Baby Plays

 - Feb 11, 2008
References: babyplays & news.yahoo
Trend Hunter has covered rental culture in the past; we've seen iPhone rentals, pet and garden rentals, EV city cars, the ability to rent designer 'it' bags and even luxury car time shares.

Last year we featured baby clothes rental, and now a similar concept, Baby Plays, allows for toy rental.

It makes perfect sense. Kids want toys so badly, they promise to love and play with them, but every parent knows it's only a matter of time before that Webkinz, Barbie MP3 player or Transformer robot is thrown in the corner. Baby Plays is the economical solution.

By taking part in the service, parents can rent a selection of toys for their kids for a fraction of the cost and return them once their child has lost interest. The service is the brainchild of Lori Pope, a mother who knows all too well how quickly a kid's idea of 'cool' can change.

"Customers pay $28.99 a month to get four toys a month for three months and $35.99 a month to get six toys a month for three months. Families willing to sign a yearlong contract can get six toys a month for $31.99," Yahoo News detailed.

"The toys are sanitized with Clorox wipes and loaded with fresh batteries before being shrink wrapped and boxed for shipment. The few toys that are too big to be shipped fully assembled are boxed with a screwdriver and instructions.

"Families generally keep the toys for one month and then send them back in the box they came in, using a postage-paid return label the company includes with each shipment. Most parents know that's long enough for little kids to exhaust their interest."

There's huge potential for a website like this to take off, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see similar services begin emerging, particularly because Pope only offers toys for toddler through to preschool aged children.