I love it when companies step up and do the right thing. This story touches me in a couple of different ways. I too love Legos. Legos are a Danish company, a country I was lucky enough to live in for a few years. Yes I visited Legoland in Billund, Denmark. And lastly I am always amazed at kids with Autism.
Asperger’s Syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar, odd) use of language are frequently reported.
Our story is about James Groccia, an 11-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome, who saved his birthday money and other cash for two years to buy an expensive LEGO set: the Emerald Night Train. As fate would have it, just as he reached the $100 necessary to purchase the set, James learned it was no longer in production and extremely expensive to buy online.
James’ parents decided to guide their son into writing Legos a letter.
Here is a letter my son wrote that I want to share with everyone:
September 1, 2012
LEGO Systems, Inc.
555 Taylor Road
P.O. Box 1600
Enfield, CT 06083-1600
LEGO Group Headquarters
East Europe, SNG countries, the Baltic States and the Balkans
LEGO Trading A/S
My name is James Groccia and I am 10 years old. I have been playing with many Lego sets and products since I was about 4 years old. I have brick sets, Hero Factory, Creationary, Lunar Limo and more. I participate in a Lego Playgroup to help with my Social Skills (I have Asperger’s Syndrome) and I love playing with Legos at home (I play with them every day).
A couple of years ago, I saw The Emerald Night Train set (K10194) and fell in love with it. I wanted it right away, but my parents said I had to save the money to get it. For two years I kept all the money I got for birthday and holiday gifts, some of my allowance and some money I got for participating in a research project. At last, a couple of months ago I had my $100 and was ready to buy the Lego set of my dreams!
My mom started looking for it on line and could not find any. We checked the Lego store in our area and they didn’t have it either. I was completely crushed. You’ve stopped making it! It seems the only way to get one now is to pay $250 on Amazon or ebay, since now it is considered collectible.
I got another Lego set, thinking I could forget about the Emerald Night, but every time I see it anywhere on line I get very sad and disappointed. I still want the Emerald Night so badly, but there are none to be found.
Do you have any at your corporate headquarters? Perhaps I could get one that way? If you have any other ideas, I would be happy to hear them. I have never wanted a Lego set so badly ever in my life!
Your most loyal Lego fan,
James G. Groccia
Posted on YouTube
James received an encouraging letter from Lego suggesting how to find the train set he was looking for. A month later on his birthday, a package arrived.
Watch the video to see what happens next.
Why LEGO is the BEST Company in the World
We are always thrilled to hear from our LEGO fans! You truly have a passion and joy for LEGO. I am amazed at how many sets you have at
only ten years old! I am a very big LEGO fan myself and enjoy some of the same sets you do. We received your letter here in Consumer Services and were very touched by your determination.
The Emerald Night Train is a wonderful set, so we can understand why it is your dream to own it. I commend your willpower and patience to save money for over two years just to purchase this set. It is very evident that no other set could make you happier. We can understand how disappointing it must have been to find it had been discontinued. Due to your passion for LEGO and your heart-warming letter, we knew we had to go above and beyond to help make this a reality.
We have located an Emerald Night Train for you, James, and included it in this package! I am sure you will enjoy building it and cherish your time playing with the train. We are excited to know that we could help make this dream come true for you! Now there will be no more sadness or disappointment when you think about it …just happiness!
We hope you will continue to love to build and create with LEGO. Fans like you are why we are so lucky as a company. Who knows, maybe you will be working for The LEGO Group one day! You certainly have the heart and passion for our bricks to do so! Happy building, James!
Consumer Services Advisor
(C) 2012 Granite Communications, Inc. www.onsitestudios.com
Read the original story in the Boylston, Massachusetts local newspaper, The Banner