Unwrap, play, repeat: New site is a Netflix for toys

Keep your happy white family happy

When I first read about Toygaroo — the “Netfilx of toys” — I was really hoping it was a rental library of like, German tile games. It’s not, which is unfortunate for me, BUT if you’re a Brooklynite with kids, Toygaroo may be just the ticket to a fat wallet and a happy child. Maybe? Certainly, it has the potential to be super space-saving. The premise is Netflix-simple: you subscribe to a plan (4 toys, 6 toys or 8 toys, to be delivered in bundles either every month or every other month). When your kids get bored with their haul, you FedEx ’em back using the pre-paid label, and the elves at Toygaroo send off the next batch in your queue.

A huge portion of the website is dedicated to assuring you that the toys have “No Yuck Factor,” which is Toygaroo-ese for “these toys have been cleaned really, really thoroughly between uses via steam, bleach, manual inspection and shrink-wrap”. As the site points out, that’s probably at least as clean or cleaner than the toys you buy new, which makes me feel worse about store-bought toys (kids! ew!) rather than better about Toygaroo toys.

The prices range from $25 for four toys every other month to $53 for eight toys a month, assuming it won’t traumatize your kids to give their loot back (but they get more! Also, this is maybe an important life lesson? And if your kid really falls in love, you can buy the toy in question directly from Toygaroo at a “discounted price”).

The only caveat is that, at least for the moment, the toy selection seems pretty limited, especially for school-aged kids — heavy on the Mr. Potato Heads and aggressively educational digitized “games” (will it be the “Learning Laptop” this month, or the “Phonetic Pals”?) and light on … well, things 6-year-old me would want to play with. The options for younger kids seem more promising, but again, it’s not particularly inspired: a plastic dump truck, a doctors-office-style “Classic Bead Maze,” rainbow blocks. Still, there’s enough appealing stuff to keep kids entertained, at least for a few months.

So parents, we ask: will Santa be bringing Toygaroo subscriptions down the chimney (up the fire escape?) this Christmas?

5 Comment

    • Oops. This LOOKS like a great idea, particularly for early childhood when children’s developmental changes are so quick, they are likely to lose interest in their toys by the time they are a year older. Also, it looks like it would keep a lot of bright colored junk from forming a permanent existence in the household. My only concern is that you condition your kid to receive 4-8 new toys regularly, and that’s a lot harder to maintain once they grow older and the “toys” they want become increasingly expensive. 

  • I like it a lot…where do you sign up?

  • Hey,

    I was going to signup with Toygaroo for my two children, however when I went to their website I saw the message that they were going out of business. A week later, I was pleasantly surprised when a friend of mine told me about a new toy rental service about to launch at the end of July called The Toy Exchange. Apparently they have read many of the blogs about Toygaroo and have learned from Toygaroo’s mistakes. They call themselves ” The Real Netflix of Toys”. Their business model is very similiar to Toygaroo, except they focus on gently used toys. If you have gently used toys that are not listed on the toy recall list, they will except them (Exchange Membership) and you receive membership credits towards you monthly subscription fee. Their website is http://www.the-toy-exchange.com

  • Neat ideas for baby toys renting at spark box toys