ToyBoxLive! The UK’s Largest Online Toy Library!
ToyBoxLive contacted me a while ago and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing their toy rental service. Having never heard of such a thing before, I was very curious. I’ve taken part in Surestart and nursery toy swaps, but nothing like this. After looking at their very comprehensive website, and after debating whether or not my kids would wreck the toys before they were returned, I decided to jump in with both feet and try their service! Here’s what I thought!
If you decide to rent from ToyBoxLive, this is basically what happens:
1) You browse their toy library and if you like what you see, you can sign up for just £24.99 per month.
2) Then you select three items from their toy library and they are delivered directly to your door.
3) You can keep the toys for as long as you like.
4) Then you return the toys and you can have new ones delivered.
That in a nutshell is that!
There were a few complications surrounding delivery, but that was mainly because I didn’t have a mobile number to supply so they couldn’t text me the delivery slot. I did try tracking via the Interlink delivery website but couldn’t find my hourly delivery slot, only an allocated day. Having said this, ToyBoxLive were always contactable and did keep me updated with the delivery and what was going on. So 10/10 for great communication from ToyBoxLive, and 8/10 for Interlink.
After about a month ToyBoxLive recontacted me and politely asked when I’d like to return the toys, I happily said that they’d been played with and loved and arranged for them to be picked up. Alison from ToyBoxLive personally picked up the toys (we live and work in a similar area) exactly at the time arranged and it was a very smooth transaction all in all.
If I had lived in a different area, the pick up would have been again organised with Interlink and completely free too – no charge for pick ups on Monday to Friday although a small charge is incurred if a weekend is preferable for the customer. You can specify if you’d prefer the toys to be collected in the morning or the afternoon of your chosen pick up day which is convenient too.
So what did I make of the whole experience? I think that toy rental is fabulous, honestly! As a mum I’ve ended up with piles of toys that the kids have grown out of, many of which get passed on to other parents or charity shops once they’ve fallen out of favour with the kids. If that doesn’t happen, then the toys are often broken beyond repair and end up in the bin, which just seems a complete waste to me, and very bad for the environment too.
Renting toys means that you get new toys whenever you like for a very reasonable price, they’re all known brands on here too which is reassuring – no pound shop plastic death traps here! If you lose pieces, they give you time to find them, and if that’s just not possible you pay a small fee for them to be replaced which is only fair. I was concerned about broken and damaged boxes, but Alison told me that they’d just be repackaged so that was reassuring. If your child loves the toys so much that they don’t want to give them back ever, they even allow you to buy the toys at a discounted price so it’s a way of trying before you buy so you don’t end up with duff toys you didn’t really want in the first place either.
My only constructive criticisms are that it would have been nice for the toys to have arrived in a sturdy plastic box, so that they could simply have been piled back into it when they were sent back. This is especially important if you use the Interlink route. My kids immediately wrecked the cardboard box, but I guess that was my fault really. Also, if the supplied information from ToyBoxLive had been in a laminated folder it would have been easier to keep safe and to refer to – but all the information is actually on the website so I suspect I’m nitpicking there.
In summary! It’s environmentally friendly, it’s fun for the kids to have new toys, it’s brilliant value for money, it’s a great concept which is very easy to understand and I’d recommend ToyBoxLive without a shadow of a doubt.
ToyBoxLive sent me the toys to review, all thoughts are my own and no other financial reward was given. What I do want to know is, (according to picture shown above), when can I expect a monkey? I want my monkey! *stamps feet insolently*
ToyBoxLive have a lovely, easy to understand website, which you can find HERE!