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Board in the County
Pamlico County-opoly
December 5, 2022

A
stout dog. A pretzel. A shoe.

An open hand or a toothy smile.

Or a heart … though not the anatomical one.

These are the six player tokens on offer in Pamlico County-opoly, a Monopoly-style board game that appeared on Walmart shelves in September.

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Choose your player.

Everything is recognizable to the childhood board game player: the rainbow colored ‘money’, the property cards, the layout of the playing board. But the details are adjusted to be noticeably off-brand and, for better or worse, adapted to the local specifics of Pamlico County.

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Pamlico County-opoly is available in Walmart. Well, one Walmart. In Pamlico County.

You might have questions. Questions like, ‘is this legal’? The short, uncomplicated answer is yes. Kind of.

While the word ‘Monopoly’ is trademarked and the games’ images are copyrighted, the mechanics – how the game is played – are not.

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Here, you don’t ride the railroads. You go for a sail (even in Alliance).

And so instead of landing on ‘Chance’ or ‘Community Chest’, in this version of the “-opoly” game, you land on ‘Contingency’ or ‘Big Fun’.

The money – with in different color denominations – is printed in a ‘soft’ font reminiscent of Comic Sans, and decorated with a happy face and dice.

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In-game funds complete with dice and happy face.
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Festivals, events, businesses, utilities – even towns. They are all substituted for the Properties that are bought, rented, and sold.

And the property cards? Some of them are well-known events or festivals, established restaurants, or buildings. Brantley’s Village Restaurant, Gary’s Down East Seafood, and Little Italy all have a card.

In Pamlico County-opoly, you do not collect railroads or take a ride on the Reading or Short Lines, but rather go for a sail in Granstboro, Minnesott Beach, Oriental, or Alliance.

You don’t Get out of Jail Free, you Get out of a Traffic Jam. Should you pull a Big Fun card, you can be audited by the IRS, get towed, or win Miss Pamlico County.

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Landing on Big Fun can get you crowned in a county pageant or towed away.

Those Contingency cards allow you to sing at The Old Theater, place first in the Chili Cookoff, or be elected Mayor (and pay for the privilege).

Where do all the bits of information come from? A company based in Cincinnati, Ohio called “Late for the Sky” games. They produce the city / county -opoly games, with around 1,700 different “-opoly” games.

TownDock.net spoke with Mike Schulte about his company’s product.

“We work with Walmart on a regional level across the US,” he said. “Since 2019, we’ve been introducing the game to smaller towns.”

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Oriental Harbor Marina and Minnesott Golf are in the same collection of properties. Never mind that they’re nearly 20 miles away from each other. And one is a golf club and one is a marina.
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A Contingency card can boost or bust your chances of success.

It’s Walmart’s store leadership who decides if the store carries the game. Once they place an order – at a minimum of 1,000 games – Late for the Sky gets to work.

“We do independent research in-house,” said Schulte. “We look for major points of interest like festivals and parks.” Restaurants, he says, can be tricky. Pick the wrong ones and they’ll hear about it.

“I get at least one call a week about it,” he says, “but it shows people are proud of where they come from and want their places represented properly.”

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There’s no Chance in Pamlico County-opoly, only Contingency.

Schulte’s company produces the -poly games for universities, corporations, high school booster clubs, or any group that wants to have a personalized game. As long as they order the minimum amount.

Players can determine for themselves if Pamlico County is property represented. If you’re in Oriental, there’s one you can play at New Village Brewery. Or you can always pick one up at the Grantsboro Walmart.

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The full board and property cards – so you can see if your favorite is on there.

Posted Monday December 5, 2022 by Allison DeWeese


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