Toy subscription service attracts $10 million investment

California based company Pley – AKA ‘the Netflix for Lego’ – has recently attracted a further $10 million in funding from investors, making a total of $16.75 million since launching in 2013.

The Pley subscription service is an example of a ‘performance contract’, in which customers pay for access to a service rather than the outright ownership of the product. In this case, a number of tariff options are available, with Lego sets shipped to users from a centralised warehouse, where they are inspected, cleaned and sanitised between shipments. In a conventional purchase model, children’s toys can be left unused after they have become outdated or outgrown. By shifting this to a service model, embodied energy and materials can be used more effectively, remaining in circulation for longer.

Also this week, Pley announced PleyWorld, a collaborative, crowdsourced process for designing unique Lego sets. This addition appeals to a desire for user customisation, another growing global trend.

‘Performance models’ have enjoyed widespread adoption for many years, primarily in transport and accommodation, and the interest in Pley further suggests that other industries could see these innovative business models gain prominence in coming years.

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