back to article Hasbro kills Colonel Mustard in the corporate office with the marketing ploy

American toy and game giant Hasbro has given Clue(do) an overhaul, murdering Colonel Mustard, Professor Plum, and the rest of the 60-year-old board game's famous cast of characters. As reported by The BBC in Britain and National Public Radio in the States, designers have updated the classic murder mystery game for a "modern …


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  1. yeah, right.
    Gates Horns

    in other words...

    they ripped the heart and soul out of a game so they could market it as "new and improved" when it neither. Typical really.

    Bill, because it's his fault. Somehow.

  2. Kimo
    IT Angle


    ...I always thought the revolver was a pistol.

    "And the revolver is now a pistol."

  3. Mark Monaghan


    Part of the attraction of Cluedo is the timeless "Agatha Christie" setting.

    Perhaps El Reg could introduce its own version...

    "I think it was the PFY, in the Call Centre, with the Cattle Prod"

    Mine's the one with the curious oriental dagger in the pocket.

  4. Nicholas EGF Berry


    "...I always thought the revolver was a pistol."

    True, but they're not the same thing. A revolver is a pistol, but not all pistols are revolvers.

    Tux, 'cos I like bird meat.

  5. AGirlFromVenus

    Bit more imagination requitred

    Sexy Sara killed kinky MP by gagging him with a tangerine in the lounge

  6. Richard Steiner


    Guess I won't be buying that game. Unless it's an old copy on eBay. :-)

  7. Chris G

    Is it compatible

    With XBOX/Playstation/nintendo? No? Not many sales there then.

  8. Magellan

    If they really were to make "Clue" more topical ...

    It was OJ in the courtyard with the knife.

  9. CeeTee

    @ Kimo

    It depends on how pedantic we're being...

    A pistol is usually defined as "a small firearm designed to be held in one hand", but also described in some dictionaries as "having its chanmber integral with its barrel", which strictly speaking, a revolver's chambers aren't.

    Irrespective, why the heck do companies feel the need to mess with familar things all the time?

    Mine's the one with the "Pedant" logo on the back.

    Cee Tee

  10. BGrant
    Gates Horns

    Re : Strange...

    In the US, a revolver always refers to a handgun that holds ammunition in the classic barrel (usually 5-6 shots). A pistol is a generic term for a revolver, a semi-automatic pistol, or any other type of hand held gun, typically one of the smaller calibers.

    Bill - because it's all about the money & so is he

  11. Barry Rueger

    Not the Clue That I knew

    I was dismayed recently when playing Clue with some kids (the DVD version no less) that it no longer involves a murder! Instead you figure out who has stolen an item from the house.

    Sigh... somehow it just wasn't the same when you weren't identifying a murder weapon and the place where Col. Mustard met his demise.

    Kind of like those non-competitive collborative games that old hippies want their kids to play...



    A professor is not modern? I'd better give my old college a call, somehow I think they haven't heard this.

    I could go on about kids these days but I won't; I'm getting an old game, in case the one we had when I was a kid has been ruined or lost.

    (No "Die, Hasbro, die" icon so I took the next best one.)

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Clueless marketing suit in the parlor...

    ...with a focus group.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They should've...

    ...stuck with the Simpsons version that they published a while ago if they wanted to update it.

  15. wiser mouse


    It was Osama Bin Laden in the cave with the poisonous gas

  16. Adam Williamson
    Paris Hilton

    More pedantry

    Barry, in Cluedo, Colonel Mustard never dies. He may be the murderer, but he doesn't die. The dead guy is named Mr. Black, but he's not a playable character and doesn't really come up in the course of the game play.

    Also, since Hasbro seems to be a giant multinational conglomerate, the obvious question is whether Jack Mustard played soccer or gridiron...

    Paris, because I'm as confused as she is by *everything*.

  17. l3bowsk1
    Paris Hilton

    "It was l3bowsk1, in the Hasbro Boardroom, with candlestick. . ."

    On behalf of us Americans, I apologize - I recall playing clue when I was a kid, and this just baffles me. Clue, without the old school revolver, without the lead pipe? How can you envision cold-blooded murder without a lead pipe?

    I can just imagine some fat moron at Hasbro HQ thinking "We've got to punch this up for the LOL, OMG, interwebs generation. The kids eat this stuff up."

    So now it's going to be "It was Paris, in the hot tub, with a night-vision camera." Or maybe "It was Lindsay, in rehab, with a Blackberry."


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Barry Ruegar


    Col. Mustard didn't meet his demise - Mr Black did. Col Mustard was a suspect.


  19. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    @ CeeTee

    "Irrespective, why the heck do companies feel the need to mess with familar things all the time?"

    So they can bring back the older, popular version as an overpriced "Classic Edition".

    Me, in the Library, with Paris.

  20. Rob Menke
    Thumb Down

    Two words, Hasbro:

    New Coke.

    Don't mess with a classic.

  21. Jason The Saj

    Kindler, gentler world....

    Kind of like how they removed revenge from the game of "LIFE".

    What I don't understand is why all this focus to make the games nicer. And yes, many of these companies are owned by conglomerates releasing violent video games.

    I swear, what we need is a violent first person shooter "board game". Blow off parts of your opponent and see guts flying. *lol*

  22. anarchic-teapot

    A Suit said:

    "How much time do people have? Because we know that people have less time now than they did before."

    Uh-huh. And board and card games are becoming increasingly popular. The fashion is to invite friends round and make an evening of it, so it sounds like they either made a pig's ear of their research (probable) or were absolutely desperate (also highly probable) to revamp a well-known game out of all recognition in the hope that people who own the original version would also buy the new one. Idiots.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I could except if the replaced the lead pipe with a Machete or khukuri . The revolver with an HK MP5 chambered for .45 with a silencer .

    Replacing Col. mustard with G.W. Bush.

  24. Christoph

    @ Adam Williamson

    The question is actually whether Jack Mustard played League or Union.

  25. Neil Daniels
    Paris Hilton

    Revolver or pistol

    The picture on the Revolver card in my box is definitely of a semi-automatic pistol, and ditto for the actual playing piece itself.

    Paris, just because.

  26. Jodo Kast

    And if you try to make a version of the old game...

    they will sue your pants off!

    You simply 'can't has the classics'.

    Unless, as one poster put it, you want a moldy board from eBay.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Has(bro)nt a clue

    A board (Game) thats threatens the interests of HASBEEN Games. A murder most horrid as Jeff Black the companies chief Games designed is slaughtered using a pencil and bottle of Tipex while listening to JayZ in the Board Room, It is your mission if you plan to except it, to discover which one of the following m*rons did the evil deed.

    Prof Plumbly Vermicelli - Chairman

    Scalet Golddigger - President, Chief Executing Officer

    Rev Hartheives - CFO,COO, Executive Vice President

    Hagler White - Senior Vice President

    Peacock Falsbooby - Senior Vice President, Treasurer

    Dohberah Peach Senior Vice President, Controller

  28. Steen Hive

    Even more surely..

    It was the Moderatrix in the basement with the cat-o-nine tails.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    For an IT angle....

    For an IT angle: it was Hans Reiser, in the garage, with a hard disk.

    mount -t ext3 /dev/coat /media/coat && exit

  30. Frank Haney

    More Pedantry

    I also made my UK debut in 1949.

    Please don't describe ME as a 60 year old.

  31. John Savard

    It May Mean Nothing to Brits

    but in the interest of trans-Atlantic comprehension, what Ludo fails to mean to Americans is Parcheesi. Actually, that particular spelling of the name of the old game Pachisi from India is a Selchow and Righter trademark, however. (People who have seen both, however, will note that there are slight differences in the rules of Ludo versus the Western version of Pachisi using six-sided dice.)

  32. Rob Sked

    It twas . . .

    The Hoddie, in the Bus Stop, with the MAC-10.

    The lil'bastard.

  33. Charles

    In another 20 years, who's gonna care?

    So they jazzed up the looks a little bit. Does it play the same? I would imagine so. It simply may well be that the old posh look of Clue was in fact detrimental to its sales because today's people couldn't fit in (Who reads Agatha Christie anymore? We're more into watching CSI and the like--or whatever it watched across the pond.). If giving the game a face lift brings in more players, then bully to them.

  34. Regis Terme

    No clue

    Sounds like another design by committee

  35. A

    It's just a cynical marketing ploy

    They're either going to announce that due to public outcry the plan has been shelved, after they've basked in their free publicity; or they're going to introduce Clue(do) Classic in a few months time, after they've basked in their free publicity.

  36. Adam Foxton


    It's a bloody classic! By all means come out with a "C21-luedo" but you shouldn't screw up a classic.

    And to answer your title, in another 20 years it'll seem hopelessly outdated rather than just "classic" or "old".

    Finally, if you were going to create a decent modern one then CSI is an entirely unsuitable model as you'd make the game 100x more complex. Adn you'd lose your hearing every so often. On the upside, there would be killer robots.

  37. Neoc
    Thumb Down


    I have fond memory of the movie (Tim Curry did a *great* job as the butler).

    Hmmm... I think the local toy shop still has the "bookcase" edition of the game (box made to look like a leather-bound book). I'll have to go pick up a copy before they "upgrade" their stock.

  38. Lorenz Kahl

    Even more pedantry

    "your mission if you plan to except it"

    "I could except if the replaced the lead pipe with a Machete or khukuri "

    The word is "accept"!!!!

  39. Heather Landaker

    God forbid children learn what a conservatory is

    This is sad. Part of what made the game so great as a child was its timelessness. Its nod to the classy yet murderous. To dumb it down for mainstream culture is embarrassing to all of us.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    PIstol - Revolver?

    Revolvers REVOLVE a chamber around to the firing pin. (standard police, 'can't hit a barn door with' type).

    Pistols use the back compression of a cartridge to eject a round and chamber the next from a spring loaded clip. (Pistol-Piston - get the mechanics?)

    There is no confusion, unless you think dum-dum's did not evolve from colonial India.

  41. James Monnett

    this bites

    but it was the Moderatrix, in the forums with the ban button

    Someone bring back the REAL clue

  42. Robert
    Thumb Down

    It's a win-win situation (for them)

    If the rejiggered Clue(do) sells, they win -- and they're already getting free PR via articles such as this. I mean, if they hadn't done this, none of us would be thinking about Clue(do) today.

    If the bastardized game doesn't sell well, they just reissue "Classic Clue(do)" amid a PR frenzy ala Classic Coke. Again, they win.

    Not saying I approve or anything. When I was a kid, the whole Agatha Christie environment felt period and foreign -- and cool. That was part of the whole mystique. It was called a pistol, not a handgun as one would have expected. It was a lead pipe for Heaven's sake -- after figuring out what they did to our brains, no-one has used lead pipes since the Romans. I've never seen a lead pipe in my life. So, back to what I said first. They're doing this just because they can and think it'll work. Not because it it's for the better.

    Here's hoping it backfires and we get the Classic Coke scenario and the world is right again.

  43. Alan Dougherty

    RE: this bites

    There is no real 'Clue'.. it's just a bastardisation :)

    Mines the one with the revolver, smelling slightly of cordite, in the pocket.

  44. Kimo

    @ Pedantry

    "Pistol" refers to the form of the weapon (single-handed firearm), while "Revolver" refers to the method of moving fresh rounds to the firing mechanism. During the War of the Rebellion, Colt manufactured a revolving rifle for cavalry use (although the size would most often be described as a carbine), proving that not all revolvers are pistols, just as not all pistols are revolvers.

    Unhelpfully, my copy of Chenhall's "Revised Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging" lists both "Revolver" and "Pistol" as related terms, but includes the more specific "Pistol, Semi-Automatic" for the weapon that I believe we are discussing.

  45. Kimo


    No, Professors are not modern. They have for the most part been replaced by adjunct instructors or graduate students.

  46. Andrew Halliwell

    Re:It's a win-win situation (for them)

    > no-one has used lead pipes since the Romans. I've never seen a lead pipe in my life.

    That's not true.

    lead piping was used right up to WWII...

    People are still ripping out lead piping and replacing them with copper or plastic to this day as they buy older houses and renovate them.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    Lead pipe gone?

    If these are Made in China, there will damn well still be lead in the game.

  48. Ian
    IT Angle

    Half a Clue

    Mr Freeman, in the Large Hadron Collider facility, with the crowbar.

  49. Nordrick Framelhammer

    Lets face it

    It is just another attempot by those backwoods colonials to Yankify yet another great British thing.

    Look at the turdpiles that most attempts at that turn into.

    Black helicopters coz the yanks are trying to take over the world.

  50. Michael Habel

    Re: God forbid children learn what a conservatory is

    Surly you ment the "Music Room"?

    I don't recall any [Glass] enclosed Patio's (ain't that what you Brits call Conservatoies?). Yeah I've been watching to many Home Improvement Show on Astra 3 (BBC & Channel 4)...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Board Games

    Are board games still selling???

    Computers, console, handhelds and mobile phones all play games :)

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Not the Clue That I knew

    Thats not a game thats reality... you have to solves it yourself as the police wont be arsed unless someone is dead.

  53. zebthecat

    Jayz - she was in the nip!

    Wasn't Jack Mustard the milkman lothario in Father Ted?

    Never knew he played football too.

  54. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Perhaps the time has come for a merger...

    I accuse Colonel Mustard.... in The Old Kent Road... with J on a triple letter score.

  55. Parax

    Rent-a-cop in the school with a taser Bro!

    that is all.

  56. Charles King
    Dead Vulture

    more pedantry

    Revolver is obviously a reference to the classic album by the Beatles. Except kids these days haven't heard of them, so obviously it had to go.

  57. Nick Palmer

    @Mark Monaghan

    "I think it was the PFY, in the Call Centre, with the Cattle Prod"

    The Pinch, surely?

  58. NathanD

    @ AC re: PIstol - Revolver

    >> Pistols use the back compression of a cartridge to eject a round and chamber the next from a spring loaded clip. (Pistol-Piston - get the mechanics?)

    Nope - pistol was a term used in the seventeenth century to describe early guns designed to be fired one handed. The words etymology comes through high-german from thge Czech word "pistala" which means pipe. Nothing to do with pistons!

    As already stated - all handguns are pistols, but not all pistols are revolvers!

    I'll get me coat - its the English Civil War Buff with the pair of english-lock horse pistols...

  59. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Kent Ertugrul

    killed Dr Beatie in the telephone exchange with a blunt webwise

  60. Ian Chard

    Prepare yourselves for...

    ...Classic Cluedo! Coming at an inflated price to a toy shop near you...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @ Pedantry

    From the OED:


    1. A small firearm designed to be held in one hand; (also) a similar small handgun discharged without an explosive, esp. one using compressed air.

  62. Robert E A Harvey

    not up to date enough

    I suspect rap dude pinky in de crack den wiv a long blade

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @ac pistol-revolver

    (standard police, 'can't hit a barn door with' type).

    Most police (European and US) use a pistol not a revolver - holds more bullets to shoot people with without needs to pause and reload (using a pre-filled in magazine which is faster than sticking in 6 individual rounds and hense can shoot and kill more people quickly).

  64. alistair millington
    Thumb Down

    its like monopoly

    Taking away the fact it helped kids with maths by "modernising" it, so the kids now have to use a calculator... Which of course needs batteries and does nothing for child arithmetic skills.

    Can we have, "annoying meddling games designer, killed by his own invention, in his bedroom?"

    No, okay...

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    game remakes

    so thats monopoly revamped, cluedo revamped whats next? Operation 2008 where you remove bullets, drugs and alcopops from the body instead?

    PH cos we'd all like to have a go on her body

  66. Martin Maloney
    Paris Hilton

    Clue got TOO easy

    30+ years ago, two friends of mine and I played Clue so often that we got TOO good at it. (Think poker player who counts cards and does probability math in his head.)

    One evening, I suggested a way to make the game challenging again.

    Instead of shuffling the cards of the three individual categories and then picking a card from each, we would shuffle ALL of the cards together and then pick three from that stack.

    In one case, there was a lesbian encounter, featuring a dildo made of a toxic heavy metal! And thus, we speculated that Mr. Black, rather than being a murder victim, was, in reality, a voyeur.

    And, yes, Paris -- who else?

  67. spiny norman

    Updating to when exactly?

    It seems to have gone from 1930s English detective novel to 1970/80s detective TV series, along the lines of "Columbo" or "Murder She Wrote". Which arguably says more about the age and interests of Hasbro marketing executives than it does about the children who will, maybe, play it.

  68. GrahamT

    @Frank Haney

    Snap! (another classic game)

    I am also a '49er and don't like being called 60 - not for another 14 months anyway.

    Cluedo, China, NATO, EDSAC, Linda Lovelace, Frank and me, all born in 1949. History will never see its like again.

  69. Mike Fortey
    Paris Hilton

    Boardgame deaths are up!

    "I swear, what we need is a violent first person shooter "board game". Blow off parts of your opponent and see guts flying. *lol*"

    I recommend you play the games 'Frag' or 'Last night on Earth', then!

    "How much time do people have? Because we know that people have less time now than they did before."

    Indeed. There are now less hours in the day before, and the truth has been hidden from us by clock-makers and time-keepers the world over. Obviously, we're really screwed for time in comparison with our grandparents... what with microwaves, washing machines, cars being common, etc...

    'I can just imagine some fat moron at Hasbro HQ thinking "We've got to punch this up for the LOL, OMG, interwebs generation. The kids eat this stuff up."'

    Hasbro are doing a lot of that recently...

  70. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Hasbro getting desperate

    Hasbro were infected a year or so ago with a deadly corporate virus that believes that re-badging for a modern generation will revitalise any flagging product lines. A a result it has been promoting 'new' rather than developing 'improved' across a number of product lines with a consequent loss in year on year sales. Parents looking for classic games are looking elsewhere...

    I'm betting it was Joss Tique in the strategy boutique with the whalesong.

  71. Dave Bell

    Agatha Christie?

    So where's the giant wasp?

  72. Chris Hunt

    It could've been worse...

    They could have brought out "Cluedoku", in which you have to work out which of the 9 suspects killed the 0.

  73. Anonymous Coward


    Better that they should have asked Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla to make a great web-based game out of it.

  74. Mike Bennett

    @Jason The Saj

    Try the fantastic "Frag"; A boardgame version of Quake, essentially.

  75. Steve Walker

    @NathanD Re Pistols

    From my book on such stuff :-) It says:

    Colt invented the first revolver which was aptly named after its revolving cylinder. Colt was issued a patent in 1836 for the "Colt firearm equipped with a revolving cylinder containing five or six bullets" this came with an innovative (as the time) cocking device as seen in many early "cowboy movies".

    As for pistols they were intended for single-handed use at short ranges. There are three basic types:

    First a single shot weapon from which others were developed. Now manufactured for target shooting where accuracy is called for.

    Second the revolver carrying the cartridges in chambers <- with a mechanism which is actuated by the user each time a new round is fired and ejected.

    And third, the automatic - which has been mis-named, as it is actually a semi automatic or self loading pistol, firing one shot each time the trigger is pressed - a truly automatic pistol "would" fire a burst of bullets as does a machine gun and as such would be classed as a machine gun and not as a pistol.

    History of the word (or device known as a) "pistol" is thought to come from Pistoia which is located in northern Italy where around 1540 the first pistols came from. However the other side of the fence says that early pistols were carried in holsters which were slung across the "pistallo" or pommel of a saddle when used as single shot weapons.

    And *unf* learning on Friday! Plus I always liked Ludo it had all you needed in a friendly family orientated game ... and the yellow rope you could never ever find after you had played the game once and your mum replaced with blue wool for you ...


    It was Gordon Brown with the economy in the 2000's.

  76. Rodrigo Rollan

    It Was

    Monica, in the Oval Office , with her .....waaaaaait a minute !

    I know I know, I´ll be escorted out by the two merry gorillas in Black Suits

  77. Steve
    Thumb Down

    Because Classics Must be Updated

    the fitness trainer in the home gym with a smoothie maker

    the Latvian nanny in the child's art studio with a Wii controller

    the feng shui consultant in the south-facing room with the statue of an obscure Bodhisattva

  78. PunkTiger
    Thumb Up

    Mrs. Peacock was a slag in her youth

    So much for my favourite answer: "Miss Scarlet did it in the Conservatory with Colonel Mustard!"

    That being said, it matters not a bit to me. I still have my original Clue game from when I was a teen (PRE-HASBRO) that has the Revolver, Lead Pipe and all. For all its simplicity, that game was loads of fun.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Bill Gates

    In the OS. With a BSOD.

  80. Brennan Young

    Kinda dumb, but then, the game is kinda dumb in the first place

    Nice idea, detective game, find the killer (the victim was "Dr. Black" in Cluedo , or "Mr Boddy" in Clue - which is better - duh).

    But... but... all that faffing around with a die. It forces all the game mechanics through an unnecessary bottleneck, like almost all dice-driven board games - basically, we're not even doing anything as exciting as 'snakes and ladders', where the random roll of the dice actually means something signficant. In Clue(do) the dice-rolling just delays the action, and adds the kind of tension only a 2-year-old could appreciate.

    If you like detective/mystery board games, there are dozens that are better these days, and many that stick more faithfully to the spirit of the 'golden age' (i.e. Sherlock Holmes thru Agatha Christie). Just ask your friendly neighbourhood games shop, or slip off to (excellent!)

    So, I really wont miss Clue(do) as a *game*, but I do confess a certain fondness for the 'classic' lineup of characters. Apparently, Hasbro is throwing out the baby and keeping the bathwater.

    So now the big question is, how will the audiences of the future be able to decode the references to the game in 'classic' episodes of "I'm Alan Partridge"?

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    so many new doors opening...

    ... Black(two) - the MIB version where all the characters are referred to as "agent smith"; the business edition - paran(oia), where your aim to to identify the student in your workforce and then kill them yourself before he takes your job; the UK Police edition - (do)nut, where you walk into the first room, grab the first suspect you see and lock them up without any form of serious investigation; the UK Law update - A Clue (oh bugger), where you walk through a prison trying to identify the one individual who really should be inside doing a 5 stretch; the PC version - BS(oD), where you have to work out which OS failed sending what error message to which technician; the 'pc' edition - Immigration C*nt(rol), where everyone has lost a limb and belongs to an obscure religious or sexual preference group... Orgasm(o) - the lesbian edition, where you have to work out which dildo, which room and with who; the peadophile's edition - (oh!) Puppies... etc

  82. Ed


    "I think it was the PFY, in the Call Centre, with the Cattle Prod"


  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They really have missed the point. Board games are now so far behind the times that they only thing they really have going for them is their old fashioned retro charm.

    Take that away and you've got nothing...

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