BOSTON (CBS) – When you are a kid on Christmas morning, it’s all about volume. But when you are a parent, cruising the aisles of the toy-store in December, it’s about trying to balance a happy holiday with a reasonable budget.
Paul Reinsmith of Boston has found a great way to have plenty of toys under the tree, and all year, without breaking the bank.
Paul and his wife Pam discovered what they call the ‘Netflix’ of toys.
It’s called Toygaroo, a website that lets parents rent toys for a fraction of what they would cost to buy.
“It’s the ideal situation for the holiday time,” Paul said. “You can stuff toys under the tree for under 50 bucks. If you were out there buying them, there’s just no way you could do that.”
Paul and Pam choose the toys that are best suited for their son Will and just like Netflix, they go into a queue.
Depending on the service plan, every month or every other month, a box comes in the mail with a new set of toys from the queue. When the time is up, send the toys back and a new box will be on its way.
Here’s an idea of what you get and how much it costs.
The cheapest option is $24.99/month for a box of four toys.
We chose The Toy Story 3 Speedway, The Thomas the Tank Engine laptop, Chicco’s radio controlled ATV and the Rolling Round Jungle.
The retail value of those toys is $112.96.
If there is something your child just can’t bear to send back, or if something gets lost or broken, you can purchase the toy at a discounted price.
One mom we talked with liked the concept, but wasn’t thrilled about the idea of her kids playing with toys that had already been around the block with who knows how many other kids.
Toygaroo says all the toys are carefully sanitized and re-sealed in plastic before they are shipped to a new home. Paul says all the toys they’ve seen have been like new.
“We haven’t found any ick factor at all,” he said.
We spoke with several moms in Belmont Center who loved the environmental aspect of the service. No more throwing unused or unwanted toys in the trash.
For the Reinsmiths, it’s a great way to keep their active toddler busy and happy.
Toygaroo offers a wide variety of toys, but most are geared toward the toddler and early elementary crowd. There’s no real sophisticated electronics or toys designed for older kids.