Renting toys for children is a trend that is not very popular at the moment, but may become more and more popular in the future. How many parents have ever thought about renting toys? Well, at least one parent did, which is why we have sites like BabyPlays, BrickRental, Rent-A-Toy, ToyBox, etc.
BabyPlays is a website where parents can choose from over 200 different toys for children up to 5 years old. The company stocks up to 30 models of each toy.
Subscribers to this service generate a list online and a box of toys is sent to their home. When they are done with the current set of toys, they send the toys back and wait for the next shipment. This process is similar to the system used by the popular Netflix DVD rental service. BabyPlays currently offers four plans with prices ranging from $34.99 to $64.99 per month. These plans require a three-month commitment and include four to 10 toys per month.
Parents understandably want their children to experience a variety of educational toys, as well as toys just for fun. BabyPlays also understands that there is no need to invest money in a variety of toys that your child will outgrow or get bored of in a short period of time. This makes toy rental a good alternative for many parents.
This idea of renting toys is good for parents who feel they are wasting money buying toys they don’t need to keep. They may also feel that they don’t want to clutter their home with things they don’t need. However, this show is certainly not intended to replace classic toys that kids will want to keep forever. Instead, it provides the opportunity to have a continual stream of stimulating toys that children will want to play with.
BrickRental offers Lego toys for rent. They have two schemes, one allowing the rental of six toys and the other 12 toys in a year. They ship and pick up toys through the USPS at no charge.
At a time, they send only one toy. You can keep the toy as long as you want. (Of course, knowing what kids are like, you can be sure the games won’t be around your home for long.) However, they will not ship the next toy until you return the first toy.
Rent-a-toy is another popular site. The best part about this site is that they allow you to bring up to 8 toys at a time! And just like the other sites, you can keep the toys for as long as you want. Another nice feature is that you can even buy the toy if your child never wants to part with the toy, kind of a “try before you buy” thing.
One problem that has arisen is cleanliness. How clean are the toys? As parents, you will definitely be concerned about the germs and diseases that could be transmitted through these toys. However, most of these stores claim that their toys are cleaned with a sanitary product that is used in some hospitals and nurseries. After cleaning, the toys are shrink-wrapped so they stay clean during storage and shipping.
So the question is: Are the major toy retailers concerned that this new company will catch on and rise? So far, major retailers such as KB Toys and Toy’s R US seem unfazed by this new trend. Even if it gains a slightly larger consumer base, the toy industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, so major toy retailers probably won’t be affected by this new trend.