I've heard a lot of complaints about the original DS hinge breaking, so I don't doubt it was true. I must have been lucky though. I still have my original blue clamshell from 15 years ago and never upgraded to the other designs. I used to bring it to work and everything back then.
My kid was part of the problem. She even used a nail--yes, a NAIL as a stylus, once. Until about 2008 or 2009, she was known as "The Executioner" of DS systems and "The Deleter of Saves". 😂