lol
    I’ve been re-doing my daughter’s room (she comes home for spring break this weekend and I want to surprise her) and came across the old Monopoly game that my mom gave to her a few years ago. Monopoly was my daughter’s favorite, and she played it with my mom when she was little.
    The pieces to the game are metal, I think, they have weight to them. It’s an old version. What a coincidence your post is! Anxious now to find out what the new token will be.
    Wonderful, relatable writing as always, Van. xo

  5. The V Pub says:

    Looks like there will be a spike in Monopoly thimble prices on eBay soon. πŸ™‚

  6. I can’t believe this. I always picked the thimble. Simply because it was the tallest of the pieces. I still have an “old” monopoly board game.

  7. Ron Walker says:

    I miss the old board games especially Monopoly. I just hope the new piece isn’t a cell phone! I would lose my crackers. I am pretty tired of cell phones at the moment.

  8. Steph McCoy says:

    The Scottie dog was my favorite. I don’t recall uniform pieces in different colors but I’m going to Google because now I’m curious.

  9. I used to make the thimble wear the top hat – and the iron was my 2nd favorite if someone snagged one or the other. My brother & sister always fought over the race car.

    I’m gonna have to go look up what the new Monopoly piece choices are.

  10. I feel sad for the thimble, Van, though my favorite was also the shoe. Something about the detail or that it was full of character. I wonder what they’ll come up with to replace it. I loved board games as a kid and still do. πŸ™‚

  11. We are big board game players in this family. My husband actually watches board games being played on YouTube in order to decide which he might invest in. We have a full height double cupboard full of board games and puzzles. And that is after we got rid of about 30% of them when we were emigrating. We actually had four or five different versions of Monopoly. We were down to two when we crossed the Atlantic but we are up to three now. I actually had missed the news out the iron being replaced by a cat. Our original monopoly is a vintage copy so has all the original tokens. I guess many people these days might not have a clue what a thimble is. I have a soft spot for them since my Gran used to collect them.

    • Folks like your family will keep the tradition alive, Laura. Glad to know. My mother gifted me with a small sewing basket with thimbles…not sure I ever bought them for myself, or even used them. Instead, I pierced my fingers, no doubt. Thanks for sharing.

  12. megdekorne says:

    Hi Van
    I too liked that silver shoe …even though I’m often barefoot as much as I can be !
    Delightful writing always from you !
    sending love

  13. Monopoly is so much fun! Yes everyone fights over a few of the favorites. Mine is the car!

  14. George says:

    I read this and was not surprised though it did make me sad. I always like the race car or dog. Wonder what the vote will tell us.
    You’re right about board games. If it’s not in the phone, it’s not exciting enough.

  15. I tried using a thimble a few times, and it was more annoying than pricking myself with the darn needle. I don’t remember which Monopoly piece was my favorite – I pretty much liked them all.

  16. It is interesting… and I admit an odd reluctance to see changes to the tokens in Monopoly, even though I haven’t played in decades. Strange… Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs!

  17. Awww… farewell Thimble.. I used one only last week, lol when I was sowing the hem of some trousers up.. LOL.. I had to dig it out after pricking my finger twice. then Spotted it in my bits and bobs bag.. It saved my fingers twice more.. πŸ™‚
    Have a restful weekend Van.. See you next week.. xxx

  18. I don’t play Monopoly anymore. Quite frankly, I find it tedious and annoying because it just takes too long. I do still have my grandmother’s thimble she won (if I remember correctly) from a spelling bee. It may have been some other contest. Truth is, young people probably don’t know what a thimble is.

  19. Bun Karyudo says:

    We still play board games from time to time, so they haven’t completely disappeared. I’ll be interested to see what the new token turns out to be. I’d like to see a snowman. Not for any particular reason – I just like snowmen.

  20. Hated Monopoly. We still play Scrabble.

  21. Grew up playing Monopoly. I still use a thimble when I sew on buttons, and so forth. Hate ironing, but not so sure I like the cat… as a token, that is. Our game had metal tokens. Houses and hotels were different colors.

    • Ours is an older one with those silver metal tokens, the new ones look a bit plastic. I just never liked using a thimble…not sure I still have one ? Thanks, Kitt. πŸ’–

  22. dgkaye says:

    Love Monopoly. And good riddance to a nice piece of nostalgia, the old thimble, lol. πŸ™‚

  23. Lady G says:

    I don’t know why but I always wanted the thimble! LOL!!! 😒

  24. I think they need to replace the pay “Income Tax” spot I always land on that darn thing. Even in real life! Maybe they could turn it into a “You just won the Lottery!” spot. Well, it’s a thought. Anyway, come April 15th I hope they put that idea up for a vote! :d

  25. dweezer19 says:

    I always wanted the iron….and although I rarely use it, my sewing kit ALWAYS had a thimble. It would be like not having an apron in my kitchen. But who really uses it? Lol. The wheelbarrow. Now there’s a dud token…

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