Is it time for the toy industry to embrace collaborative consumption?

Jessica Green explains why the time is right for her and co-creator Sheela Berry's new toy rental service, the Toy Box Club.
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You can borrow or rent almost anything these days; cars, houses, dogs, watches, ball dresses, handbags, and now toys.

Not just any toys, the best toys – age appropriate, developmentally relevant, hand picked, clean and delivered straight to your door (currently only available in the Greater London area).

Since becoming a mum six years ago, I’ve been shocked by the ‘toy blind spot’ that exists in parents who are normally socially and environmentally aware.

I have watched once minimalist and elegant homes (including my own) become awash with cheap plastic, often broken and normally discarded after a few hours of play. We have all become victims of a belief that this is how parents of small children have to live.

Well now we don’t.

At Toy Box Club, we provide an elegant and child-focused solution to this problem. 

By delivering a box of toys each month (and collecting it a month later), we allow children to sample and enjoy a huge range of toys, while their homes are spared the build-up of unwanted and damaged items. 

We are toy enthusiasts and by providing this type of service for the pre-school market, we encourage our customers to try out new toys and for children to break out of their comfort zones.

With fewer toys available at any one time, expert evidence and our experience tell us that children develop their attention spans, learn to collaborate and share, and crucially, without an instant replacement, learn the value of what they have.

Our toys are also gender neutral; it seems to us that it’s all too easy to foist lazy stereotypes on our children. Boys are often encouraged to play with construction toys that hone their spatial skills or others that encourage action and adventure, while the toys labelled for girls are often geared towards domestic tasks and physical appearance.

Child psychologists are clear that the way in which children develop skills, interests and character can be greatly affected by the toys with which they play.

We are always looking for new ideas to include in our boxes, and would like to work closely with as many brands as possible to ensure we are providing our customers with the best, the most fun, the most diverse and the most educational toys there are on the market.

You can contact the Toy Box Club at jessica@toyboxclub.co.uk.

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