A Pley package arrives at the house.
In our ongoing attempts at minimalism (and I use that term very loosely), I have been seeking out new types of gifts for our kids. The boys are 6 and 9, and are dedicated Lego® fans. They love building and creating and recreating with these tiny magical plastic blocks. But, they have enough.
Many of our bricks come from numerous birthday and Christmas gifts given to our older child. He has lots of experience building new sets, but his younger brother doesn’t (and I’m not about to go through and “create” a set from the random Lego® pieces). We’ve tried. It takes forever. My time is more valuable than that. Enter Pley.
Pley is a budding company that rents Lego® sets. They are based in California and for a monthly fee, you get complete sets mailed to your home. Put them together, admire them, take them apart and send them back. You are even allowed to miss a few parts on the return trip. They understand that kids lose some Legos®…that’s okay.
Your set comes in a red mesh bag — supposedly “disinfected” after each use.
My sister-in-law took up our call for alternative gifts and gave both boys a 2-month subscription to the service as a Christmas gift. Unfortunately, it seems that this was a pretty popular idea since all of the sets my children “chose” were unavailable. That’s right, out of a list of 25 items that they wanted to build, none of these were available. Since there were two separate accounts, that’s 50 unavailable sets. Many of these were the popular Lego® movie or Minecraft sets…items that we wouldn’t really buy for them anyway. They still received sets to build – mostly from the Lego City collection – and we were lucky that we didn’t have any of the sets we received. If they don’t have it on your list, they’ll send what they have based on the categories you’ve chosen.
Another disappointment was that many of the first sets we received were missing a few critical pieces. Often, this was temporarily replaced by a piece from our set, but this initially caused some frustration with our oldest, rule-abiding child. In the end, we re-framed this “problem” as a way of dealing with adversity and change and he came out all the better for it. However, as a paying customer, that was a big let down.
The first set we received for my nine-year-old…a miniature Big Ben.
Another issue that we encountered was the distance from our house to their facility in California. It took weeks for our next Pley set to arrive. We were given a 2-day return postage, but often our account was not credited with a return for another week. Then, it took another week for them to mail out another set. Travel time between California and Florida adds on another number of days. If you allow the kids a few days to build and a few days to admire their creations, this amounts to one set per month.
My recommendation? If you live in California, or nearby, and have plenty of Legos®, but want a few months of new builds, use this service. If you are further away and the time is near a major holiday, invest in a new set and buy some Lego books to further interest in their building. Although my review wasn’t exactly favorable, I do look forward to seeing this company grow in the coming years and hope they will be able to place facilities throughout the U.S. to mitigate some of the above issues.