Fri, Apr 21, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Adult Australian Lego fans bemoan age discrimination

The Guardian

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 center unless accompanied by a child aged 17 or under, except on 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 center on Tuesday, and still more complained they had bought annual passes to the center without knowing about the age limit.

Children are also required to be accompanied by an adult in the center, 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 center.

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 center’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.”

Under Victorian law it is an offense to discriminate against someone on the basis of their age or parental status, with reasonable exceptions.

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton would not say whether being refused entry to “an indoor playground for children,” as Legoland describes itself, would count as discrimination.

The age ban does not extend to the shop, only the center, which includes a Duplo playground and a Lego recreation of Melbourne.

The same restrictions apply in 17 other Legoland Discovery Centres worldwide, a fact that some self-described adult fans of Lego (AFOL) said any true fan would know before splashing out A$77 (US$58) on an annual pass.

“It’s not discrimination — it’s common sense,” Ryan Evans wrote. “As a member of the AFOL community, I apologize 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 favorable and confused about why an adult would want to visit a children’s playground.

“Would you go to a children’s playcentre without a child?” Tania Snell wrote. “The play equipment has a maximum height requirement so adults can’t go on it.”

In a statement, Lego said the center was a “small, indoor attraction designed to provide safe and fun environments for families with children” aged three to 10 and is “not suitable for grown adults.”

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