Have you ever wanted to “buy” Mill Lake? What about ghe Abbotsford Flea Market? Ever wanted to “own” South Fraser Way?
Well, now that’s all possible thanks to a partnership between Victoria-based Outset Media and Walmart Canada, with Abbotsford-Opoly available at the 1812 Vedder Way location throughout the holiday season.
The game takes a distinctive local spin on the classic game of Monopoly, with all the properties and places on the board being Abbotsford community staples. Some of the landmark attractions featured on the board include the Fraser River, Highstreet Shopping Centre, The Reach Gallery Museum and many more.
Downtown Abbotsford occupies what Monopoly fans may refer to as the “Boardwalk square,” while Castle Fun Park is in the Park Place spot.
Featured on the corner spots are what many Abbotsford commuters will identify with – a traffic jam.
The game will be available only at the Walmart on Vedder Way and retails for $29.97.
Jean Paul Teskey, senior vice-president of Outset Media, said Walmart retailers in the United States ran a similar program focusing on specific communities and found that smaller cities did well with the game.
“We’re just celebrating these different communities and towns across Canada,” he said. “Walmart reached out to all of its stores across the country and Abbotsford was one of them. It’s great that a company like Walmart partnered up with a smaller Canadian company like us on this.”
Teskey explained that Outset Media works with an American company called Late For The Sky, which is based in Ohio. That company signed a unique deal with Parker Brothers – the creators of Monopoly – which saw them receive the rights in perpetuity in the 1930s to produce different versions of the game. The deal predates when Hasbro bought Parker Brothers in 1991.
All the games and rules of Monopoly are the same as Abbotsford-Opoly, but with a few different and unique twists on the board.
Teskey said his company decided all the squares on the board.
“We have about 30 people in the office and most are from the Greater Vancouver area, including some from Abbotsford,” he said. “We never take any money for putting someone on the board; this was all chosen by our people.”
Teskey said only 720 games will be made in total and, after this run, it’s unlikely that any Abbotsford-Opoly games will be produced anytime soon.
He said Walmart wants to continue the program and feature other communities across the country.
“I think it’s a great Christmas gift and just something unique,” Teskey said. “Monopoly is the best-selling game of all time so to have a spinoff of it based on your community is pretty cool.”
He added that other communities featured this year include: Campbell River, Langford, Nanaimo, Powell River, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, Vancouver and Victoria.
The game will be available on local shelves soon and supplies are limited.
— Ben Lypka (@BenLypka) November 5, 2019