The cat's in the Monopoly bag, with a new feline token chosen to replace the tiny iron statuette voted out of the popular property-inspired board game this week.
Fans of the wheelbarrow and shoe tokens can now breathe easy -- the pieces will stay put, rounding out a Monopoly set that will include the unnamed kitty along with a battleship, a thimble, a top hat, a race car and the ever-popular Scottish terrier.
The cat beat out competitors such as a diamond ring, a toy robot, a guitar and a helicopter for the open spot, garnering 31 percent of the votes for the substitute token.
Monopoly maker Hasbro Inc. set up the month-long elimination on Facebook in an effort to engage consumers and keep them invested in the future of the game. The Rhode Island company announced the cat's ascendancy Wednesday.
In fierce voting from 185 countries, Monopoly fans showed the least interest for the iron piece, exiling it from a new version of the game set to debut in mid- to late 2013. The statuette, which was added to the game in the 1930s, picked up just 8 percent of the vote.
It will join the other eliminated pieces -- such as the lantern, the purse and the rocking horse removed in the 1950s -- in Monopoly "jail," the company said.
The pooch token got the most backing from fans, with 29 percent of the vote.
Hasbro said the iron will retire from Monopoly production lines immediately, warning that players attached to the token should rush to pick up existing versions of the game.
Player reaction came swiftly and passionately on social media.
"Thanks for getting rid of my favorite piece, Monopoly," wrote Facebook user Kevin Corones. "Beyond mad right now."
"It's about time cats got respect!!" wrote user Jennifer James.
"All these board games are being ruined by modernization," wrote Denise Martin. "You shouldn't mess with a classic."
By Tiffany Hsu - Los Angeles Times (MCT)
(c)2013 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services