Giant toy and game publisher Hasbro officially announced Monopoly Animal Crossing on July 13th, letting fans of both the massively popular Nintendo video game and classic real estate mogul-maker combine their interest when it hits retail and online stores August 1st.
Except, copies found their way onto shelves over a week ago and are currently sold out from most major sellers, such as Amazon and Gamestop. Pre-orders are still available from certain sites - online toy seller Entertainment Earth was directly linked in the Hasbro announcement sent to press.
It isn’t clear how Monopoly Animal Crossing jumped both its release date and the pre-order announcement. A Reddit user named u/calysunflower was perhaps the first person to post it, though images of lucky fans who managed to grab the accidental stock soon propagated across social media. Fans seemed pleasantly surprised by the crossover and spoke about rushing to the nearest Walmart, Target or local game store to buy their own.w
This led to the game selling out within days and apparently clogging pre-orders backlogs to the point that even those ran out by before the end of the week. When asked about the accidental early stocking and what might have caused it, Hasbro responded to Dicebreaker with an official, if disappointing, answer on July 6th.
“We’re excited to share Hasbro introduced Monopoly Animal Crossing New Horizons Edition today! In this Monopoly board game, players can enjoy island life and immerse themselves in the colorful and creative world of Animal Crossing New Horizons,” a spokesperson said via email. “Moving around the board with tokens inspired by the video game, players complete island tasks and meet other characters. Instead of buying properties and paying rent, players collect bugs, fish, fossils, and fruit.”
To be fair, that is an accurate summary of the game. Monopoly Animal Crossing introduces Nook Miles as a secondary currency that players will collect by turning in resources or completing furniture building orders. It’s still very much Monopoly - the villagers can be sent to jail - but a player wins by purchasing seven distinct items from Nook’s Shop instead of bleeding the money and enjoyment from every single opponent.
Monopoly Animal Crossing will cost $24.99 (£18) when it drops from a balloon-borne gift, but enterprising folks can try their luck with one of the hundreds currently listed on third-party resale sites such as eBay - costs are currently double sticker price and will likely rise as the available stock continues to dwindle in the next two weeks.
Given the ubiquity of Monopoly and the wealth of other board games one could play, whether its with your family or a gaggle of good friends, it might be best to sit this one out. Alternatively, Hasbro coupled the announcement with the release of a Mario-themed The Game of Life. Instead of taking Yoshi through vocational school before he gets married and shoves 1 to four hatchlings in the back of a minivan, players travel the Mushroom Kingdom collecting power-ups and companions on their way to battle Bowser. Not the most faithful adaptation, but it will help scratch that Nintendo themed tabletop itch.