The perils of shopping in other countries

I currently live in the United Arab Emirates, although soon I will be moving back to my home in Maine, USA.  If you’re not sure where the UAE is, and you don’t want to have to do a google map search, it’s in the Middle East, next to Saudi Arabia.  Dubai is in the UAE.

I’m always on the lookout for cheap knock-off toys, like the ones you see online of Batman packaged with Spider-Man, and things of that nature.  So as I was walking through a “Gift Market” (the actual unoriginal name of the store) I happened upon this:

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I’m blown away.  I love Monopoly (and already have a Marvel Heroes edition back at home) and this is a customizable one.  I check it all out and it looks legit.  Parker Brothers, no spelling mistakes, good looking graphics.  The price?  10 dirham.  That’s less than 3 dollars.  I buy it.

When I get home, before I even open it, I decide to look it up on Amazon.com.  This is what I find.  $150!!! Crazy, I know.  Already I’m thinking of going back and buying more copies to bring home and sell for 50 bucks each, and make some serious profit.

My excitement stutters a bit when I open it.  The board is a lot thinner than I remember Monopoly boards being.

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It still looks good though.

I continue looking through and my heart drops.  The stickers have all dried out and no longer stick to anything.  The money is all white, not like Monopoly money should be, the cards’ pictures are gray and hard to make out, and the tokens… ugh.  Not metal like every other version of Monopoly I own (I think the last time I checked it was like 5), but black plastic.  Unrecognizable blobs.  Ghost Rider and Pheonix look as though their own fire melted them.  The only one that looks somewhat decent is Kingpin, mostly because he is a big blob to begin with.

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(Trust me, they look even worse up close, I just couldn’t get a clear picture)

I look a bit more on Amazon and find this picture, which shows what the game should look like (and is only $100).  Color pictures and colorful money, metal figures and bright box and board art.  I can’t sell these to people.  I can’t put them through the disappointment I went through.

The really sad part, though?  I’m going to have a hard time getting rid of this, even as bad as it is.  Maybe I’ll just keep the board, as it might make a nice wall hanging.  Oh, and this card.  Just because, I mean, look at it.

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I’ll keep looking though.  Hopefully I’ll find something else equally interesting before I leave.

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