Forget books, toy libraries are here

Baby's day out

Forget books, toy libraries are here

Do you have a kid at home? A son/daughter, niece/nephew or grandchild? Have you often wondered at how quickly children outgrow toys and then, these toys don’t come for cheap either?

Now there is an easy solution. A number of smart parents have started what they call ‘toy libraries,’ in the city. It works just like a book library. You borrow toys, DVDs, board games, puzzles and all kinds of kids’ entertainment items at a fraction of the price you would have bought them for. When your kid is done with them, you just return the item to the library and get another one. Doesn’t that sound like the entrepreneurial concept of the millennium?

Toy libraries are not a completely new concept in India, though, they have caught on in Delhi/NCR only recently. Vishal and Abhilasha Golchha, parents to a now six-year-old son, were based in Pune till some time back. There they had a neighbourhood toy library which fulfilled all of their son’s toy needs. However, when they moved to Gurgaon, they couldn’t find any such store. Instead of waiting for one to open, they just started their own.

Vishal informs us, “It wasn’t easy to quit my full-time FMCG job and put together Toypedia, but now, am very happy I did it. Initially, there were difficulties in spreading the word and getting parents to try it. But once the kids took to us, they just wouldn’t be happy with one toy. Our collection is vast – 2,000 entertainment items for kids between age six months to eight years, spread over a 1,000 sq ft facility.”

“These include babygyms, hotwheel car sets, small pianos, kitchen sets and Barbie doll house sets for girls. Puzzles, blocks, soft toys, train sets – you name it and we have it. All of these are from branded companies like Fischer Price and Early Learning Centre. We lend them out at a rate of four toys for Rs 500 per month. However, if you were to buy them all from the market, you would end up spending Rs 50-60,000 every year.”

The deal gets even better. Some of these toy libraries are now fully available online. So all you do is visit the website, get your kid to select his or her favourite toy, place your order and get it delivered at home. Madhu Jaiswat, who runs toyztreasure.com says, “My customers are spread all across Delhi-NCR. So it’s the easiest way to get my toys to them. Besides, I also have a facility at Princeton Estate, Gurgaon, where they can come and see the items for themselves.”

Veterans in this field have already expanded their activities to include parenting sessions, art, music and dance workshops for kids as well as book libraries. Seema Karwa, who runs Learning Square in Model Town, North Delhi, says, “I started with a toy library but as my clientele list grew, I realised I could do more for them. So now, LS is an all-encompassing parent-child centre in Delhi.”

She adds, “The most wonderful thing about being part a toy library is that your child never gets bored. You never run out of money and the toy library never runs out of new toys. A surprise for your little one every few days and a smile and a hug in return - what more can a parent want?” 

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