Could Toyota be dropping us all a hint about its place in the hybrid-vehicle world?

The Japanese automaker is teaming up with board-game maker Hasbro to create a mini road course based on the Monopoly board game at the Chicago Auto Show, which Toyota will use to pitch its latest batch of hybrid vehicles.

Toyota and Hasbro are using more than 30,000 square feet, or about two-thirds of an acre, inside McCormick Center's South Hall for the course, where trained drivers will pick up visitors in Prius V wagons, Camry Hybrids and Highlander Hybrids, and drive them through the S-curve-filed course. Among nods to the iconic board game will be "train tracks" for Reading Railroad and the chance for participants to meet the "Mr. Monopoly" character.

Toyota is using the promotion to publicize its broader range of hybrid vehicles, including the recently-launched Camry Hybrid and Prius V. Toyota will also start selling the Prius C compact and a plug-in-hybrid version of the model this year.

Whether Toyota's association with "Monopoly" is a veiled nod to its place in the hybrid food chain is open to interpretation. What's not up for debate is that Toyota accounts for about two-thirds of all the hybrids sold in the U.S., with the Prius making up about half of all domestic hybrids sold. The Chicago Auto Show takes place from Feb. 8 - 19.
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The Toyota Hybrid Monopoly Ride Experience Coming to the 2012 Chicago Auto Show

CHICAGO, Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Toyota and Hasbro are teaming up to bring the Toyota Hybrid MONOPOLY Ride Experience to the Chicago Auto Show, February 8-19. The program will allow auto show attendees to experience the capabilities and advantages of the third-generation Prius, all-new Prius v, Camry Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid models.

Teams of professional drivers and trained product specialists will take guests on a fun and informative demonstration ride through an eco-friendly course patterned after the iconic Monopoly game board. Participants will learn about the features of Toyota hybrid vehicles along the way, including regenerative braking, multiple drive modes and best-in-class fuel efficiency. Those completing the ride and a brief survey will receive a complimentary gift from Toyota.

"By incorporating design elements from the game into the Toyota Hybrid MONOPOLY Ride Experience, we are able to present the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive experience in a fun and unexpected way," said Keith Dahl, Toyota's National Engagement Marketing Manager. "This exhibit really gives fans of the game an innovative way to interact with our hybrid models."

More than 30,160 square feet of McCormick Center's South Hall will be transformed into an exhilarating closed-course, where show-goers can acquaint themselves with members of the Prius Family and the 2012 Camry Hybrid. The vehicles will be driven through "S" curves, a tight roundabout, over a bridge crossing and across the rugged "train tracks" of the Monopoly game's Reading Railroad.

"Hasbro is happy to be teaming up with Toyota on their Toyota Hybrid MONOPOLY Ride Experience," said Lisa Licht, Hasbro's Senior Vice President, Global Promotions & Marketing Partnerships. "It gives consumers a new and fresh way to interact with the iconic Monopoly brand in a larger-than-life venue and is a clear expression of how Monopoly allows everyone to truly "Live Rich."

In addition to the in-car ride experience, guests can also explore the exhibit area where key Toyota hybrid models will be on display, including the recently-debuted Prius c hybrid. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet the Mr. Monopoly character from the Hasbro game. Mr. Monopoly will greet visitors, pose for photos, and hand out faux Monopoly money.

About Hasbro
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the company's world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, video games and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its customers through the strategic leveraging of well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Hub, Hasbro's multi-platform joint venture with Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) launched on October 10, 2010. The online home of The Hub is www.hubworld.com. The Hub logo and name are trademarks of Hub Television Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.

About Toyota
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers which sold more than 1.64 million vehicles in 2011. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com, www.lexus.com, www.scion.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.