In order to keep its Monopoly brand fresh, Hasbro has done a lot of different things through the years. Most recently, the company changed up its tokens, after a nationwide social media campaign to pick new ones and choose those that needed to go.
For a long time, Hasbro has also produced branded versions of the game: DisneyPrincesses, Power Rangers, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Harley Davidson, John Deere, and, yes, Trump Entertainment. And there’s even a version of the game that is, literally, branded with logos from everybody from Fender to EA Sports to Carnival Cruise Lines, JetBlue, Nerf, Paramount, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Xbox, Intel and McDonald’s.
Fans have embraced these or rejected them as consumers, but until now, it’s tough to say if anyone actually stood up and made Hasbro change one. That singular honor goes to eight-year-old Annie Rose Goldman of Illinois, who wrote a letter to Hasbro last year expressing her displeasure that the Star Wars Monopoly game did not include her favorite character, Rey, from The Force Awakens.
The prior version of the game only had male characters, and that didn’t sit well with Goldman. The letter, of course, went viral, prompting Hasbro to start adding Rey to new sets at some point.
But not immediately. Hasbro told customers if they wanted Rey, they could special order the character. That led to Hasbro tabulating how many requests came in. Then ended up fielding calls for, according to them, less than 100 special order tokens. They said “lack of interest…” And, that’s when the internet responded, barraging the company with demands Rey be included.
And now she has. According to recent reports, American and Canadian customers can now order Star Wars Monopoly with Rey included. Initially, Hasbro limited the games to one per household. Another minor PR misstep that was pounced on by entertainment media. Hasbro quickly lifted that restriction.
So, give a cheer for girl power and for a young woman who took it upon herself to take a stand, politely make a request and lead a movement. And, who will be the next consumer to step up and say “This is what we really want” … someone who will initiate a change? Likely, it won’t be long.
And, despite a couple of minor miscues, kudos to Hasbro for listening to their customers, understanding the PR opportunity here and making something positive out of it. Other companies have gone a different way … and that really didn’t work out.