The original Monopoly, 'Number Nine', featured lots such as St. James Place, Atlantic Avenue, and the illustrious Park Place -- mind you selling for a mere $500 in the classic. The Here and Now Monopoly edition has upped the stakes and given the board a twist that nearly all Americans can appreciate. The game's lots now feature popular US destinations such as the Grand Ole Opry and St. Louis Arch, the Liberty Bell and South Beach Miami, Disney World, the French Quarter, and Wrigley Field. New York's will be especially proud that the famous Park Place position has been awarded to Times Square. Finally, don't think that you can get away with paying $60 for Mediterranean Ave. Now it'll cost you $600,000.
As far as the rest of the game details, don't expect to see that tired old boot or raggedy wheelbarrow piece. It's time to hang up your top hat piece because the new Toyota Prius Hybrid has driven up. The kids have got a cute labradoodle rather than a Scottish terrier to play with and the whole family is kitted out with a laptop, trendy Motorola Razr, and flashy New Balance sneakers. A large order of McDonald Fries is the perfect pieces for fast food junkies and a Starbucks Coffee Cup suits the java fiend to a tee. It doesn't get anymore up to date than that.
What else has changed? Things like the beauty contests that once awarded $10 from the Chance and Community Chest cards have been replaced by things like a $100,000 reality TV show prize and train stations have led the way for airports.
What hasn't changed? You guessed it -- the taxes. And there are also those annoying bills for cell phone service and Internet that have taken the place of utilities bills.
''To get a taste for the game before you buy, check out www.Monopoly.com. It will be available September 14th for around $30.''