Bricks for hire: Peter Jenkinson on why LEGO rental services need to up their game

Toyologist Peter Jenkinson looks at why UK-based LEGO rental services need to up their game to rival the success of a platform like Pley, a business which is currently expanding across the US.
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It's apparent that planet wide we can’t get enough of the brick.

Sales are off the scale and now a new business model is making ground to satisfy the insatiable appetite for the Danish construction set.

With a plethora of new sets hitting the shelves on a regular basis, an outfit in the States, Pley.com, is the most prominent player in the LEGO rental business.

The firm has completed a round of $10m financing to drive expansion across the US and to keep ahead of the competition with more distribution, brick scanning machines (these use facial recognition software) and sanitisation machines.

It is now said to be heading to Europe. Lofty ambitions indeed.

It’s small scale at present here in Blighty, but the LEGO rental sector already has three players, each with slight nuances to their business model.

None are financed by the brick behemoth or, it would appear, are being asked to tow any kind of corporate line, which moderately surprises but very much pleases.

It’s an attractive model, some aspects of which could do with a tinker here and there to make one of them really stand out and take a market lead.

As yet, aside from local noise, we’ve yet to see any of them make a mark across the media as one might expect, but a simple shift will see one fly the mediocre nest.

Each offers sliding scale services, rental subscriptions and a number of sets per month, all across different price bracket sets. Use yours, send it back, send it on, and get another set. Simples.

When you can’t bear to part with a set, you can keep it or get a new one sent out at a competitive price.

The three UK outfits need to up their ante; one of them could become the so-called ‘Netflix for Bricks’ in no time and leave the others in their wake just picking up the pieces (pun intended).

If they don’t, then Pley could step over the pond and, with a modicum of spend, take a decent share.

In France there’s 7Kyds, which also does Playmobil Perhaps they’re about to step in?

Or could Funstation from India appear on the scene?

So Let’s Go Play, We Love Bricks and BuildURBricks, could you collaborate or initiate some greater noise as I’d like to back your Brit made businesses all the way.

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