ToyDrop meets Toy Box Club
3rd March 2020
Words by Sheela Berry and Jessica Green
Now this is the kind of idea we can get on board with: a toy borrowing subscription that sends a curated box of age-appropriate toys every month and swapped out the next.
It’s actually really similar to the original idea for ToyDrop but these guys have totally nailed it and to be honest, I could never have worked out the logistics that they have.
We caught up with the lovely co-founders to chat about the idea, the way it helps both kids and the earth, and what’s in store for the future.
Hello Sheela and Jessica! We absolutely love the idea for Toy Box Club. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how it works?
Hello! Toy Box Club is a one-of-a-kind toy borrowing subscription service for pre-school children in the UK.
We also provide toys, books and other holiday essentials such as high-chairs, walkers, scooters, travel-cots and buggies to families on holiday in the UK.
Just sign up via the website www.toyboxclub.co.uk and we’ll deliver a box of toys to your home once a month, and pick up the old ones. If you want to borrow larger items, such as a Fisher-Price Jumperoo or a Little Tikes Crazy Coupe, then just simply message us directly.
Such a great service! What gave you the inspiration to start?
We had children at the same time and noticed that our once nice houses had become awash with half-broken, unused plastic that ended up in landfill, making us feel guilty. We realised that parents don’t need to own things that are only age-appropriate for a couple of months.
So true! Aside from no more half-broken, unsed toys littering you home, what do you see as the main benefits of your subscription?
Our boxes are curated by us and tailored to each month of a child’s life (from 0 to 48 months). They contain a variety of toys, books and puzzles – all fully assembled and in working order. The service is a great way to be a modern, mindful, environmentally-conscious parent as well as teaching children the power of sharing.
How do you make sure the toys are always relevant? Can subscribers request certain things to help with different elements of their child’s development?
A lot of thought and experience has gone into developing the contents of each box and we listen to feedback from our clients. We also have a very strong relationship with all the top toy brands. Most parents are happy for us to curate the box for them but if they want to request a certain type of toy we will do our best to accommodate them.
That’s great. And how many toys do you send out in each box? Presumably, you’re thinking that’s the right amount to keep a child entertained all month?
Each box has around 8 or 9 items which are enough to keep children happy for the month. Rather counter-intuitively, studies show that the fewer toys children have, the more they play.
Totally on board with that! Now to get a little deeper; playing and learning are so closely linked, especially in the early years. What role do you think toys have in developing growing minds?
We’re big believers in encouraging imaginative play and role-playing activities. Children need safe environments in which to identify their feelings, communicate more effectively, and improve problem-solving. Helping children develop social skills and emotional intelligence might just be the most important thing we do as parents and caregivers.
In your opinion, what makes a toy great?
We look for toys that have multiple uses, that are fun but developmentally relevant and educational. We obviously also love toys that are durable, easy to clean and made of sustainable material.
Do you or your kids have any toys you’ll keep forever?
No, I don’t think we do. Apart from a few fluffy animals that we’ll keep for sentimental reasons. Everything else has been recycled.
What’s your vision for the future of toys?
There has been a sea-change in the last few years about plastic and waste and suddenly borrowing stuff instead of buying makes so much more sense to people. Being part of a community like Toy Box Club will (hopefully) be the new status symbol to shout about.
Finally, what can we expect to see next from Toy Box Club?
We’re really excited to be developing age-appropriate travel boxes for children up to age 12. We know how difficult it is to keep children entertained on long journeys and we think we’ve got the solution. Happy children mean happy holidays.