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Rent a Toy: Genius or Gross?

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rentAtoy.com offers a toy rental for families so they can have "access to their favorite toys" on a monthly basis.

Girl hugging a teddy bear

At first glance, this is fantastic! How many of us buy our kids the latest and greatest stuff and it's tossed aside a few weeks later? This way, you could send those toys back and pick out some new items to enjoy the next month. The membership plans start at $24.99 a month.

Now, the other side of us says Ewwwwwwww! It's hard enough keeping our snot-running, thumb-sucking, coughing little angels from drooling, sneezing and eating the toys we own. And we know where their favorite gizmos can end up. Can anyone say toilet? Dog's mouth? Backyard?

But the mom and dad team who created it do address parents' concerns with a statement on their site. "We inspect and test for the following hazards: bacteria, lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, bromine, antimony, chlorine, phthalates and loose magnetic parts."

What do you think: groundbreaking or just plain germy?

Comment in the momlogic community.


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20 comments so far | Post a comment now
M.L December 2, 2008, 7:13 PM

This is a gross idea, how do we know they actually test for these things?

Karrie December 2, 2008, 9:46 PM

Ewwww… that’s just nasty!

Erika  December 2, 2008, 11:13 PM

This is the second company I see do this. Check out Babyplays.com. I know Lori Pope’s company is growing.

Kim December 2, 2008, 11:24 PM

My first concern would be germs, but when you think about it, how clean are the toys that you have in your house now? Can you honestly say that they are cleaner than the toys that are regularly inspected by this company? Makes me wonder how clean my childrens toys really are….

Jenny W December 3, 2008, 12:45 PM

I have to agree with Kim. There are so many places kids are going to encounter germs — the playground at the park, the classroom, other people’s homes— who knows how well they clean them! From the look of rentAtoy’s website I’d feel confident they are doing as they say and cleaning the toys, it even appears that they have partnered with Clorox and have quite a few safety and sanitation standards posted. Honestly, I’d feel more hesitant about taking my kids to a McDonalds than renting them toys.

Josh December 3, 2008, 12:49 PM

My family has used both the Babyplays and rentAtoy programs. I feel these companies are genius! We currently maintain a rentAtoy.com subscription because they cater to a broader age group and have more of the learning toys and items our children enjoying playing with most. We have never had a sanitation issue with either company. As an added benefit we have been able to purchase items from rentAtoy (3 Nintendo DS systems) at a discounted rate that our children wanted to hold on to. I would advise everyone to at least visit the respective sites before forming a negative opinion.
- Josh


Ingrid December 3, 2008, 3:27 PM

Absolutely Genius! RentAtoy gives my son the chance to play and learn with a wide variety of toys that I probably would not be able to purchase for him otherwise. Not to mention that because it is rented, he will learn that he has to take better care of the toys. RentAtoy gives me the chance to teach and spoil all at the same time. As far as sanitation goes, I believe that it should always be the resonsibility of the parents to inspect anything put in front of their kids. Going to the mailbox these days has become exciting for us. Together we open packages, inspect and then have fun. I feel confident that toys will arrive sanitized. If I ever thought that is wasn’t clean, wiping it down would never be an issue too big for me. Like I said, Absolutely Genius!

Kelly H. December 4, 2008, 3:28 PM

This is a great idea!! I have 3 kids and I am saving so much money now! They always arrive like new and we can keep the toys as long as we want.

Wesley H December 4, 2008, 7:10 PM

This is a ground breaking. I have 2 young children of my own, and I can’t even imagine the amount of money that I have wasted on toys. I’ve been on both babyplays.com and rentatoy.com. Both companies look good. I really don’t think that sanitation would be an issues with either company. I’m leaning towards rentatoy because of the wider toy selection. They have the educational toys that my kids want. VTech and Leap Frog toys are perfect for my daughter, and my son has been begging me for a Nintendo Wii. With the economy being so bad, I couldn’t afford to purchase all those items for my children. My kids won’t know the difference between a rented toy and a purchased one. Plus when they get bored of the toys, off they go and new ones are inbound. I choose rentatoy.


Vanessa V December 7, 2008, 12:50 PM

Rentatoy is awesome!!! It’s the perfect way to save money this holiday season.

Jackie M December 7, 2008, 10:16 PM

I like the the gift card option. I can test it out without a long contract.

K December 11, 2008, 2:07 AM

This seems like a great deal! This is taking tons of plastic out of the environment. Lookup the massive plastic particle island that is the size of Texas that floats out in the Pacific.

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Billi Claburn January 22, 2011, 8:08 AM

my sentiments precisely

Reyna Augustin March 29, 2011, 8:11 PM

Keep working ,great job!

Cecil Boamah March 30, 2011, 6:46 AM

There is clearly a bunch to know about this. I assume you made certain good points in features also.

Darrell Abels April 6, 2011, 8:23 AM

Very well written post. It will be valuable to everyone who utilizes it, including myself. Keep up the good work - i will definitely read more posts.

Wasserbetten April 10, 2011, 9:27 AM

Just thought I’d comment and also say neat theme, do you design it for yourself? Really looks great!


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