Target's recently pulled Monopoly Socialism commanding high prices on Amazon, eBay

As someone whose editorial once persuaded Target to pull a politically charged item from its store shelves, I know how sensitive the retail giant can be to political controversy.

Obviously, Target thought its stocking of Hasbro's Monopoly Socialism fell into this category — a game of Monopoly that takes the players all through the disgusting inevitabilities of someone navigating a socialist landscape — from shortages to taxes to tragedies of the commons.  For reasons it has yet to explain to anyone, it pulled the item.  And apparently, Target's supplier, Hasbro, pulled the item, too, making it impossible to get the game from any official supplier now.  It's possible Target pulled the item because Hasbro stopped making it.  But dollars to donuts, the pull pressure came from the Target side.  Plenty of leftists call the shots at Target, and plenty of its buyers are urban Millennials and this Monopoly Socialism game was not flattering to the socialist idea so many of them hold so dear.  One of them did a raging Twitter thread about it after getting his own copy and, like a nomenklatura member, has now effectively ensured that you can't get yours.  Elites, see, know best.  So now nobody can get it.  Nothing like a little coercion from a socialist.  And quite a shame, given that Millennials have no reliable sources of information about the actual nature of socialism.

But that doesn't mean that it was a particularly good business decision for Target this time around.  Apparently, a lot of people still want it.  The game resonated because it actually rang true and drove the point home.

How do we know?  Well, the secondary market, that capitalist barometer of consumer demand.  Monopoly Socialism is now commanding high prices on eBay and Amazon, in the neighborhood of $100 to $200 a pop.  The original Hasbro Monopoly sells at Target for $13.49 and the retail list price is $19.99 so one can assume that Monopoly Socialism was also sold in that approximate price range.  Now its value has soared as much as twentyfold.  Look at these screen shots of what those sites are showing:

The eBay screenshot is particularly compelling, because it shows a bidding war — what buyers are willing to pay for this game now that they cannot get it.  This is the market's verdict of what the price of the game is worth.  As in, capitalism, which always works to maximize profits.  The range, as bidding comes to a close, is nearly a hundred bucks.

Lesson: Even as socialists attempt to repress markets, free markets have a funny way of getting through.  Monopoly Socialism hasn't been repressed as Target, Hasbro, and the leftists might want it to be, it's just making the owners of this product much more money. 

It suggests that Target and Hasbro could be getting a hundred bucks for those Monopoly Socialism board games now that customer demand is piqued.  Or they could sell for less and scarf up the whole market to the tune of millions.  Bottom line: They could have been making money on this and aren't.  One can only hope they'll recognize this and admit they made a bad call and reverse course.

Supply.  Demand.  It's capitalism, not socialism, that always comes out on top.  As the game says.

Image credit: Amazon, eBay screen shots

As someone whose editorial once persuaded Target to pull a politically charged item from its store shelves, I know how sensitive the retail giant can be to political controversy.

Obviously, Target thought its stocking of Hasbro's Monopoly Socialism fell into this category — a game of Monopoly that takes the players all through the disgusting inevitabilities of someone navigating a socialist landscape — from shortages to taxes to tragedies of the commons.  For reasons it has yet to explain to anyone, it pulled the item.  And apparently, Target's supplier, Hasbro, pulled the item, too, making it impossible to get the game from any official supplier now.  It's possible Target pulled the item because Hasbro stopped making it.  But dollars to donuts, the pull pressure came from the Target side.  Plenty of leftists call the shots at Target, and plenty of its buyers are urban Millennials and this Monopoly Socialism game was not flattering to the socialist idea so many of them hold so dear.  One of them did a raging Twitter thread about it after getting his own copy and, like a nomenklatura member, has now effectively ensured that you can't get yours.  Elites, see, know best.  So now nobody can get it.  Nothing like a little coercion from a socialist.  And quite a shame, given that Millennials have no reliable sources of information about the actual nature of socialism.

But that doesn't mean that it was a particularly good business decision for Target this time around.  Apparently, a lot of people still want it.  The game resonated because it actually rang true and drove the point home.

How do we know?  Well, the secondary market, that capitalist barometer of consumer demand.  Monopoly Socialism is now commanding high prices on eBay and Amazon, in the neighborhood of $100 to $200 a pop.  The original Hasbro Monopoly sells at Target for $13.49 and the retail list price is $19.99 so one can assume that Monopoly Socialism was also sold in that approximate price range.  Now its value has soared as much as twentyfold.  Look at these screen shots of what those sites are showing:

The eBay screenshot is particularly compelling, because it shows a bidding war — what buyers are willing to pay for this game now that they cannot get it.  This is the market's verdict of what the price of the game is worth.  As in, capitalism, which always works to maximize profits.  The range, as bidding comes to a close, is nearly a hundred bucks.

Lesson: Even as socialists attempt to repress markets, free markets have a funny way of getting through.  Monopoly Socialism hasn't been repressed as Target, Hasbro, and the leftists might want it to be, it's just making the owners of this product much more money. 

It suggests that Target and Hasbro could be getting a hundred bucks for those Monopoly Socialism board games now that customer demand is piqued.  Or they could sell for less and scarf up the whole market to the tune of millions.  Bottom line: They could have been making money on this and aren't.  One can only hope they'll recognize this and admit they made a bad call and reverse course.

Supply.  Demand.  It's capitalism, not socialism, that always comes out on top.  As the game says.

Image credit: Amazon, eBay screen shots