Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ornament Review: Sack of Money - Advance to Go #1 - 2000 Hallmark Ornament

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Good replica of a newer Monopoly game token
Cons: The 2000 on the back of the ornament
The Bottom Line:
Monopoly piece
Turned into an ornament
Fun decoration

Advance to Go with a New Monopoly Token

There are plenty of Hallmark series that only last three or four years, and sometimes I look at them and wonder why.  One of those is Advance to Go, a series that creates ornaments from the tokens of the Monopoly board game.  The series started in 2000 with Sack of Money.

This is actually a rather new token to the Monopoly universe, first appearing in editions of the game released in 1999.  I’m sure it was picked to the start the series to capitalize on the popularity of this new playing piece.  As I remember, there was an online voting campaign to help pick it.

Of course, the newness of the piece might have also hurt the popularity of the ornament version and therefore sales.  After all, many of these pop culture pieces appeal more to the nostalgia crowd and there wouldn’t be nostalgia for a new piece.  But I wasn’t collecting ornaments back then, so it’s hard for me to second guess what happened.

What I can tell you is that this is a good ornament.  It is made from pewter, as are the Monopoly tokens themselves.  The ornament is clearly a sack with stacks of bound bills sticking out the top.  There’s a string near the top of the sack, and you can see a bow in the front near the big dollar sign.

I do wish there was a bit more definition to the money at the top of the sack.  I’m not sure how they would do that given the size, so maybe I’m just being picky.  My other complaint is my real complaint with the ornament, however.  They put 2000 is big numbers on the back of the ornament.  I’ve seen this on another ornament from that year, so my guess is they were trying to really mark the change of the millennium, but as someone who bought the ornament 16 years later, I don’t like it.  I am buying it for the Monopoly tie in, not a reminder of the year 2000.

The ornament does have a nice flat base, so you can set it out to display anywhere.  You’ll find the 1 in a Christmas tree series marker there as well.  If you choose to hang the ornament, you’ll find that it hangs straight as well.

When you make an ornament out of a game token, you really don’t have to play with the sizes.  I haven’t taken out my copy of the game to double check, but I bet that I would find the sizes of the ornaments in this series to actual game pieces they’d be very similar.  I really like that fact.

I know that a series of Monopoly game pieces would end fairly early (at least if they stuck with traditional game pieces), but it is a shame this series didn’t last any longer.  For board game fans, getting this Sack of Money really is a must.

Be sure to get a monopoly on the rest of the Advance to Go ornaments.

Original Price: $8.95

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