Spielwarenmesse: Subscription delivery, an increasingly popular way to sell toys

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Subscription delivery, an increasingly popular way to sell toys

from Maria Costa

One of the newest relevant ways to sell games and toys nowadays is through subscription delivery boxes, a service that fulfills the preferences and needs of many parents who want provide the right kind of toys for their children at each moment of their development, but have little time to search for what is the best to buy. This option is indeed a very convenient way to get new toys delivered to their door that are age appropriate and fulfill specific requirements

For companies and distributors this is a great opportunity to offer a new service, one that is also based on the incredibly influencing trend of unboxing that has been so relevant in our industry during the last few years. The fact is that we see the creation of new companies based on providing this service, as well as long-established businesses and distributors offering this option. This article introduces to a small selection of toy subscription delivery services.

Boxes for babies and young children

The concept of delivering boxes with curated products is definitely interesting for parents with babies and toddlers. Most parents are eager to foster the proper development of their little ones, but they are overwhelmed by all the factors and information they have to have in consideration, so this kind of service is clearly of great assistance in the first years.

Lovevery Box with toys for babies
Example of Lovevery box

Along these lines, one interesting start-up is “Bluum: monthly boxes for mom and baby”. In this case, they deliver boxes that include not only toys, but books and other products that the baby might need each month when achieving different milestones. The customers pay a steady amount per month to get 4 unknown products. This way babies and moms are constantly surprised, since a product for the mom is included as well. Obviously they trust how the company is curating what they send based on their expertise and also on the best-reviewed products on Amazon.

Another interesting concept is the start-up Lovevery, which ideates and manufactures the products they deliver, products for 0 to 24 months old designed by experts based on the latest research on children’s development.

STEM boxes

Nowadays, there are subscription boxes for children of all ages based on several different interests. However, some of the most popular options are without a doubt the ones focused on STEM projects. For instance, Brickbox delivers boxes with several kinds of building toys (primarily

Do-It-Yourself Kit of solar system
Kreiva box solar system

Legos), the crowdfunded Little Ms. Crate provides toys to encourage girls into STEM careers, each month focused in a different field: astronaut, chemist, et cetera, with options to motivate them to play solo and in groups.

To name more examples, Kiwi Co sends monthly “Hands-on science and art projects delivered for ages 0-16+” to inspire makers, scientists, designers, innovators, and artists. Kreiva box is focused on children 3 to 8 years old. Spangler Science Club offers “amazing science every month” for kids aged 5 to 12 years old. Green Kid Crafts, is for families wanting to embrace eco-friendly STEM. Interestingly, even Amazon has a STEM Club Toy Subscription. So, as we can see, the options and variety of STEM subscription boxes are quite broad.

Boxes for each category of toys

Beyond STEM projects, some toy businesses have been implementing subscription boxes services specifically focused on a type of toy. With Disney Princess Enchanted Collection “A Magical Experience Delivered to Your Doorstep”, the emblematic company distributes monthly costumes and accessories for children to dress up and become their most beloved princesses.

Unboxing the Deluxe Disney Princess Enchanted Collection!

Club Eimmie is an innovative company that sells dolls and the option to be part of its club. The members of the club receive a Playtime Pack every month, with new accessories based on different themes. One month the doll can be dressed as a roller skater, the next one she can go camping, or to a safari, or become a chef, et cetera. With this service the child will play with the doll longer, while the company sells products in a very steady way.

A part from these examples, we can find other subscription boxes based on various categories of toys: We Craft Box provides Arts & crafts related toys, Slime Box delivers products to play with that compound, and Finders Seekers Mysteries is a board game for the fun of the whole family. Still there are plenty of niches in this area for companies to innovate and take part of the trend.

Renting with option to buy

Moreover, the industry has to be aware of another relevant way to provide this service; renting. Companies such as Pleylist also offers a subscription box that mails each month with customized toys for the little ones, the difference is that when the child is done playing with the toys, parents have the option to return the box or pay to buy it. Whirli is another similar example, this one is mainly focused on swapping toys. This is a wonderful way for parents to be in contact with brands, allowing them to check what their children really love to play with and decide what stays in the house (Which it is an important factor to consider at this moment with the rise in importance of sustainability issues combined with the Marie Kondo phenomenon).

Baby playing with toys of Einstein Experience Kits, Kids 2
Baby Einstein Experience Kits, Kids 2

Products influenced by toy subscription boxes

Furthermore, I’ve observed in the last few years how this trend is influencing the rise of toy boxes in general. I mean kits with various products based, for instance, on a similar theme, but nothing to do with any kind of subscription. Baby Einstein Experience Kits or Kit artist box by Ann Williams are just a few examples of this interesting way to present toys.

Subscription services have room for manoeuvre

The popularity of subscription services in general represents a great opportunity for the toy industry. Both, start-ups and well-established companies are indeed embracing this trend, and nowadays there are interesting services offering parents the option to receive toys for their children, based on their ages and interests, at their doorsteps every month. However, there are still plenty of options to explore and exploit in this trend.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spielwarenmesse eG.

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Author of this article:

Maria Costa, AIJU

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