If you're a regular reader of Gizmag, then you've probably noticed that we're avid fans of Lego and the many amazing contraptions often created with them. But as much fun as these little plastic bricks can be, high price tags make it difficult for many people to build the more elaborate Lego models they really want. With Pleygo, people can pay a much cheaper monthly fee to rent numerous Lego sets one at a time, much as Netflix rents out movies.
Netflix users will find Pleygo's system very familiar. More than merely shipping out chosen Lego sets, it also requires subscribers to rank several selections in a queue to determine which sets they receive. Pleygo offers three monthly subscription plans: a US$15 Fan one for small and medium-sized sets, a $25 Super Fan one that adds some large sets, and a $39 Mega Fan subscription that includes the biggest sets the company offers. Browsing the website, it looks like the sets range in size from the simple 31-piece Duplo Number Train to the massive 3,803-piece Death Star from Star Wars.
Each Lego set arrives in a custom box with the required pieces, full building instructions, and a Spare Pieces Bag that contains replacements for the 25 most commonly lost bricks. All of the pieces in each set are thoroughly counted and sterilized before leaving the processing facility to ensure they arrive in as good as new condition. Pleygo has also stated that subscribers will not be charged if a few Lego bricks go missing while they're building and playing with them.
Once you're ready to move on to a different set, just collect all the pieces in a provided plastic bag, seal them up in the same box they arrived in, and attach the included return shipping label. Then just drop it into any mailbox and the next set in your queue should show up in 2-8 days, depending on the mail schedule. There's no limit on the number of exchanges, and subscribers will also have the option to just buy a set at retail price if they decide they want to keep it.
Pleygo's plan is fairly simple, but it could definitely entice Lego fans that just like the building process as well as parents with kids who get bored easily. Larger sets like the Death Star or the Super Star Destroyer typically cost about $400 brand new, putting them well out of many households' budgets, but $40 a month for multiple sets is much more affordable. Aside from loaning out Lego sets, the company is also holding regular contests for kids to show off their custom creations and offering store credit to people who donate their own Lego bricks to Pleygo.
Currently, Pleygo is only shipping within the U.S., but the company has stated they hope to expand the service internationally in 2014.