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Classic Characters From Board Games

Aug 15, 2008
Board games very often are about a particular story and feature different characters that we all have come to know and love. There are very few of us who wouldn't recognize Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly, some of the beloved faces from the children's game Candy Land, or any of the iconic characters from the classic detective game Clue. The characters featured with a game are often extremely valuable to enhance the mood and theme of the game, and because of the intense popularity of these games, these characters have become a lasting part of today's pop culture.

The mascot of Monopoly, now referred to as Mr. Monopoly instead of Rich Uncle Pennybags, has been widely used and featured with nearly every incarnation of the game since 1946, when he made his first appearance on that edition's game lid. We have seen him around frequently since then, and although he is not a playable character within the game, seeing Rich Uncle Pennybags brings a response of familiarity out of most people. Whenever a board game character becomes referenced in outside media, we can be assured that they have become a part of typical pop culture. Rich Uncle Pennybags has been referenced in everything from The Simpsons to Ace Ventura and that character belongs to the world now.

The Candy Land characters also provide us with a familiar sight. The game has been popular since 1949, when faces such as King Kandy, Gramma Nutt, Lord Licorice, and Mr. Mint became a part of board game canon. Their familiar faces are learned by young children, who grow up to associate good times with the game and those characters. You would probably have a difficult time to find anyone who wouldn't recognize any of those characters and be able to associate at least one of them with Candy Land.

Clue, however, provides some of the most memorable characters in the most lasting way. With Clue, players play the game as the characters themselves, compared to these other games in which the characters are just a feature in the game. In this classic detective game, six memorable suspects take the center stage, in which they try to figure out which of them committed the murder of poor Mr. Boddy, who is a pretty memorable character himself, despite never making an appearance himself. Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, and Professor Plum constitute these iconic suspects, and by playing as one of them during the game, their place in today's culture becomes affirmed.

One of the interesting things about Clue, however, is the multiple editions that it has produced and the ways that the characters change slightly in each. Since its conception in 1949, each edition has produced a makeover of both the game board and the characters, giving them a slightly different appearance each time. The story behind each of the characters changes as well. The game adopts a situation that can fit many different particular stories and because of this, the characters in the game can be rich and lasting, able to survive through shifts in culture and popular view. The characters have done this, however, for it is pretty safe to assume that any of us who have ever accused "Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Lead Pipe," has known what they were talking about.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for board games, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures. You will find all these things and more if you visit board games classic characters, chess boards, and dungeons and dragons miniatures.
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