Friday, February 8, 2013

Wayne LaPierre Attacks Hasbro for Excluding NRA-Sponsored Monopoly Piece from Contest

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Riding the wave of recent media attention -- and backlash -- NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre put his organization back into the news Friday, fearing being overshadowed by the heavy coverage of winter storms, a new PlayStation announcement, Justin Bieber's SNL appearance and a psychotic, murderous ex-LAPD officer on the rampage throughout Southern California, who remains the subject of a regional manhunt. When LaPierre called the impromptu press conference, reporters expected the NRA to issue a call for armed citizens to help take down Christopher Dorner, the 33-year-old former Los Angeles Police officer and Navy reservist who killed two people this week and has threatened 12 others in a bizarre revenge plot outlined in a manifesto he published about his discharge from the force in 2008. But LaPierre's outrage was instead aimed at game maker Hasbro for excluding the NRA's concept for a new Monopoly token.

Over a month ago, Hasbro decided to host a democratic social experiment on Facebook by allowing fans of Monopoly, the iconic 80-year-old board game, to vote which pieces to preserve and which piece to replace with a new token.

The "Save Your Token" contest ended midnight on February 6. The fates of the car, thimble, boot, Scottie dog, battleship, hat, iron and wheelbarrow hung in the balance. After the votes were tallied, the iron emerged as the least favored of the lot. It was ultimately replaced by a sassy metal cat, which earned 31 percent of the vote. The new version of the board game, sans iron, will be released in the fall.

"Because there's a Scottie dog, there was always a conversation about, 'Should there be a cat?' so that's how it ended up being one of the options for the voting," said Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president of marketing for Hasbro Gaming.

The cat beat out a helicopter, a guitar, a diamond ring and a toy robot in the contest.

"We chose all of the new token options by really listening to our fans and hearing what they were talking about," Berkowitz added.

But many companies cried foul, complaining that Hasbro didn't listen to fans at all. JOLLY TIME Pop Corn's petition to create a new piece was rejected by Berkowitz and his team. But the decision to ban the NRA's contribution, even after the powerful lobbying group allocated millions of dollars to promote its campaign, astounded LaPierre.

"Clearly, biased liberal politics abound at Hasbro, and these anti-American sentiments influenced their decision more than free-market money or the Bill of Rights!" he snapped, blasting Hasbro executives.

The NRA submitted a variety of "all American" inspired concepts, including a Revolutionary War musket, a Civil War canon, M1 Carbine, M1903 Springfield, Colt Commander, MAC-10, Uzi and the Barrett REC7.

The organization proposed certain updates to the gameplay and rules, as well. Examples included replacing the public utilities with more efficient privately held companies. The NRA also attempted to introduce predatory mortgages for homes, immigrant workers at hotel chains to help owners avoid costly benefits and employment taxes, and the option for players to bank their earnings into offshore accounts.

"Nothing says 'America' like a trusty firearm," LaPierre growled before reporters. "We won our freedom with guns, we tamed the Wild West with guns, we put down land-grabbing savages and Indian squatters with guns, we took down Hitler with guns, and we protect our way of life with guns."

"Without guns -- a bonafide American institution -- how can players expect to protect their investments and their properties in Monopoly? What the hell do thimbles and wheelbarrows symbolize? What industries do they represent, and how have those industries contributed to the development of this nation?" he added.

(c) 2013. See disclaimers.

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