If you don't think the arrival of Legoland Discovery Center at the Plymouth Meeting Mall is a big deal, you're probably not aged 3 to 12. Nor, for that matter, have you recently found yourself in a Toys R Us aisle, wondering why in the world a cardboard box of small plastic pieces costs $119.99 — and then, quite to your surprise, finding yourself making the purchase.
Legos are the world's best-selling toys. They're bigger than Barbie — bigger than Mattel, even. When this Discovery Center arrives in the burbs, you can bet the fans will, too.
Brand founder Ole Kirk Christiansen was a Danish carpenter who in 1934 named his company for his language's expression leg godt, or "play well." Surely, Christiansen never envisioned that his creation would go on to partner with Marvel and Star Wars. Or, for that matter, would surpass the 500 billionth-brick mark. But that's what happened. That's where we are. And if you have kids, that's where you will be.
To be clear, Plymouth Meeting's new Discovery Center is not one of the massive Legoland resort theme parks of Winter Haven, Fla.; Carlsbad, Calif.; or Dubai. It does, however, have a ride, a "4D" movie theater, and enough play space to merit springing for an annual membership.
Here's a rundown, by the numbers:
Number of vehicles that drive past the Plymouth Meeting Mall annually, according to mall owner PREIT.
Number of kids ages 2 to 12 who live within an hour's drive of the Plymouth Meeting Mall, according to PREIT.
The square footage for those 2- to 12-year-olds to go Lego-nuts in.
Age range of the attraction's target demographic, although plans are in the works for monthly nights for grown-up Lego fans.
Legoland Discovery Centers in the U.S., now that Plymouth Meeting is open.
Train cars on the "Imagination Express," the ride that carries guests from the entrance into "the neighborhood," from which they can head to …
… "Play Zones," more than any other Legoland Discovery Center. These include a Duplo area with larger bricks, a slide, and oversize soft bricks for builders ages 2 to 5; "Heartlake City" with lifesize Lego Friends Andrea, Mia, Olivia, Stephanie, and Emma; Pirate Adventure Island, with climbable rigging, air cannons, and a slide; reaction tables to test buildings against simulated earthquakes; timed ramps for racing own-make Lego cars; Ninjago Training Camp with a mountain, laser maze, and brick pits; and a Master Model Builder workshop.
Bricks in Miniland, a model of the City of Philadelphia that includes Independence Hall, a 9-foot-tall Liberty Place, and an even taller Comcast Tower — "not the new one, the first one," said general manager Mike Taylor.
Short animated films in the Lego 4D Cinema, where audience members wear 3D glasses to see special effects while getting hit with 4D "wind, mist, and snow," said Taylor.
Cost of one standard daily admission.
Cost of one annual membership.
Number of invitees in each of two party rooms, separated by a dividing wall that opens up to double the space. (Reservations are already being taken.)
Year the Plymouth Meeting Mall opened. (The Rouse Co. built it. Strawbridge & Clothier and Lit Bros. were the original anchors.)
Distance from the Conshohocken Ikea.
Distance to the Conshohocken Ikea.
Lego Group's sales in 2016.
Lego Group's operating profit in 2016.
Bins between the "Play Zones" and the gift shop for collecting plastic bits that mysteriously escaped "the neighborhood." According to Taylor, no pocket checks are planned. "Kids will be kids. If they end up with a two-by-six or a two-by-four brick, it is what it is," he said. "Hopefully, they'll shake out their pockets."