"Ownership is old school. The really smart consumers only own something for the exact amount of time they need it."
So says Ranan Lachman, co-founder of Pley, a company that will rent you Lego sets. Yeah, I know, it seems a little weird. But it works with car shares and libraries.
Who doesn't like Lego? It's awesome. It's fun. It can be a little frustrating trying to follow the instructions for some of the more involved sets — I can remember cursing mightily (silently) as I assisted my son in building the Lego space shuttle many moons ago. Ah, the satisfaction when we got it right after so many hours. But then ... it's done. We have a Lego space shuttle. Now what do we do with it? You can look at it. Which we did. You can play with it, which my son also did until parts started to fall off. Eventually the pieces simply became part of the Lego collection, a huge bucket of multi-coloured, oddly shaped Lego pieces. And little men and women with large heads.
But now in this new age you can simply buy a membership to Pley and they will send you as many Lego sets as you want to feed your construction habit. It costs between $15 and $39 US monthly, which seems like a lot until you consider that the Lego Star Wars Death Star set retails at about $500. Or an Imperial Star Destroyer for — wait for it — $1998. With Pley, you can have that Death Star for as long as you want. And you will want it a long time because the Death Star has 3803 pieces. That's a lot of quality time with your kids right there.
But what about the dreaded missing piece? The lack of one piece can ruin the whole set. Pley will allow you to lose up to 15 pieces. They have spares. When they get the set back, they sanitize it and send it on to the next mini Vader with eyes on the empire. No fuss, no muss. Shipping included with your monthly fee.
The timing seems right for this. There is a Lego movie doing very well indeed. People are getting Lego haircuts. Well, one person is getting a Lego haircut. It seems Wu Lei of Taiwan (pictured this page) wanted to impress a chick and thought a Lego haircut would do it. You may judge for yourself whether he was successful or not — spoiler, he wasn't. But nonetheless, Lego is top of mind right now. And top of head in Taiwan.
We have come a long way from my childhood when Lego was red bricks — lots and lots of red bricks with the occasional green, flat platform to build upon. Now you can buy — or rent — a Lego set of practically anything. You can build jet fighters, heavy equipment, city scapes, the Sydney freaking opera house for crying out loud! And instead of staring at them as they collect dust after building, you can return them and order the next one. For only $39 a month. Sign me up. Now, is there a hairdresser in the Kimberley Cranbrook area that can create the Lego haircut?
Carolyn Grant is Editor of the
Kimberley Daily Bulletin