The Blog


Rent Toys Instead Of Buying Them

You might have heard about this trend popping up on your local news- renting toys instead of buying them outright. Some sites are rental only, some are rent/try before you buy. Either way you look at it- I think it’s one fantastic idea.

From New York Times:

Babyplays.com, which has been around since 2007, offers a single toy for $2.99 to $8.99 plus shipping, or you can buy a $19.99 membership that gives you four toys every other month, said Stephanie Weber, owner of the company. Customers can also pay $32.99 and receive four toys a month. The site caters to children from infancy to about 4 years old. “After that, they usually become more attached to their toys, like action figures or Legos,” she said.

One thing I think of is the attachment factor. There are those toys that just seem to linger on and on and on. The plastic octopus in our house, for example. It would be a tragedy in this house if I had to ship him off a few weeks later. Well, some of these sites offer buy out options meaning that you can decide to purchase the item if you so desire.

A second concern is the ‘germ’ factor. Well, pretty much all of the companies I looked at discuss their sanitizing methods to remove that fear- as well as the fear of getting something that’s no longer in good condition. The companies Toygaroo and Toys Trunk (along with Babyplays.com) also have policies on their sanitary procedures and ‘if it breaks’ . You can see a news story  from CBS Dallas/ Fort Worth about Toygaroo here.

Before you jump up and down with joy at all of the clutter and money you’ll save, please do your research. With an idea this good- you know people are going to try and make their own without the sanitizing standards or quality control measures in place. Personally in a family of more than one child (we do lots of hand me down toys) it wouldn’t be ideal for us, but perhaps when they are just a couple of years older it might be the best thing we could ever do.

Prices vary with these rental companies. For example, at Toygaroo for $24.99 they offer 4 toys every other month, or for $39.99 4 toys/month. The plans go up from there. Babyplays offers plans for $19.99/month and pay as you go without commitments.

image courtesy of romana klee

Comments ( 4 )
  • playmobil airport says:

    I don’t advice renting toys to my friends. If you do so, you put your child’s life at risk. First, you don’t know where it came from or who used it before. It mights transfer viruses to you kid. Second, you don’t have the knowledge about the manufacturer of the toys that may lead to problems.

    • Reuse Enthusiast says:

      Knowing the manufacturer doesn’t mean your kid is safe.  In fact, I think it gives you a false sense of security.  Plenty of toys with known manufacturers have been recalled after they have been on the market.  Most toys are made of plastics these days, and plastics manufacturers do not disclose the chemicals which make up the plastics (it’s considered proprietary information).  Plastics will leak substances, and the outgassing happens more when the product is new!  For example, “new car smell” is from the outgassing of the materials in your car.  So having toys that are less new may actually be safer!  I suggest you watch the documentary “Plastic Planet” for more information.  I got it at my library, but you can also get it at Netflix, or, if you are afraid of getting things that have been used by other people, you can buy it new.

  • akcoolj says:

    I am cool with used toys. Get them at yard sales a lot. If it was not for used toys my childhood wouldnt’ had been nearly as FUN!…. I really think u could buy for what you could rent for with the sale / or buying used for the price per month.  Then re-sell after your done or goodwill them. Might be good for say if you went to relatives out of town to stay and they had no toys.  It is nice you can trade them out the new wears off of toys fast.  Also I could see if you had a very small NY style apartment didn’t have storage space for toys to sit on a shelf. My daughter never has got attached to a toy much but some kids do and then I could see it being not so good.

    • Reuse Enthusiast says:

      Be careful before planning to “goodwill” toys.  More and more locations of both Goodwill and Salvation Army refuse to take them!  It’s getting harder and harder to find places where toys can be donated.  So please don’t buy stuff casually assuming you can donate them if your kids don’t like them.  It may be harder than you think.

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