The board spaces on the original Monopoly game—which was released on February 6, 1935—were based on locations in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Through the game, the hoity-toitiest spots for property development in there, Boardwalk and Park Place, came to symbolize the uppermost reaches of real estate value.
Since Parker Brothers (and later, Hasbro) began licensing the game for alternate versions, there have been hundreds of Monopoly offshoots, and they all have to pick something to serve as their own Boardwalk and Park Place. If it’s a city, they will usually correspond to the fanciest intersection. If it’s a country, they’ll be the two most powerful cities. But Monopoly special editions cover a whole range of areas beyond simple geography. You want to know what’s considered valuable in a particular area of interest? Look to the Boardwalk and Park Place of its Monopoly edition. Here are the most valuable spaces from 11 special edition Monopoly boards.
1. THE .COM EDITION
In 2000, just before the end of the dot-com boom, Hasbro published .com Monopoly. Boardwalk was Yahoo! (costing $400 million) and Park Place was Excite@home (costing $350 million). Anyone remember what that was? (Didn't think so.)
2. THE PHINEAS AND FERB EDITION
Naturally, the most valuable properties are Phineas and Ferb’s backyard and The Tri-State Area.
3. ELVIS 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Of course Graceland is going to be Boardwalk, but what about the number two spot? Viva Las Vegas, baby.
4. NATIONAL PARKS EDITION
How do you determine the value of a National Park? Yellowstone and Yosemite are the Boardwalk and Park Place of this version of the game. Sure, those are great parks, but there’s something unsettling about developing properties in some of the country's most famous stretches of unspoiled land, and raking in profits!
5. BASS FISHING EDITION
If you know bass fishing, you know it’s gotta be Lake Fork and Lake Champlain.
6. SEINFELD EDITION
A show about nothing still needs to take place somewhere. Jerry’s Apartment and Monk’s Restaurant are the center of this world.
7. MY LITTLE PONY EDITION
Friendship is magic, but it won’t pay the rent. Stake your claim early on Canterlot and Crystal Empire.
8. SOUTH PARK EDITION
Cartmanland and Imaginationland, where else?
9. A CHRISTMAS STORY EDITION
The properties in this version are important objects from the movie, like a frozen flagpole, a bar of soap, and a pink bunny suit. But in this world, BB Gun and Leg Lamp get top position.
What is true value? A KISS Platinum Gold Box Set and a Japanese Vinyl Box Set.
11. MONOPOLY HERE & NOW: THE WORLD EDITION
If you’re going to make a World Edition of Monopoly, you’ve got to be diplomatic about how you decide what the two most valuable places in the world should be. Hasbro decided to let the world decide for itself, holding an international vote in 2008 to determine which cities would be included on the board. That’s how it came about that Montreal, Canada, and Riga, Latvia—the two cities with the most votes—became the Boardwalk and Park Place of the world.