Australia got its first Legoland Discovery Center this week in Melbourne, but some Lego fans aren’t too happy about it. A handful of adult men are pissed that the Playground area is restricted to children. And one is even threatening to file a human rights complaint.
The Discovery Center opened on Tuesday and adults who aren’t accompanying children (16 or under) have been turned away from the Playground area, which is marketed to kids from 3-10 years of age. Adults without children are still allowed in the shopping area of the attraction.
The Melbourne Legoland location plans to have an “adult night” one night a month, but that’s apparently not enough for some grown-ass men who think they’re being discriminated against. As The Guardian points out, the age restrictions are in place at 17 other Lego Discovery Centers around the world.
“Absolutely appalled by the fact I was unable to enter without somebody under the age of 16,” one man wrote on Facebook. “Lego is not just for children and I’m sure the majority of people would agree with me. I understand it’s a play center but I have no intention on climbing around, simply just to look and admire. Incredibly disappointed, sort yourself out Legoland!!!”
One man even said on Facebook that he was filing a complaint with the local state Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission on the basis that the age restriction discriminates against people without kids. It’s unclear if a formal complaint has yet been filed.
“It’s a bit of a bad joke on your shop having age limits,” another man wrote before the Legoland opening. “When you look on a box of Lego it says ages from 4 too 99 or dose [sic] the shop have different rules. What a joke as I’ve loved Lego for 40 something years and my some [sic] loves doing his moc stuff. Think about it as I believe you need to rethink your rules..”
A promotional video posted to YouTube shows what the play areas of the Legoland in Melbourne look like. It’s pretty clear that the attractions are for kids.
“Absolutely disgusted to hear that you will discriminate on grounds of age,” another man wrote a couple of weeks ago, as the controversy began before Legoland even opened its doors. “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.”
In a statement posted to Facebook, a representative from Lego said that the Playground was a “small, indoor attraction designed to provide safe and fun environments for families with children aged 3-10" and that it was “not suitable for grown adults.”
The statement went on to say that they respect their adult fans and often host events to accommodate them:
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.
That said we recognise that the appeal of LEGO uniquely crosses all barriers, and fans come in all ages. That is why we also hold regular adult only evenings in order to showcase specific attractions within the Centre, such as MINILAND; and including additional events, talks etc. specifically to balance the fact that grown adults cannot use many parts of the attraction.
Adults with children have had mostly positive things to say about the new center, aside from some people who think that it’s a bit expensive.
“My six year old and I spent a good 3 1/2 hours in the centre during a preview on Saturday,” one woman wrote on Facebook. “So many fun activities to engage with, but definitely geared towards young children. Was really great to meet and chat with the Master Builders, what great guys. They have inspired my son. Glad we got the annual passes as we’ll be back.”
There’s nothing wrong with liking Lego as an adult. Personally, I like all kinds of things that are designed for children, including Star Wars movies, Disney theme parks, and Goldfish crackers. But if Walt Disney World’s new Star Wars Land includes a playground explicitly designed for kids, I don’t plan on walking inside with a box of Goldfish. And I sure as hell don’t plan on filing a human rights complaint about it.
You don’t need to grow up, you just need to realize that it’s not your inalienable right as an adult human to walk into a space designed for kids.