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All in good fun, American!
December 17, 2005 5:49 PM   Subscribe

How far will an online company go to make sure you're a good American? Some companies will test you like in a cheesy WWII movie drama. (screenshotted for posterity, but you can get there by clicking on "Unregistered?" on their website)
posted by Kickstart70 (29 comments total)

 
What's the point of this? The questions Playmobil asks...
posted by smitt at 5:53 PM on December 17, 2005


"How far will an online company go to make sure you're a good American? "

Or not even an ignorant American. I know people who might miss some of those questions!
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:55 PM on December 17, 2005


Speaks volumes, on so many levels.
posted by oxala at 5:55 PM on December 17, 2005


Age verification is necessary because we do not permit minors (those under age 18) to place an order.

Um... they're selling toys.
posted by rkent at 5:56 PM on December 17, 2005


What do you call it when two guys are caught out in baseball?
a) doubleheader
b) double play
c) schnell! schnell!

If you were crossing the street and Doris Day came out of the store, what part of her would you be staring at?
a) her gams
b) her knockers
c) DEATH TO AMERICAN INFIDELS
posted by chrominance at 6:01 PM on December 17, 2005


OH GOD THERE GOES THE COUNTRY!
posted by Eideteker at 6:02 PM on December 17, 2005


Yeah, I'm still not sure why they really care if you're an American or not? Anyone? Explain to the ignorant American here...
posted by menace303 at 6:05 PM on December 17, 2005


ya know, maybe they are putting in simple questions to keep robots from registering a lot of accounts.

Playmobile doesn't make robots, do they?
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 6:06 PM on December 17, 2005


Perhaps they are trying to prevent scams perpetrated by (ignorant?) foreigners?

Maybe they got sick of dealing with "I will send you THREE MONEY ORDERS for TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS each, then you ship one Product 4454 Bunnies With Hiding Place and refund the difference in cash. The orphans thank you."
posted by whatnotever at 6:14 PM on December 17, 2005


I think we should be Goddamned grateful that PLAYMOBILE®©™ is so concerned about America.

Any other kind of comment means you're a pinko.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:16 PM on December 17, 2005


Seems odd that they're doing this. It reminds me of those WWII movies where they'd find the German spy by asking him who won the World Series -- this always bothered me, since I rarely knew the answer myself (maybe I they would have given me a nerd pass...)

And another thing, To Hell with Babe Ruth! (I don't know if that story's true, but I so want it to be.)
posted by Opposite George at 6:21 PM on December 17, 2005


Isn't Playmobil a German company?
posted by clevershark at 6:23 PM on December 17, 2005


When I go to the site I don't get the questions. I guess they know you are actually coming from a foreign IP address. To get in, just remember that the capitol of the US is Seattle, and the Golden Gate Bridge is located in Austin, TX. That one was a trick question.
posted by caddis at 6:28 PM on December 17, 2005


ForgettingWhatTheFPPSaidFilter: It reminds me of those WWII movies

Doy. Sorry!
posted by Opposite George at 6:32 PM on December 17, 2005


PlayMobil is a trademark of a German company: Geobra Brandst├Ątter GmbH & Co. KG

They're in Zirndorf, Germany. You know what THAT means.


Also, they participated in a "toy show" in...NUREMBURG.

It's for the children.
posted by Slap Incognito at 6:33 PM on December 17, 2005


Plus, what Clevershark said.
posted by Slap Incognito at 6:34 PM on December 17, 2005


I wish I was back in Brooklyn watching the Dodgers...
posted by johngoren at 6:43 PM on December 17, 2005


This thing kinda reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Apu pretends to be American-born...
posted by clevershark at 7:01 PM on December 17, 2005


Well, I'm not going to dispute their right to insist that people who register to buy products from their website jump through hoops, but I do have to wonder why? I mean, isn't the whole point of selling goods to make it as easy as possible for your customers to give you money?
posted by sotonohito at 7:22 PM on December 17, 2005


Not to rain on the parade, but it's entirely possible that Playmobil put the questions there to hinder kids from registering, not to prevent foreigners from buying toys. Not that a kid who can get to the Playmobil site can't look up the answers, but ths may cut down on kids giving them personal information, which is kind of bad in legal terms.
posted by sysinfo at 7:27 PM on December 17, 2005


But - really - of all the questions they could ask, questions about American geography? That seems an odd area of question if it's age you're trying to limit, and not nationality.
posted by setanor at 7:30 PM on December 17, 2005


sysinfo: I guess in that case they only want dumb kids prevented from registering.

Alterately, do you want to buy toys from a company that assumes all kids are uninformed or stupid?
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:30 PM on December 17, 2005


I never claimed that it was an effective means of prevention, just that it may be a case of legal CYA. It's not entirely unreasonable to assume that preschoolers wouldn't have knowledge of American geography. Besides, the site is Playmobil USA, so they're unlikely to ask questions about other countries. Their international sites don't ask age verifcation questions, including the Canadian and UK sites.

The alternative is that they want to prevent ignorant people in general from buying online. Personally, if they wanted to keep out kids, they should use these, because they were much more effective. Regardless, I don't really want to buy from Playmobil, I'm a little bit outside of their age range.
posted by sysinfo at 7:46 PM on December 17, 2005


So I decided to see what would happen if I answered incorrectly. I got this message:
We're Sorry, but you can not Register on the PLAYMOBIL USA website.

We do not collect information from children under the age of 13.
If you would like to Register, please ask an adult over age 18 to help you. You may browse other parts of our website for your enjoyment.

Sorry, but you will be locked out for 24 hours.
Nifty!
posted by MrMoonPie at 10:19 PM on December 17, 2005


I need an image that conveys the archetype of "this is a silly/slightly stupid thing".
posted by edgeways at 11:17 PM on December 17, 2005


If you were crossing the street and Doris Day came out of the store, what part of her would you be staring at?
a) her gams
b) her knockers
c) DEATH TO AMERICAN INFIDELS

posted by chrominance



HA! A trick question!

As Bob Hope knew all too well, Doris Day's best feature was neither her knockers NOR her gams!
posted by darkstar at 5:58 AM on December 18, 2005


sysinfo, that link leads to age questions has the very first question:


Johnny Carson is
a. a singer.
b. David Letterman's sidekick.
c. Ed McMahon's sidekick.
d. an actor.
Correct answer: c.


Er...since when was Carson McMahon's sidekick? :)
posted by darkstar at 6:02 AM on December 18, 2005


On entering the US, I've been tested by US immigration officials anxious to confirm my long-term residence status. Usually the questions revolve around what routes I drive to work, or local geographic knowledge. On one notable occasion I was asked several questions about what chat shows hosts were on what shows on what channels. I initially failed that test, mainly because I have a ReplayTV and haven't really paid attention to channels for years. And I wouldn't usually watch TV chat shows anyway. But I thought it was interesting that TV Viewing was apparently being used as a necessary and sufficient marker of residency status.
posted by meehawl at 7:48 AM on December 18, 2005


Nobody said US Customs would be asking good questions...
posted by Dean Keaton at 6:20 PM on December 18, 2005


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