Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly: All Versions Compared

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If you’re a fan of the brilliant The Nightmare Before Christmas movie, you might be interested to learn that there’s a version of Monopoly based on the characters and locations from the movie.

Actually, that is not quite true, there are several versions of Monopoly based on The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly games

The differences between them are not all that obvious, so in this post, I’ll take a closer look at the various editions so that you can choose the one that suits you best. 

1. Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (First Edition)

Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (First Edition)
  • Year: 2009
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 8+

In the original version of Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly, you can move around the board as one of 6 pewter tokens based upon characters from the movie. You can choose between Jack Skellington, Sally, Evil Teddy, Oogie Boogie, Zombie Duck, or Mayor’s Hearse. 

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As you travel around the game board you can buy, sell, and trade locations from the movie such as Under the Bed, The Hinterlands, Oogie Boogie’s Casino, Sally’s Alley, Spiral Hill, Dr. Finkelstein’s Laboratory, and Jack’s Tower.

The game offers a few other Nightmare Before Christmas twists like having Christmas Presents and Halloween Presents cards instead of Chance and Community Chest cards. These include themed actions like ‘go for a ride in a walking bathtub’. 

Similarly, there are no railway stations in this game. Their place on the board is taken by different holiday-themed towns like Easter Town, St Patrick’s Day Town, and Valentine’s Day Town. 

The game comes with custom title deed cards for the various locations in Halloween Town that you can buy. The look of these cards is very similar to the design used for classic Monopoly although, of course, the place names are very different. 

The paper money notes continue the Nightmare Before Christmas theme as they feature Jack Skellington’s face on them rather than Mr Monopoly (also known as Rich Uncle Pennybags).

This version of the game uses a purple theme across the box and game board. It comes in a purple box that also features illustrations of many of the characters from the movie. The center of the gameboard is a very similar design to the outside of the box with lots of characters in front of a purple background. 

Each side of the board has a fairly traditional look although each of the properties includes an illustrated image from the movie.

2. Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (Red)

2. Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (Red)
  • Year: 2015
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 8+

I have to be honest, this version is really quite similar to the first edition described above. In fact, it’s exactly the same except for one small detail. 

The first edition had a purple background on the box and on the game board. This edition has a red background. Yep, that’s it. The only difference is the color of the background. 

The character illustrations are exactly the same and in the same positions. Gameplay-wise it’s more of the same as well with the locations, tokens, and rules being an exact copy of the earlier edition. 

Essentially this is the same game as described above. It’s just more red and less purple than the original version. 

3. Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (25th Anniversary Edition)

Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (25th Anniversary Edition)
  • Year: 2018
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 8+

This version was released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie and it looks very different with a complete design overhaul. The box is black and green with just images of Jack and Sally on the front. 

This dark theme has been incorporated into the whole game. The center of the gameboard features the same image as on the front of the box. Around the outside, the property locations are also on a black background – even the standard Go, Jail, Free Parking, and Go to Jail spaces (these are usually identical on all Monopoly boards).

Apart from the look, this is again much the same game as described above. The locations, tokens, and money are the same as in the other versions. The gameplay is unchanged and the Nightmare Before Christmas elements and references are the same.

4. Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (2019)

  • Year: 2019
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 8+

I imagine this is how it went down at head office – So, 26th anniversary edition doesn’t have quite the same ring to it does it? But people might still want to buy this game, so what shall we do?

How about removing the illustrated banner that says ‘25th anniversary edition’ and re-releasing it? Ok, great, that sounds good. Should we change anything else? No, that’s all…

Or something like that. Anyway, this is the same game as the anniversary edition released the year before, except for the banner to celebrate the anniversary has been removed from the box and the game board.

5. Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas Collector’s Edition

Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas Collector's Edition
  • Year: 2019
  • Players: 1-7
  • Age: 8+

Someone must be pretty happy with the ideas that went into the first edition of The Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly, because once again there is just a small variation on the theme with this special collector’s edition. 

What makes this edition special is the artwork that they’ve used. The outside of the box has a striking black and white theme that is sure to stand out against any traditional versions of Monopoly that you’ve got on the shelf. 

They’ve run with the black and white theme inside the box as well with a black and white Monopoly logo and a pencil illustration of Jack Skellington and the others in the center of the board. I particularly like the white houses and black hotels that they’ve included in this set.

Around the outside, the board has quite a traditional feel and the title deed cards are disappointingly ordinary looking. The locations used are the same as in the other editions described above.

This special edition includes an extra token compared to all the other versions – Zero the dog. This is alongside the same characters as in the other games so you get 7 pewter playing pieces and can invite one extra friend to play.

5. Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas (2021)

  • Year: 2021
  • Players: 2-6
  • Age: 8+

Back at head office they had another chat… ”People love that dark version of the game but I am hearing that it’s too green and not purple enough, what can we do?”

“Um, let’s change the green background for a purple one…”

“Great, let’s do that. But I think we should make more than one change this time… Er, how about we move Jack to the left a bit on the box and the gameboard?”

“No, don’t go crazy, you can move him on the board but leave him where he was on the box.”

Yep, this is another minimal update that swaps a greenish background for a purple one and makes a minor change to the artwork on the board (but not the box). The color change runs through the design, including the title deed cards and the spaces around the edge of the gameboard.

Which Is The Best Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly Game?

It’s quite hard to choose the best Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly. Whichever game you go for you’ll get the same gameplay. They all feature the same locations from the movie and all are equally good at including elements from the movie that give it the feel of being a Nightmare Before Christmas game.

So, choosing the best Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly game really comes down to your preference for design and artwork. 

My favorite is probably the 25th-anniversary edition because it looks and feels quite different from a standard version of Monopoly. This is because the board is so black and the title deed cards are quite different from classic Monopoly. 

Other people, who don’t spend as much time looking at and playing different versions of Monopoly as I do, might not be as keen to find these departures from classic Monopoly design.

The Collectors Edition is also in with a shout of being the best version thanks to the inclusion of an extra playing token and the cool black and white theme that runs through the game. This version is pretty hard to get hold of though and eBay is your best hope of finding it. 

If you’re looking for a Christmas Monopoly game I recommend Monopoly: The Nightmare Before Christmas red edition simply because the colors are the most Christmassy.

The Bottom Line

I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about Nightmare Before Christmas Monopoly. It’s unusual to find so many different versions of a Monopoly franchise game where the only real difference is the artwork that has been used. 

Disney Monopoly games and Star Wars Monopoly games mix it up a lot more but I guess they have multiple movies to provide different content.

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