How many times have we all stashed unused toys under the bed or given them away to charitable organisations?
Kids can be fickle creatures one day their toy is their passion, the next day another one takes their fancy and poor Woody gets left un-used and unloved, back on the shelf, they even made a movie about this toy phenomenon!
That’s why toy rental companies are becoming more and more popular as a way of both saving money, refreshing your child’s playtime with new products and being environmentally conscience in a world of throw away plastics. According to many reports parents are having a behavioral shift towards the over consumption of toys and driving the trend for toy rentals. Prior to the pandemic the New York times reported that parents were renting Christmas trees, board games and seasonal toys throughout the year and expected this to become a global trend. Fast forward 3 years after the Covid pandemic, during which time sharing anything became impossible, the trend, as expected resurrected itself. The toy rental services introduces families to ‘new-to-them’ playthings at reduced fees that they can then choose to return or pay to keep.
Where to Rent Toys in Bangkok
We sat down with Gao, Founder of Keimen Kids, the toy subscription start-up to understand more about his venture and its mission of impacting the future generations of Thailand.
Qn: Tell us a little more about Keimen Kids and what does it do?
Gao: Parents pay a fixed monthly fee, and just like Netflix, they choose educational toys from our catalog and we send them to their homes. Once they are done playing, parents can choose a new batch of toys, and we will pick up the old ones and deliver the new ones again. They can do it as frequently as they want or keep the toy as long as they like.
Qn: How much do you charge for it?
Gao: We have two packages, 750 THB and 1250 THB, each giving parents access to different types of toys. We like to make the pricing transparent, so that’s all that parents have to pay and not a dime more.
Qn: What about the cleaning and safety aspect of the toys?
Gao: All the toys are sanitized thoroughly before being sent to anyone and packed and stored in hygiene safe bags to ensure zero contamination.
Qn: Sounds fairly reasonable. Where did this idea come from?
Gao: Globally, there is an emergence of a new lifestyle trend, where consumers are turning to subscriptions as an affordable way to access what they want when they want it. Subscriptions now range from digital content to meal boxes, to even fashion, and they are fast catching up within this part of the region. Combined with my personal pain point as a parent, where my house was cluttered with toys that my kid played with for a short while, we came up with this idea to help parents alike. By renting toys, the lives of each toy can be prolonged and bring joy to more kids around.
Qn: That’s brilliant, and what has the subscription rate been like?
Gao: Since launch, we have been doubling our customers month on month, which was phenomenal, cause we didn’t expect this new idea to pick up so quickly. Many of our customers are expatriate families, who like our services because they move about quite frequently, and prefer to live minimally. We also have customers who chose us, because they felt that the toys in our catalog help with their kids’ development. We also receive compliments from customers who are environmentally conscious, and find our services highly sustainable and earth friendly.
Qn: We saw that on your social media, you have regularly posted useful tips on child raising. Tell us about that.
Gao: It was only after being a parent, that I realised, there is so much science to raising a child that will eventually become a useful contributor to the future generation. There are resources out there, but as parents, we do not have so much time for research and fact-finding. Hence, we at Keimen Kids partner with parents to accelerate child development. So we go beyond just providing quality toys for play but also offer parents development tips that are backed by research.
Qn: Thank you for this, any concluding words?
Gao: Keimen Kids is very much about sustainability and creating social impact. Our services are part of a greater agenda to create a circular economy, where we reduce wastages and maximise the utility of every resource. We realised that in Thailand many kids are void of equal access to toys and books that are quintessential to their development. Hence, we commit to making the retired toys and books from our catalog available to some of these underprivileged communities. By being one of our subscribers, we can all do our part to give these kids a little lift in their spirits.