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Parents spend billions on toys annually — but toy rental services might be the future of entertainment

It can end up saving parents around $1,500 over 10 years.

It can end up saving parents around $1,500 over 10 years.

Photo Credit: iStock

Parents spend billions of dollars on toys every year, but some people are hoping that toy rental companies could be the next wave of home entertainment. 

What are toy rental companies?

There are different options out there, but for the most part, they work like libraries do for books, as Lucky Jack detailed for Vocal Media. 

Parents pay a monthly fee for a membership, and children are then granted access to items that can be returned when they are no longer being played with. 

Why you should care about toy rental programs

Approximately 90% of toys being sold are made from plastic — a material that is almost always created from dirty energy, including crude oil. In fact, the UN Environment Programme found that the toy sector is one of the most plastic-intensive industries globally. 

Many parents donate items to prevent them from going to waste. Lego Replay, for example, allows people to send back their Lego blocks to be cleaned and then sent to kids in need.  

Even though these developments are a step in the right direction, almost 80% of all toys end up in dumps, incinerators, or the ocean, according to a study in ScienceDirect. This releases toxins into our environment and harms wildlife, often leading to the deaths of animals. 

Toy rental initiatives are another tool to make a dent in a big issue. 

How toy rental programs help parents 

In addition to preventing clutter from accumulating around the home, toy rental programs can combat boredom, sparking imaginative and collaborative play by giving children new, exciting options away from screens. 

The most enticing part? The amount of money saved on purchasing items that will soon be collecting dust in a corner.  

The World Counts found that Americans had already spent more than $12 billion on toys in 2024 as early as mid-February, even though children outgrow toys quickly.

Meanwhile, online marketplace Mercari discovered that American households are sitting on around $13 billion in unused kids and baby items overall (a little under $400 per household), as reported by PR Newswire

Signing up for a toy rental program can end up saving parents around $1,500 over 10 years. 

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