A couple of months ago, fed up with subscription box advertisements bombarding my Facebook feed, I felt the need to write a post expressing my thoughts on the concept. My anti-subscription box post was met with a mixed response; some people thanked me for making re-evaluate some of their own ideas, others agreed with my stance and shared their own experiences, and better yet, there were some people that were so outraged, that I had the audacity to say such things, they let me know that I “just didn’t get [subscription boxes]” (um, exactly, that’s why I wrote the post). I never expected my opinionated post to resonate with so many people, but I loved hearing so many viewpoints on the issue. A few weeks after my post published, I was weeding through Twitter, responding to those that followed me, when a particular company caught my eye; it was a subscription box company, but it was a little different than those companies that were bombarding me with their advertisements.
I thanked Sparkbox Toys for following me, returned the favor, and told them that I liked their concept. I then attached a link to my anti-subscription box post, saying that Sparkbox Toys’ concept might actually rethink my stance. Why the change in opinion? Sparkbox Toys is a subscription service that provides high-quality educational toys…for rent. Genius, I thought!
A week later, I was on the phone with Max from Sparkbox Toys, talking about my thoughts on subscriptions boxes, explaining a little more about my stance, and learning about Sparkbox Toys’ business philosophy; we are kindred spirits. Not only do I dislike clutter (it’s a never-ending battle), but my son is extremely picky when it comes to toys (that’s putting it mildly); the average toy is not going to hold Declan’s attention [the way that sticks, rocks, and buckets of water do]. Once D ‘figures out’ a toy, it’s put to the side and rarely picked up again; catering to my son’s toy whims can be an expensive occupation. Enter Sparkbox Toys.
Sparkbox Toys is a subscription service whose philosophy I can embrace. In a nutshell, Sparkbox is a toy rental service that’s great for the environment (less plastic & waste), keeps your child[ren] captivated and challenged, and cuts down on unwanted toy clutter around the house. Sparkbox is perfect for families living in tight spaces, or families looking for variety, educational toys, and a constant stream of high-quality, age-appropriate toys [without the clutter].
If you’re looking for unique, educational toys that aren’t likely to be found in big box stores, then Sparkbox Toys are the way to go. Sparkbox specifically searches for toys that aren’t in “big box” or chain stores. I embrace this sensibility, having worked with independent bookstores in my days as a sales rep for a major publisher; many of my customers refused to bring in books that chain stores were carrying, which meant I got to sell in some of my favorite [gems] reads from lesser-known authors.
How does it work?
Choose from three different subscription plans, getting a new box, of four toys, every four, six, or eight weeks, with an option to purchase any of the toys sent in your box. Postage is paid, detailed instructions are included (for play, about the individual toys, and how to package and return), and the rest is left to your little one to enjoy! We had a moment where I thought we would have to buy a toy, as a piece somehow made its way behind the radiator (ahem), but we found it. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if we had misplaced a piece, as the charge is minimal for replacement pieces, and toys are available for purchase at a discount from the retail price.
Each Sparkbox comes with a laminated set of cards with a wealth of information on them; everything from the toy maker, to instructions, to developmental benefits are covered on these handy cards.
I loved the selection of toys that Sparkbox sent my son to try, each carefully curated with my son (and my preferences) in mind:
My son thoroughly enjoyed playing with his Sparkbox Toys, and the clear standouts were the Everyone Has a Dream puzzle by Ohio Art and The Pyramid Play stacking/sorting boxes by Hape. The bright colors and fun[ny] combinations of the Ohio Art puzzle provided a much needed challenge (and elicited lots of giggles with the zany combos) for my son. Just under two years old, my son is at the age where he is constantly sorting and placing thing into containers and cups (you have to watch your coffee mug around him), stacking or lining-up items, or pretty much any type of activity that involves problem solving (read: engineer in-the-making).
Every aspect of Sparkbox Toys’ subscription boxes is carefully thought-out and weighed for benefits. The end result is a subscription toy box service that meets the needs of even the most conscientious of parents. Do I still believe that all subscription boxes are evil? Definitely not, and I have Sparkbox Toys to thank for my change in opinion.
If you are interested in subscribing or gifting Sparkbox Toys’ service, please visit their website at: sparkboxtoys.com. Feeling social? Sparkbox Toys is very active on social media, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.