Hi! My name is Sonja Batusic and I'm a graphic designer from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. In October 2015 I’ve got my diploma in 'Graphic Product Design' at the Faculty of Graphic Arts in Zagreb. I’ve got many hobbies, I love making all sort of handmade items, like bags, costumes, jewelry, note books, and recently redesigning board games.
It all started a few months back, when I was finishing college. I saw a “Lord of the Rings” Monopoly board game on Ebay and thought: “We wants it, we needs it!” (in Gollum’s voice). But then I took a closer look and saw that there is a parking lot in Middle-Earth. The board game was also expensive and the shipment would cost me double the price of the product. But mostly – that parking lot bothered me. And the policeman. So I decided to make my version of the board game.
I found an old wooden box in the basement, wrote down the dimensions of the box and started thinking of ideas for the design of the board. Since I’m a big fan of the “Lord of the Rings”, I really wanted to be immersed in the story. So, instead of a parking lot, I put Weathertop. Instead of the policeman, I put Shelob… You get where I’m going with this.
The board design was made with Adobe Illustrator, then printed and coated. In order to avoid a mess, I created wooden partitions inside the box – so the money, cards, dices, houses and metal figures wouldn’t mix.
You play it like a regular monopoly game. The rules are exactly the same, but the board design is different. I removed the parking lot, jail and the policeman because every LOTR fan knows that there are no such things in Middle earth. The one major difference between the original monopoly set and the LOTR one is that I removed the chance and community chests and instead, put the white tree of Gondor and Evenstar. Everything is connected with the LOTR story so there is a lot of hidden humour in those cards only a LOTR fan can understand.
I know, this game already exists and there is a Lord of the Rings monopoly you can buy, but this is something that I wanted to do for myself, how I think this game should really look like. I’m a big admirer of Tolkien’s work, so I made something unique and something that I love. It took me two weeks to do it properly, but I think it was worth it. This is my one-of-a-kind precious.