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Serious PLEY...A threat to the LEGO secondary market

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There is a similar German service, which is called bauduu.de. I have subscribed it since January. I got the Sith interceptor, unimog, sidney opera and now I have the Simpsons House. Everything has worked fine yet. Only problem is that I don't have much spare time to build, so the service is to expansive for me at the moment. I will probably cancel the subscription and renew it, After the summer...

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I don't know why you guys are slamming this....this idea would totally work!


....if they sent each set locked and sealed in one of these:






Actually, please forget that I even mentioned this, I've got my new business venture planned, all for a mere $7 per month per subscriber.

Pure genius right there! Kudos! :laugh:

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Like I state before, whether or not this succeeds is completely irrelevant, we are in the business of selling to COLLECTORS, these are folks who buy sets that are MISB or NISB for the experience of ownership. A person who is willing to spend $500 on an Imperial Flagship is not going to be interested in a rental service, this isn't like Netflix.  


Furthermore, We sell sets that are retired, this sort of business model will only work for current run sets, retired ones WILL NOT work due to rare parts being swiped and sold, plus the fact that once they are discontinued, there are only so many times a set can be played with before it is junked. 


If the company invented and built a very specialized machine that could verify that each exact piece was there in the correct color, this business would be feasible. We know how powerful industrial machinery can be and such a machine could probably be made. however, the cost would be in the tens of millions, once it is built, they just have to keep it running and then the economies of large scale business will start to kick in and you may have a feasible business. However, as I stated before, you would NEED to only offer current production sets, nothing EOL, as long as you do this, rare parts aren't worth a fortune to replace and the business can keep going forward. 

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It will be good for resellers.  Brand awareness is always going to increase profits for every entry point selling these items.  No collectors will be using this service, but this service might make a lot of future collectors from having experiences with the sets.


Also, the less ethical Ebay sellers who might approach this as a way to glean a few minifigures or parts from these rented sets, will not do much damage to the market either.  Minifigures and parts from 1 owner usually show considerable wear after being played with for a long period of time.  Minifigures and parts from mulitple owners are going to be way up on the 'used' scale.  No collector will accept this garbage.  Unless the person taking out the minifigures for resale gets the sets before any other families, they will be uncollectable.  


Any set with stickers is going to be nasty.  After they are cleaned a few dozen times, the sticker pieces will be worn and most likely stickerless.  


If this company does succeed in sending these sets out for any amount of time, it will be a win for resellers.   


From the pleygo article:

"So how does Lego feel about this?

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Will there be missing pieces? yes

Will people replace the expensive minfigs with cheap ones? yes

Will the 9 year who this company is renting these sets too know or care? NO


I think thats the key, the average child really doesnt care that the rented set doesnt have the exact version of the main minifig, or that the rare red door frame worth $10 was replaced with a dark bluish grey door frame worth $0.10. The kid is just so over joyed to have a new lego set every few weeks he/she couldn't care less about a couple missing pieces.


However, i personally feel its sad we live in such a society where renting something is considered better than owning, sure you will get to experience more sets built because of renting but after several years of renting you literally have nothing to show for it. Im very glad my parents never rented legos when i was a kid.

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There's so many considerations that point to this not working out: 


-I do not believe they have the "algorithm" to differentiate between a dark vader minifig vs a regular city minifig, to differentiate between a black 2X2 brick vs a grey 2X2 brick etc. Nor do they have the time to inspect each and every piece for discoloration, teeth marks etc. 

-You have to remember that kids, for which this is intended for, are inherently clumsy and WILL lose things. They love to take their toys on trips (in the car, to their friends house etc) and the end result is lost pieces. It is inevitable. What policy will you have in place for lost pieces? What happens if a kid loses a regular 2X4 brick vs losing a hard to find minifig? And as mentioned above, will you even be able to detect this? 

-The subscription model works for certain items. Netflix lends out a single disc or lends out streaming services. Those are easily accounted for. Adobe lends out their software through their cloud subscription. DSLR rentals account for and track lenses or camera bodies. Again, these and a host of others have a very easily accounted for product or are services that don't involve any physical pieces to account for. With a Lego subscription you are talking about hundreds and thousands of pieces loaned out. This is very different and saying that this subscription model works is comparing apples to oranges.

-The prices they quoted, at $15-39/month, makes it absolutely foolish to rent the Legos. $39 a month for even large sets can quickly bring you to MSRP territory. That's less than 4 months for a GE or 10 months for a DS.

-Lastly, the writer wrote it himself.. "Sharing is a tough lesson for kids." Some kids may get bored easily with their toys and be looking to bounce into something else, but there are a lot of kids who want their toy longer than just several months. My brother, who is 27 years old, has a ragged TACKY rainbow blanket from his childhood that he refuses to throw away. Kids get attached, and leasing a set for several months at a time at their prices = $$$ (related to the point above). 


Just my opinion of course, but I think this company will have a difficult time. Also, TLG, if they feel threatened by this new service can respond by pricing them out. They can temporarily lower the prices for sets that fall in the $1-100 pricepoint (average set falls in this range) to a point where leasing makes no sense (you get the pun? :D). They are at the mercy of TLG.  


Anyhow, that's just my thoughts/novel on this topic.  

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  • 2 years later...

Read about this Pley company before but just read an article on bloomberg saying this was one of the 9 "startups" Disney has been mentoring this year with a look to put some capital into.

Having read though the previous few posters comments on this page (will indeed read the whole thing as i think its an interesting concept) agree that although a good idea not not really sure how its a good idea for Lego (don't want to repeat whats already been said).  

But interesting its gained some traction and Lego is highlighted as one of the brands as a selling point.

Completely different market to collectors (does a 9 y/o really care if some no essential bits are missing/figs are diff if they're only getting the sets for a few months).  Just thought its been a while since this was discussed to post a comment, getting it back in the public eye as makes a good read even if you dismiss it.

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