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Late For The Sky -V- Hasbro Monopoly

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DonRon
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Joined: 05/07/2018

Firstly, thank you for allowing me to become a member here. I have been an avid reader for a while now and decided to join for one reason to post this question to the members and secondly to gain some knowledge from the experienced designers in here. I have two game concepts one which I believe to be unique which I will put out there for opinions soon, the other a Monopoly derivative and on that one I'd like some feedback from you guys.

My "Monopoly" derivative is a travel based board game built around a world famous tourist destination (which I hope to be marketing to support a charity in this location). It will therefore not be in global demand but rather appeal to this destinations native population and the millions of tourists that come to this destination every year. I have great marketing contacts here and see no problems marketing the game to my target audience.

I contacted Hasbro to see if they were interested, they responded by saying that they would sell me produced licensed games, but the MOQ's and price (was like a telephone number), so I decided to look around for alternatives.

My research found a board game called "PARIS-OPOLY" and that landed me at "LATE FOR THE SKY", publishers of hundreds of "-OPOLY" knock offs (including one for just about every State/Town in the USA). I contacted them with my concept (excluding the destination name I am targeting) and they were keen on the idea and gave me a price list for 250 (their MOQ), 500, 1000, up to 10,000 units. MOQ's are more realistic than Hasbro and their unit pricing is around 50% cheaper than Hasbro's but still up there in terms of making any sort of profit (I want to try to keep the RRP to under $40 if I can).

My next question to them was,"Are you licensed by Hasbro ?, if not how do you get around copyright/patent rules etc... I don't want to go to any expense and find my stock seized or that I am being sued by a corporation."

Their response, "We do not have a licence agreement with Hasbro. In the early 80's the concept of the game play became public domain. So anyone could make a "property trading" styled game if one did not infringe on the original design of "Monopoly". Please look through our pricing information and contact me with any questions you might have."

I have looked on their website and taken just one of the hundreds of "OPOLY" games they have published and for the love of me I can't see changes that would set it apart from the original Monopoly. Are they right? can someone show me the areas which they have changed enough to avoid litigation from Hansbro. They obviously have got Hansbro cornered because as I say they have produced hundreds of Monopoly knock offs over the past 15 or more years. Can someone enlighten me on what it is they have changed to elude Hasbro, all I can see is the "Jail" square changed to "Traffic Jam" and renaming of Community Chest and Chance cards and renaming of streets and colored place bars replaced with banner/flags.

https://www.lateforthesky.com/board-games/city-games/paris-opoly/

Can the experts show me any other differences they see that makes this not a knock off of Monopoly? How do Late For The Sky Do It?

Sorry to be so long winded on my first post.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
I don’t know the details, but

I don’t know the details, but you can’t copyright a style in that sense, so as long as they avoid trademark violations they’re probably fine.

That said, Monopoly is not actually much fun and isn’t designed well...

I’m curious about the prices, if that’s something you can post.

DonRon
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Joined: 05/07/2018
Jay103 wrote:I don’t know the

Jay103 wrote:
I don’t know the details, but you can’t copyright a style in that sense, so as long as they avoid trademark violations they’re probably fine.

That said, Monopoly is not actually much fun and isn’t designed well...

I’m curious about the prices, if that’s something you can post.

Hi Jay
Thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated.

The "Late For The Sky" (LFTS) company have been churning out the "OPOLY" knock offs since 1984 and have dozens of them for sale on their website and promote the manufacture of "custom" versions of Monopoly, so one would assume if they breached Hansbro's Copyright/Patents they would have been sued by now... I refer to LFTS's comment to me, ""We do not have a licence agreement with Hasbro. In the early 80's the concept of the game play became public domain. So anyone could make a "property trading" styled game if one did not infringe on the original design of "Monopoly".

I respect your comments about the "fun and design" of Monopoly, as I explained the theme I have for this is based on a famous travel destination and I'm doing this one to support a charity in this location and everyone knows or has played Monopoly right, so for me it fits.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Let me explain it in other terms...

I think what Jay103 was trying to express but failed to be so blunt:

MONOPOLY SUCKS! Even all those MONOPOLY VARIANTS — They ALL SUCK.

It's a LAME game to design for even for Charity. It doesn't even begin to compare to MODERN "Board Games" of TODAY!

If you've been reading up threads on this forum, you'll see that MONOPOLY is what we call a "Roll & Move" game. ALL "Roll & Move" games suck... If you search for Trouble (3.7), Snakes & Ladders (2.8), Sorry! (4.5), Candyland (3.2), Game of Life (4.2), and Monopoly (4.4) ... You'll see all these game score VERY LOW. LESS than 5.0.

Modern day board games have so many different mechanics and are much more creative in the DESIGN space than ANY -OPOLY...

Not trying to be a HATER... Just being upfront about what REAL GAMERS think about "Roll & Move" games...!

The Game Crafter
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Joined: 06/09/2009
Hi DonRon, This is

Hi DonRon,

This is information we provide on our Help Site for The Game Crafter. We work with the fine folks at USAopoly (the official licensed partner for third party Monopoly games) and so we reached out awhile ago for clarification on this topic. Because we have people in The Game Crafter community who want to make their own custom versions of opoly-style games. Here's what they told us:

Can I make my own custom version of Monopoly?
We checked with our friends over at USAopoly to see if there were any rules about creating custom monopoly games. They provided us with the legal text from Hasbro that is on the official versions of Monopoly that they make:

"HASBRO and its logo, the MONOPOLY name and logo, the distinctive design of the game board, the four corner squares, the MR. MONOPOLY name and character, as well as each of the distinctive elements of the board and playing pieces, are trademarks of Hasbro for its property trading game and game equipment, © 1935, 2015 Hasbro. All rights reserved."

The understanding is that this legal text covers the Monopoly logo, Monopoly name, Mr. Monopoly images, the 4 corners of the board (GO, Jail, Free Parking and Go To Jail) the color bars above the game board spaces, the chance (question mark) and community chest (treasure chest) symbols.

There are some generic “opoly" games made by a company called Late for The Sky. You can take a peek at the games on their site to see how much they change in their games to avoid copyright infringement. Understand that this information is presented as general guidance but has not been vetted by an attorney. However, we will not print copies of "Opoly" games unless they do not infringe upon any of the areas mentioned above.

Hope this is helpful. Although, as stated, this is general guidance and has not been vetted by an attorney so if you're going to invest a bunch into this, that may not be a bad idea to have one confirm all of this.

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