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Cumming-centric board game a big seller during stay-at-home order

A behind-the-scenes look at the production company responsible for a local version of Monopoly.

CUMMING, Ga. — Have you purchased Cummingopoly yet? The local version of Monopoly showed up in area Walmart’s earlier this year, which led to a flurry of social media posts. Nearly everyone was excited about the game, including Walmart workers. One of the managers at the Market Place Blvd. location said it’s hard to keep the games on store shelves.

“It’s one of the best-selling games we’ve ever had in this store,” he said.

But where did it come from? And who funded the production of these custom games? 11Alive went in search of answers.

As it turns out, the game is not made locally. It’s not even printed in the state of Georgia. Cummingopoly was designed and printed in Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s one of many localized Monopoly games created by Late For The Sky Production Co.

“The concept of the gameplay [for Monopoly] became public domain in the early 80s,” Michael Schulte, the company’s marketing manager, said. “As long as you stay away from the trademark material within the original game of Monopoly, you can make your own game. You just can't take any of their original design and incorporate it into yours. That's the main thing, and that's what we've done.”

He said they’ve been working with Walmart’s on a regional level for the past few years, with a goal of creating items that were custom fitted for a certain area. The company’s “opoly” games have shown to be perfect, he said. When designing a custom game, the company first does research on the area, visiting local webpages and social media sites, Schulte said. Then, he said, they fact check everything with store managers and local sales reps.

The question still remains - of all the cities in metro Atlanta, why Cumming?

“Honestly, we've had a lot of good success with a lot of Georgia cities in general,” Schulte said. “So it was just kind of like ‘I don't see why we would not do it, because everywhere else is selling. Why wouldn't we try to make that one work as well?’”

As it was, the timing was perfect. Cumminopoly hit store shelves throughout Forsyth County right around the same time the novel coronavirus first appeared in Georgia, and people started looking for indoor activities. As a result, Late For The Sky saw a boost in business, Schulte said.

“Board games in general and also puzzles, I see a lot of people talking about puzzles as well,” he said. “But board games, it's something that gets you off the iPhone or whatever your device is, off the computer, off the TV. You sit around a table, especially playing a small-town game. If you're with your parents or grandparents, they're telling the ‘remember when…’ stories and all the great things about the town and its history. It's pretty cool, and it's something that, especially in this day and age, you need more of - more sitting around a table and talking rather than sitting on a device and typing.”

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