Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mr. Monopoly Mascot

Mr. Monopoly, aka Rich Uncle Pennybags, is one of the most endearing and enduring icons in the toy and game business. His formal top hat, tux, and perfectly coiffed mustache have been around for decades as the brand representative for Monopoly. He was created in one dimensional form to represent the wealthy money man who would dole out big bucks and rewards to eager board game players.

Today, the world is full of walking, talking, animated bigger-than-life brand icons often called mascots. They seem to be everywhere from professional sports arenas to institutions of higher learning to mass media screens. You see them interacting with fans, leading cheers from the sidelines, or on TV entertaining audiences with the beloved Big Bird, Barney, and others. No trip to Disney Land or Disney World would be complete without skipping along with Walt's costumed creations that have been instrumental in selling tons of toys and games.

Being one of these costumed icons is not for the faint of heart. Behind--or rather inside--Big Bird was Carroll Spinney who spent over four decades in anonymity making the giant Sesame Street character work. How Big Bird Costume Works For anyone thinking that there is a future animating an iconic figure, best they find out details of the difficult life inside an oversized mascot's costume,

Chuck Long, had a 38year career as game salesman for Milton Bradley and eventually Hasbro Games after MB merged with Parker Bros. He had a much simpler and direct route to his limited engagements as the Hasbro iconic figure, Mr. Monopoly. The costume required little other than top hat and tux. Whitening hair and a mustache transformed him into the personna that by 1995 got him gigs at retail customer sales meetings, store openings, and even corporate and international Hasbro sales meetings. Chuck Long became an expert on Monopoly history and fun facts even autographing his altered identity onto Monopoly games bought by customers.

Chuck Long remembers one memorable appearance as Mr. Monopoly about three years ago, "It was at a Power of Youth charity event held at Paramount movie studios in Hollywood. There was some buzz about Mr. Monopoly being there. But the real attention was given to a celebrity that may not have even been an avid Monopoly player. What I am sure of is that the celebrity of Monopoly, the game, has been around in the business longer than Bieber's popularity in pop culture. He'll have to perform many more years to catch-up to Monopoly." Words spoken like a true game salesman who happens to be a Mr. Monopoly look-alike!

1 comment:

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