Monopoly's Facebook fans have spoken: The iron is out and a cat is in. That was the result of a hard-fought battle over which game token to add to the classic game and which to drop. After the vote closed just before midnight, the iron, which has been a part of the game since 1935, was the least popular of the eight game pieces. But fans of the iron shouldn't despair. Consumer Reports just named 10 winners in its recent tests of steam irons and found some contenders that cost just a bit more than a Monopoly game.
When Hasbro decided to replace one of Monopoly's old tokens with a new one, it opened the vote to the game's 10 million Facebook fans. With 29 percent of the vote, the Scottie dog was the overwhelming favorite followed by the race car. The iron was at the bottom along with the wheelbarrow and the shoe, but campaigns by a gardening company and a shoe retailer helped save the other two. (The thimble, top hat and battleship were also safe.) The new cat triumphed over a robot, diamond ring, helicopter and guitar.
"I'm sad to see the iron go," Jonathan Berkowitz, vice president for Hasbro gaming marketing, told the Associated Press. "Personally, I'm a big fan of the race car so I'm very relieved it was saved but it is sad to see the iron go."
Consumer Reports tests of 51 steam irons include a classic from Black & Decker as well as a futuristic Panasonic that produced the most steam of the lot. Styled after a model from decades ago, the Black & Decker Classic F67E, $25, looks like your grandmother's iron. Unfortunately, its steam rate was poor. Still it was very good at ironing and easy to use. Our top-scoring iron, the Panasonic NI-W950A had an excellent steam rate, excelled at our ironing tasks and was also easy to use. And with a sole plate that's pointed at both ends, bears little resemblance to its predecessors.
But it takes a lot of Monopoly money to buy the $220 Panasonic. Our two Best Buys cost a fraction of that. The Singer Expert Finish EF, $60, and the Rowenta Effective Comfort DW2070, $50, both excelled on our steam and ironing tasks and were easy to fill, empty and operate.
All of the irons in our tests are in stores now. Versions of Monopoly with the cat token will be in stores later this year so if you covet the iron, buy a game now.
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