Commentary and Bloopers
Queen Monopoly Brian May unboxes first copy
– QUEEN MONOPOLY – now available
PART I – NARRATIVE COPYRIGHT BRIANMAY.COM
Brian May here.
Queen Monopoly – What’s that? Is it good? Is it cool? Is it fun? Well hopefully we’re about to find out because I am here with genuinely the first ever boxes of Monopoly that are complete, sitting in, appropriately, our record company offices where I’m gonna unbox one of these things and share it with you.
Having worked on this thing for about a year and a half this is a very exciting moment for me and I hope it will be enjoyable for you and I’m going to explain as we go along what kind of input we had, because this is something which we regarded as a Queen project. You know, it’s like making an album, so it’s an opportunity to do something creative and make something which people will get into and get immersed in and have fun from, and this particular game is designed to make you feel like you are on the road. You’ve got your band on the road and you’re you have a career and all the milestones that happen in real life will happen to you – all the good stuff and all the bad stuff too. So should be exciting.
In a moment I’m gonna take this thing out of its box and we’ll see what Queen Monopoly will be like once you purchase it.
Right – the big moment. I’m excited. I mean it’s only a game, right, but what a game, and Queen have been playing games with you for a long time, so this is something great, I think. We shall see.
First thing is to take this transparent substance off the box, which is probably the hardest part I think, but I’ve had a, had the good fortune, had someone make a slit in it first so I can do it very elegantly.
And there is the Queen box without it’s transparent coating. I’m equipped with a GoPro here so you can zoom right in and see what my hands are doing, I hope. I hope.
So here we go.
Hmm.. looks good, smells very good – very important. Lots of advertising material, special blurb some of which I’ve written for you for your entertainment to explain how this game differs from your traditional Monopoly.
Of course you stick to the rules, you know, Monopoly has to be Monopoly and it always has been a certain way, so this game operates mechanically the same way as any other game Monopoly, but the meaning behind the moves and the pieces and the strategy is something very different.
What comes out first? Okay – the board. Partitioned into four and folds up into a flat surface. Rather beautiful I think and you see the main spread is from the “Live Killers” album. That gives you a clue because this is all about live. This is about Queen live. The original idea that was put to us was that it would be about the records and everything but it seemed to me that it would be much more fun if when you’re playing the game you’re out there. You’re being your group. You’re out there facing the challenges that people actually do face on the road – hotels, gigs, cars, planes, trains, etc. All of this is in the game as you’ll see so all of this stuff has been very carefully created from our experiences on the road and all around here are the the actual concerts, the actual concert venues that we played on our journey as Queen, so we hope you will enjoy this.
“… all around here are the the actual concerts”
I’m gonna put this on the table and move the box lid.
What is in the box? Well these things. What do you have here? You have some orange things, which look quite long. You have some black things, which are quite small. They kind of look like houses. We’ll see what they do. Put some of them out. Black things. Here’s the orange things. I’m very excited about this for reasons which I’ll tell you in a minute.
Here you have some yellow things, little golden hoop things. Now the idea is that these little golden hoops fit into the orange things so it’s already a little different from conventional Monopoly. The way it fits in is like this. That seems to – looks kind of reminiscent of the Queen stage set that we went out with last time with the stage here and this circle of light or actually an ellipse of light and a large video screen in the middle. So that’s a clue. This looks like Queen on stage staging.
“… these little golden hoops fit into the orange things”
Okay – the idea of these little things is – these are, these are staging blocks. They’re not actually houses and so you will use these to build on our properties and I start on this this area because it’s the most fun for me. So you’ll be putting these on your property like this as you buy them and you build more and more. You build three, and you build four, and in the traditional game of Monopoly once you have four houses on a property and you want to buy another one you graduate to building a hotel. So in the Queen version, instead of a hotel you have what we call full production and this is engineered to sit (there’s a groove here) to sit on top of here. So if I turn this around you can see that you have your full stage production. (Chuckles)
Now what do we have here? We have the tokens. Now when I was a kid we had a flat iron and a boot and a little motorcar and something else, which I forget. In this game we have Queen-reminiscent tokens and this is something which the Winning Move guys came up with, and I think it’s really nice. I mean we pitched them ideas but they certainly fulfilled the ideas very well.
Here you have a little Brian May Red Special guitar. Here you have a “News of the World” robot. I love these things. Here you have a hammer for the ‘Hammer to Fall’ situation, here you have a lady on a bike! She’s a fat bottomed girl or she’s a bicycle rider. Here you have a Hoover or a vacuum cleaner for the ‘Break Free’ video obviously, and lastly, here we have, but not leastly, the lovely little wartime radio which epitomizes Radio Ga Ga. So these’ll be your tokens. Make your choice.
“… So these’ll be your tokens.”
Okay, I’m gonna choose, I’m gonna choose him to start off with, so he goes at the beginning, which is “GO”. Now we also have dice something, some things didn’t change. We have dice as the traditional game and I’m going to have to break this to get it out, I think. This is a-very nice little dice here, the singular of which is a ‘dye’. I didn’t know that til I was about 12 years old. I thought as single ‘dice’ was one thing and plural was ‘dice’ but actually it’s a ‘die’. This is a die – D-I-E.
“…very nice little dice here”
Now there’s still more in the box. There’s still more folks. We have money. Now this is Queen money and here you have a one. It’s kind of generic. They don’t call it dollars or pounds anymore. This is Queen Monopoly currency. So this is one Queen Monopoly dollar or pound or whatever it is and very nice I think. You know, quite a simple design but in the corners you can see the four little motifs which are our symbols in the in the ‘Kind Of Magic’ video – the cartoons that were created, so you’re very aware it’s Queen.
“…our symbols in the in the ‘Kind Of Magic’ video”
So there’s one more thing left in the box and it is this stack of cards. Now this astonishingly must be all the title cards, plus all the Community Chest and Chance cards in one stack. It looks too small to me but we shall see.
Now ‘Chance’ is not Chance anymore. Chance is ‘A Kind of Magic’ and ‘Community Chest’ becomes ‘In the Lap Of The Gods’, so let’s see if they’re all in here. A little pull here so I can open this up and here we go. Yeah on the top here, oh yes, they’re very thin but very nice.
So here you have the property cards and each one of these, of course, corresponds to a property on the board, the cheapest end, which used to be Old Kent Road and stuff in the British game is Imperial College, a very small gig the way we started in the very early days and Le Blow-up, Luxembourg which is here. Again a very small gig.
You work your way round. The next one is the Rainbow, Odeon Hammersmith and Hyde Park and so on. Working your way all the way up to the very expensive stuff here, which in the ancient British game is Mayfair and Park Lane, but in this case we have Knebworth Park and Wembley Stadium. So you’ll be looking out for ‘Advance to Wembley Stadium’. That was one of my great thrills to make that happen. (Chuckles)
“…Vélezsársfield Buenos Aires, Morumbi, San Paolo, the Forum Montreal.”
Along the way there’s all kinds of exciting venues – amazing venues like Madison Square Garde, which is purple Earls Court London, Bingley Hall which is very significant in our history. Pavilion de Paris, the Budokan Tokyo, Olympia Halle Munich – it goes on and on and then the big football stadiums – Vélezsársfield Buenos Aires, Morumbi, San Paolo, the Forum Montreal. Great stuff. Milton Keynes, the Forest Nationale Brussels, Rock in Rio Sydney, Nipstadion Budapest and then the very expensive ones again [as I said].
So next – here are the, what used to be, the stations and in our case the stations are global hit records and these pay, these play a big part in your career as well. So we have four them. We have ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Radio Ga Ga’ and a little song called ‘Bohemian Rhapsody. So that’s your title cards for them.
“…in our case the stations are global hit records”
And we have what used to be Water Company and Electric Company. In our case they are Lighting Company and Sound Company. You’re going to need them to set up your venues and play your gigs.
Now all the rest of this stuff is again what used to be Chance and Community Chest. These things are in the ‘Lap Of The Gods, so if you turn these over you get things like ‘Advance to Wembley Stadium’ or, choosing something randomly, Advance to the nearest utility, which is the Sound Company and Lighting Company etc, and you get all sorts of lovely surprises. Instead of general repairs on all your houses, you get payment demanded for construction of all your stages and you have to pay extra money for all the staging blocks and complete productions you have on the properties. That’s them and these are the other ones this is ‘A Kind of Magic’ and it says here, ‘The lighting rig malfunctions halfway through the show. Pay fifty Monopoly dollar’ things – pay fifty kind of magic. This one says, ‘Your new single tops the charts worldwide. Collect ten things from every player’. Monopoly dollars, we shall call ‘em.
“… Lap of the Gods… Kind of Magic”
Okay we’re sort of ready to play here.
PART II – NARRATIVE COPYRIGHT BRIANMAY.COM
I don’t know what else I need to tell you. Okay let me just explain what happens when you land on a property.
We’re gonna use the robot here as my token and suppose, oh I can actually do it, I can throw a number – err a four – one, two, three four.
“…one, two, three four.”
This takes me to Income Tax, so I’m gonna to have to pay straight away.
It’s a vicious game isn’t? It’s also a family destroyer but we’re not gonna to talk about that. Everything good is exciting. Everything you know if it’s not dangerous it’s no good, right. This is a very very dangerous game.
If I throw another – let’s assume I’ve paid that money – I throw an eight. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, I’m landing on Lighting Company, so I will purchase. I will put the money in and I’ll get the property deed card for the Lighting Company and Lighting Company has a little picture of a ParCam on there, which is very emblematic of the way lighting rigs evolved when we were on the road. You don’t really get much of these – this stuff anymore. You get digital but that’s the Lighting Company. Mmm. Throw again and I get a double. I get six – one, two, three, four, five, six. So now I’ve landed on the Budokan Tokyo. There’s a nice picture of it on there. All the pictures are authentic. I personally worked on this with my wonderful team and every picture you see round here is an authentic venue. It’s a gig which we’ve actually played and as you travel around the board and you have your career in Queen Monopoly you will play these concerts – these gigs.
Let’s assume I buy the Budokan. I’m gonna need the title card, which is here. It’s orange. Here we go, Budokan Tokyo. So I accumulate that. Now much later in the game, let’s assume I have all these three, then I will be able to build. The first thing I will build will be a staging block. Now if somebody had landed on the Budokan in the interim period, they’d have had to pay a certain rent which is detailed on here and the rent with just one property is 14 Monopoly dollars. If I have the whole set then I can charge them $28. Now this is kind of an admission fee to the gig which we’re gonna put on in this venue, right. The idea is once you start building, if you put a staging block on there, your production starts to grow, so you can do a better show and be more entertaining so you can charge more money for your tickets, so this means the rent will rise. So if I have one staging block on there and somebody lands on it I can charge them 70 instead of 28 and so on. More and more staging blocks go on as I buy more and more and you have to build evenly, perhaps you remember.
See I have played this game a lot. You can see how to misspent youth, can’t you. There’s your for staging blocks. If you go to the next stage, you’re gonna have a full production, and when you have the full production – I can put it like this – then you can charge the top whack for admission ‘cos you’re now doing a very very state-of-the-art maximum quality show. So, with full production you can charge 950 Monopoly dollars. So it’s kind of fun and it’s… Monopoly has always been about the pursuit of money I guess but in this case you’re pursuing not just money but in a way excellence in your craft because, as Freddie used to say when they asked him if he liked being rich he said, “Yes. I liked getting lots of money because it tells me that people like what I do. It tells me that what I do has some value.” So there is that kind of ethos behind this game, this Queen Monopoly game.
Of course, if you put one of these – this full production on an expensive property like the most expensive which is Wembley Stadium, you will be able to charge two thousand, a horrific two thousand Monopoly dollars or quid, to whoever lands on it. That’s a big deal.
So there you have your game. It’s very simple really and I hope you’ll enjoy landing on some of these places and finding out what they are, you know, what these places are and what our relationship with them was.
You’ll find on the box somewhere a QR code – I’m trying to think where that is. I hope you’re on there. Well anyway, the idea is it will link to a page on the Queen website where there will be information and we will keep adding information to that. So if you wanna find out more and more about the background to this game, you can go to the website. There’s a little bit on the instruction sheet but there will be a lot more information on this special web page. This is your QR code, so if you aim your QR reader on your phone, this will take you to the Queen Monopoly webpage.
Okay. Well I think we’re ready to rock, really. I hope you enjoy traversing this path and I hope it gives you joyous, harmonious family moments in the coming months – especially at Christmas. I see this stuff happening at Christmas and I think Monopoly’s t part of traditional Christmas really, so I’m hoping to see lots of evidence that people are enjoying this over the holiday periods.
So God bless you all and I hope this gives you almost as much fun as a Queen album.
Monopoly Queen Edition – Brian’s Bloopers – https://youtu.be/OFJGktQjeh0
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