Childhood found at Lego Store

By Molly Kearney
October 30, 2008

Shannon Keough

Imagine back to when you were a child, what would have you thought if there was a Lego Store in your local mall? Well, King of Prussia Mall has just that. The store opened on Sept. 18 to great prominence. There was a two and half hour wait just to get inside the store itself, according to Marcy Von Wallmenich, Lego Store supervisor.

The Lego Company started in a small woodshop and is now the world’s sixth largest manufacturers of toys. The name “LEGO” is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt,” meaning “play well.”

Even now, after 70 years, it is still family-run by the founder’s grandchild. According to Lego’s official Web site, their purpose is to inspire children to explore and challenge themselves creatively.

If one was to enter King of Prussia Mall, one would see there is a large need for toy stores in the mall itself and more so of a store geared towards boys. The Lego Store fulfils both needs. When asked a bit on her childhood with Legos, Von Wallmenich said she played with Legos all the time but her current favorite item in the store is the chest set. Von Wallmenich is shocked at the intricacy of the bricks in today’s store in comparison to that of her childhood.

The store itself has a unique set-up, with a wall of bricks at the back where customers can choose what Lego pieces they would like to buy, spend time in a play area full of ramps where they can race cars they make and tables to work on. The employees are like children playing with the toys and helping customers. The store itself is bright, cheery and friendly and any customer feels welcome. It is almost as if they are ageless upon entrance. Wallmenich said, “The look on grown-ups faces is of pure joy when they enter the store.”

The store has not figured out its holiday time or specials because it is not a franchise. It is run by the Lego Company and they will decide what kind of specials and hours will happen during the holidays. The mall’s hours change during the holidays and the store’s hours should change as well, but nothing is determined yet. The price of Legos can range from several cents to the collectible items which are several hundred dollars.

Mark Chila, sophomore business major, grew up playing with Legos. When Chila found out a Lego Store had opened he said, “I want to go there right now.” Chila played with his Legos every day as a child. Obviously, he was brought back to his childhood when he said, “I’d like to build a palace and play in it by myself.” Legos bring the child out of adults as mentioned previously and this is proven by Chila.

Ben Nana, junior English major, spoke about his childhood and how Legos impacted him. Nana used to build mansions with his Legos and of course then destroy them as any child would. Legos had so much an impact on him that he’d like to pass his collection of Legos on to his future children. Nana has yet to visit the Lego Store but knew of it. Nana went on to express an interest in applying to work there because employees are basically getting paid to play.

Rob Kallwass, junior English major, has never been to the Lego store but was aware of its existence like Nana. Kallwass does not play with legos anymore but feels it is good for a child’s creativity. Kallwass discussed his legos as a child like the pirate and castle themed. He felt they each had a story behind them and children got to act that story out.

Dr. Michelle Filling, assistant English professor, grew up playing with Legos and is now able to watch her own nieces play with them as well.

“My brother who is 10 years older than me had a whole suitcase of legos and you would just rummage through until you found that perfect piece,” Filling said.

Her brother has now passed on that suitcase of Legos that she played with as a child to his young daughters. Legos form a child’s imagination and help make lifelong memories and encourage creativity Filling believes.

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Molly Kearney

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