Usually when a company discontinues a product, they offer little to no help for customers who wish to find ways of purchasing it. But for one little boy, a company went above and beyond to make sure he was satisfied.
James, an 11-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, was a fan of LEGO toys as they helped him build social skills. He had his eyes set on a special LEGO set called the Emerald Night Train.
James saved up for two years to purchase the $100 set. But after he had enough money, he and his mother soon discovered the set had been discontinued, and that it was now considered a collector's item.
That meant the train was out of James' price range.
Upset and shocked by the company's choice to discontinue the product, James decided to write them a letter.
“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 online 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! I got another LEGO set, thinking I could forget about the Emerald Night, but every time I see it anywhere online 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.”
He probably did not expect a reply from the company, but he soon was sent a letter from the company explaining that the set had been discontinued. The letter did not say much else.
Two days before James' birthday, however, he received a package from LEGO with a note. The note read:
‘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. 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. 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!”