By Ian Dipple Thursday 05 December 2013 Updated: 05/12 16:06
SHOPPERS were passing go on Thursday (December 5) as the Redditch edition of Monopoly was officially launched.
Uncle Moneybags - aka NEW College student Josh Pedley - was delivered to the town's bus station by a specially decorated Monopoly bus, produced by Diamond to recreate the unique bus playing piece included with the game.
Led by Boon Yeng, from Samba band Someone at the Door, he was then paraded through the Kingfisher Shopping Centre to Worcester Square where the game went on sale. He was accompanied by Charlie the Monkey, the centre's kid's club mascot.
Almost 200 copies had been pre-ordered and among those waiting to snap up their game was Redditch MP Karen Lumley, who will officially present one to Prime Minister David Cameron next week as his Christmas present.
She said: "Once again Redditch is at the front of the queue when it comes to innovative ideas. They're flying off the shelves and I hope by next week it has to go into reprint."
Afterwards Uncle Moneybags and the Monopoly bus took a tour of the town.
The game has been produced by Redditch Town Centre Partnership to mark the 50th anniversary of Redditch as a new town.
It is based around the town centre and features current streets and landmarks as well as those lost to the development such as Evesham Street and Kingfisher Hall.
A number of businesses have backed the project including main funders the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, NEW College and Diamond. The Redditch Standard is also represented on the board on Church Green East as is Rilys Indian Restaurant on Alcester Street.
Owner Mujibur Rahman said: "I'm proud to be part of this. Redditch has been very good to me in terms of my business success and this is a small way of saying thank you to the community."
A total of 1,000 boards have been produced by Redditch Town Centre Partnership but demand for the game has been so strong there is talk of ordering more.
Ros Sidaway, a director on the partnership's Town Team, said: "We're thrilled with how the public has embraced this special Redditch edition of Monopoly, it's exceeded all our expectations. We hope people have as much fun playing it as we had producing it."
Games are on sale priced £29.99 and are available from the customer service desk in Worcester Square in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, Vintage Trax, also in the centre by Muffin Break, and Heaphys on Church Green West.
They can also be ordered online at www.diamondbuses.com or call them on 0121 322 2222.
All profits from the sale of the game will be used to promote the town, in particular next year's 50th anniversary festival programme.
Pre-orders can be collected from the Kingfisher's customer service desk.
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