Everything isn’t awesome: adult fans locked out of Legoland
Toy company accused of alienating older fans after age ban at Legoland in Melbourne
Lego has defended the policy on the grounds the centre is “not suitable for grown adults”. Photograph: iStock
Adult fans of Lego have threatened to lodge human-rights complaints over age limits at Australia’s first Legoland Discovery Centre.
Adults are unable to enter the centre unless accompanied by a child aged 17 or under, except on special adults-only nights once a month.
Several unaccompanied adults have said they were turned away at the door of the playground, which opened in Melbourne’s Chadstone shopping centre on Tuesday, and still more complained they had bought annual passes to the centre without knowing about the age limit.
News of the rule sparked discussion on social media about where childless Lego fans could acquire a child for the day to check out the long-awaited discovery centre
Children are also required to be accompanied by an adult in the centre, which is aimed at children aged three to 10.
News of the rule sparked discussion on social media about where childless Lego fans could acquire a child for the day to check out the long-awaited discovery centre.
One Lego fan, Mark Robinson, said he would complain to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission about the rule, which he claimed was a form of age-based discrimination.
“Absolutely disgusted to hear that you will discriminate on grounds of age,” he wrote in a one-star review on the centre’s Facebook page. “Lego is something that is enjoyed across all the ages – I personally have thousands of dollars worth of the creator and architecture series and it’s clear that many adults without children will want to experience the attractions.”
Another disappointed adult, Stephen Roberts, accused the toy company of “alienating a group of adults who paid lots of money to buy and play with Lego”.
“Extremely disappointed to have purchased an annual pass at launch where they failed to state I needed to attend with a child,” Luke Robinson wrote in another one-star review. “Just got turned away at the preview opening.”
Under Victorian law it is an offence to discriminate on someone on the basis of their age or parental status, with reasonable exceptions. The Victorian equal opportunity and human-rights commissioner, Kristen Hilton, would not say whether being refused entry to “an indoor playground for children”, as Legoland described itself, would count as discrimination.
The same restrictions apply in 17 other Legoland Discovery Centres worldwide, a fact that some self-described AFOLs (adult fans of Lego) said any true fan would know
The age ban does not extend to the Lego shop, only the discovery centre, which includes a Duplo playground and a Lego recreation of Melbourne, made using 1.5 million mini bricks.
The same restrictions apply in 17 other Legoland Discovery Centres worldwide, a fact that some self-described AFOLs (adult fans of Lego) said any true fan would know before splashing $77 on an annual pass.
There is no upper age limit on Legoland Parks, which are lego-themed amusement parks.
“It’s not discrimination – it’s common sense,” wrote Ryan Evans. “As a member of the AFOL community, I apologise wholeheartedly for their lack of understanding of this policy and indeed the intentions of the centre. Please be reassured we are not all like this. Most of us ‘get it’.”
The reviews from those who did accompany a child are much more favourable, and confused about why an adult would want to visit a children’s playground that “isn’t aimed at adults at all”.
“Would you go to a children’s play centre without a child?” wrote Tania Snell. “The play equipment has a maximum height requirement so adults can’t go on it.”
In a statement, Lego said the discovery centre was a “small, indoor attraction designed to provide safe and fun environments for families with children aged 3-10” and were “not suitable for grown adults”.
“In order to constantly maintain a welcoming environment in which to play, the centres do not permit entry to any groups of adults, adult couples or lone adults, who are not accompanied by a young child or children,” it said.
Guardian News and Media