Lego store detains 11-y-o customer, accuses father of being unfit parent


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Odd that the father’s last name is an almost perfect anagram of “Duplo”.


N-Duplo sounds like a theorem in communications science, something to do with redundant bits, perhaps.


Then why isn’t it posted? There’s not much precedent to support a threshold of 12 for whatever mad idea of child safety Lego (or this manager on his own) have in mind, so, you know, it might be a help for kids and parents alike for a notice to be put up to prevent embarrassing incidents like this making Lego (or this manager) look like blithering idiots.


Duplon, on the other hand, sounds like some sort of elementary particle of overpriced but awesome plastic building blocks.


This is in my neck of the woods. I was planning on visiting this very story next week on an oh so rare visit to the mall with friends to see a movie. Instead I might visit and tell them that this is why I won’t be purchasing anything there that day or any day in the foreseeable future.
I have a 10 month old and I love Lego. So that seems to me like a sizable number of future purchasers. If my son, when otherwise ready, will be turned over to the non-thorities for the audacity of being young and wanting to engage in commerce, then they have un-earned my business.


If the boy was a frequent customer, why was that the particular day they decided to crack down on underage customers?


kids today are too freaking nice. fight back. tell them to fuck off and walk away. be angry, they have no right to say anything to you anyway…?! if some random clerk at the lego store asks you where your parents are or how you got there reply “i dont know you – why are you talking to me? ring me up so i can go home and build this lego” standing up for yourself is part of being in the public space which is what free range parents want anyway so its not like they’ll be mad at you. being a dick is the correct response to a dickish person who wants you arrested anyway, so fuck 'em! get mad!


I reckon the story has blown up enough by now that they’ve probably received at least one death threat of some sort, in addition to heaps of other assorted abuse.

By the way:

My advice to Lego: Apologize and give the boy a Bionicle.

Are those still a thing?


The policy’s really there to avoid five finger discounting… particularly if the shop’s busy or it’s a group of kids.

Calling mall cops in shouldn’t really be step one, though… especially when the mall cops seem so proud that they’re powerless to stop child abductions…


Nah probably not. This is Canada. Maybe a strongly worded letter. Possibly including the word “Fiddlesticks” :smiley:


Because 11-year-olds are far more likely to shoplift than 12-year-olds.


They’ve probably spent a bundle analysing the profit/loss statistics, and concluded that 12-year-olds carry just enough cash to spend that they’re breaking even.


While I do think that this was handled poorly- they should have had the signage- I can’t fault the policy. Far too many parents treat any kind of toy store, game store, etc. as free babysitting. (Not saying this guy was seeing it that way, but true nonetheless.) It shouldn’t be the store clerk’s job to look after every pre-pubescent that wanders in off the street (or mall corridor).

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They selected the highest age possible before it becomes completely laughable to even the worst bubble-wrap enthusiast.


It seems to me like a relatively reasonable policy that was implemented and explained very poorly. Many stores have policies or signs posted asking children to be attended by adults, to discourage shoplifting, or just obnoxious unattended children.

I’ve seen a number of curmudgeonly independent hobby shops and the like with signs saying “Unattended children will be sold as slaves,” or quirky coffee shops and bookstores with signs saying “Unattended children will be given lattes and puppies.”

Obviously, the manager handled the situation badly by immediately calling security on a child who wasn’t causing obviously causing trouble, and made it worse by making stupid accusations to the parent. But I see no problem with the policy in general.


The kid was there of his own accord with cash to make a purchase. Barring special needs, do you find many 11 year olds that require baby-sitting? I don’t but if trends continue doubtless children will see themselves/be seen as more and more helpless at older and older ages. It’s ridiculous.


Turns out the Lego store manager was right! Kids are at risk of abduction in the mall. The kid did get abducted - by mall cops, at the store manager’s direction. Prophesy self-fulfilled.


Are Canadian 11 year olds as old as American ones? Doesn’t the exchange rate make them a little over 8 these days?