SWINDON’S very own Monopoly board game will launch in spectacular style today.

Members of the public are invited along to the official launch of the game this morning as the town’s brass band marks the occasion by belting out ‘money’, ‘house’ and ‘hotel’ themed songs.

Tunes – which will include Our House made famous by Madness and ABBA’s Money Money Money – will sound out at the exact moment the first board to have rolled off the presses is opened and played by top-hatted men and women.

At the official ceremony at STEAM, the identities of the 22 Swindon landmarks appearing on the property sites on the board – replacing the likes of Mayfair and Trafalgar Square - will be revealed.

A host of popular venues in the town have earned a spot on the board including Lydiard Park, Coate Water, Arkells Brewery and the Brunel Shopping Centre.

The Monopoly: Swindon Edition will go on shop shelves at exactly the same time as the board is officially launched.

A giant 5ft replica of the board will also be unfurled.

“We are extremely excited about it,” said Dan Taylor, Head of Custom Games at Winning Moves.

From 9.30am, Dan will be giving out signed Swindon edition Monopoly money to the public.

Also at the launch ceremony, will be Hayley Ferris from the Swindon Pegasus Brass Band - a charity voted onto the board.

The makers had asked the public to nominate one charity to appear on the board and say they were so overwhelmed with entries that two were chosen to have their own Swindon Monopoly sites. The Swindon Therapy Centre took the second spot.

Hayley said: "We are honoured to have been nominated and chosen and are equally delighted to have been asked to perform at this official unveiling ceremony.”

Earlier in the year, when news that a board would be produced was announced, Swindonians were invited to vote as to which town property landmarks should be selected to swap places with the famous London sites.

The new Monopoly: Swindon Edition will be available online – as well as at the following retailers: Smyths, Toys R Us, WH Smith, The Works and Water-stones. Winning Moves UK already report that inquiries to buy the new board have come in from all over the world including Australia, US and Canada.

The price is £24.99.

'IT WILL DEFINITELY BE UNDER MY TREE' - Barrie Hudson tries out the game

THAT’S Christmas sorted out, then.

The Swindon edition of Monopoly adds a great local twist to the timeless joy of ripping off and bankrupting friends and loved ones.

If it turns up in your stocking or you put it in somebody else’s, fun will ensue. Come to think of it, fun will ensue if you get hold of a copy right now.

There’s nothing to say about the mechanics of the game itself, as Monopoly is Monopoly. You’re paid, you buy places, you rake in rent and pay it out. Random good and bad things happen to you.

It’s a simple formula that’s kept the game on the bestseller lists for nearly 80 years, and it hasn’t been changed.

What’s impressive about the Swindon edition is the attention to detail. It isn’t a case of just plucking random local street names from the air and slapping them over the standard spaces on the board.

Care has been taken to group the colours by theme. The pink properties, for example, have Swindon Town FC, Swindon Speedway and Swindon Wildcats replacing Northumberland Avenue, Whitehall and Pall Mall.

The Swindon Advertiser replaces Fleet Street as a red property, alongside the National Trust and Stanton Park, while the Steam Museum, the Brunel Centre and the Railway Village replace Vine Street, Marlborough Street and Bow Street.

Swindon Station replaces Marylebone and is joined by Thamesdown Transport, Barnes Coaches and the M4.

The Community Chest and Chance cards have also been given a complete Swindon makeover. Examples include ‘Your Letter Got Printed in the Swindon Advertiser’, ‘You Fall Asleep on the Train and End Up in Bristol’ and ‘You are Given the Main Part in the Wyvern Theatre’s Pantomime This Year’.

Even the money is marked ‘Swindon Edition’.

For total authenticity the Free Parking should have been replaced by a charge, owners of the Water Works should be free to put any other square out of action and the Go To Jail Square should only come into effect on the 20th time around the board, but Monopoly Swindon Edition still deserves a place in every Swindonian’s household.

Your chance to win a copy of the game

It’s the perfect celebration of Swindon and the perfect present for Christmas too.

This brand new MONOPOLY: Swindon Edition – out today – is a gift of Swindon life, loves and landmarks.

The MONOPOLY: Swindon Edition features the town’s crown jewels which swap places with the famous streets of the London Monopoly like Mayfair and Park Lane on this official new board.

The game is available on retailers’ shelves across Swindon and online right now including at Smyths, Toys R Us, WH Smith, The Works and Waterstones.

And it’s already set to be whizzing its way across the globe to Swindon ex-pats, with makers Winning Moves UK reporting inquiries already from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

With landmarks like the famous Magic Roundabout – which landed Mayfair following a public vote – Swindon Town FC and Lydiard Park where else can you buy your favourite landmark for just MONOPOLY money?  And among the counters to play MONOPOLY with is a brand new piece – a cat, as voted by the public.

Before sales run dry, we have 12 games up for grabs for 12 readers (one for each day of Christmas!).

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question: Which counter is brand new to MONOPOLY? 

Enter by phone: Simply call 09013600816 and leave your answer and details when prompted.
Enter by text: Send your text to 80360 starting with MONOPOLY leave a space, followed by your answer, name and contact details.  Calls cost no more than £1.02 per call from a BT landline.

Calls from mobiles and some other networks may cost more. Texts cost £1 plus your normal operator text charge.

Telephone and text voting lines open today and close at midnight on October 15.

For full terms visit http://www.newsquest.co.uk/termsService provided by Newsquest Media Group. Usual Newsquest rules apply.

Enter by post: Send your answer on a postcard along with your name, address and a daytime telephone number to Monopoly Competition, Sales & Marketing, Swindon Advertiser, 100 Victoria Road, Swindon, SN1 3BE. 

Entries must be received by 5pm on October 15.