Toygaroo Update

 

Toygaroo Nikki Pope on SharkTank

Nikki Pope, Toygaroo founder, appeared on Shark Tank in Season 2. Pope billed Toygaroo as “the Netflix for toys.” Basically, for a monthly fee, Toygaroo will send new (to you) toys for your child to play with; if your kid really likes a toy, you can opt to purchase it at a discounted price. Their most popular plan sends six different toys over a period of two months for $32.99. Once your child is done with a particular toy, you simply put it in the included shipping box and send it back to Toygaroo; they will then send off the next toy on your check list.

Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary invested $200,000 for 35% of  the company, and the deal went through. The company is still open for business, but there are a few things that are concerning. One is their social media profiles have disappeared- no Facebook, no Twitter, no Linked In. Maybe they just felt they had enough buzz online that they didn’t need them or maybe they just couldn’t manage them any more. There have also been a few complaints about customer service lately, but you have to dig deep to find them online.

One recurring objection to Toygaroo is the “Ick Factor” associated with toddlers playing with used toys. Toddlers put stuff in their mouths and the potential for germs being transferred has some folks a bit grossed out. According to the Toygaroo website, all toys are cleaned and sanitized before being shipped. Toygaroo’s sanitization  process got goofed on during  “Saturday Night Live’s ‘Weekend Update with Seth Meyers’” December 10, 2011. Meyers said,  “A new website has launched called ‘Toygaroo,’ which is a Netflix style system that allows parents to rent toys for their children and send them back for new ones. It’s all part of an effort to make the movie ‘Contagion’ come true.”  This must have driven a ton of traffic to their website!

While the “Ick Factor” may be a problem for some, many parents love the service and the money it saves. As a parent of five with enough injection molded plastic toys to build a space shuttle, I can see the value of this service. Toygaroo didn’t exist when a majority of my kids were toddlers, but I wish it had. While my seven year old enjoys the mountains of toys from her older siblings, her toy intake continues to this day (my wife and I don’t buy her toys for presents anymore- we give her other kinds of gifts).

Toygaroo got some good investors on the Shark Tank and appears to continue to provide value to parents. If any readers have had experience with Toygaroo, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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About Rob Merlino

Real Estate Agent, Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.
Rob can help you buy or sell real estate anywhere in the United States.

Comments

  1. Mike Lorenzo says:

    I think they are toast. They don’t answer their phones anymore. It’s impossible to talk to anyone and if you leave a message you will not get a return phone call. They have also halted sign ups due to “explosive growth”. Try signing up online and you’ll see a page which will add you to a waiting list. Before they took their facebook page down, it was littered with complaints from angry members. I think Nikki Pope took the money and ran.

  2. Mike Lorenzo says:

    Here is a blog written by their CTO. He writes about pitfalls with selecting the wrong partners in business:

    http://philsmy.com/category/toygaroo/

    This is all very interesting..

    • It is and I have done some follow up based on your first comment. I will have something on these guys next week. Thanks for reading AND carrying on the discussion.

  3. They stole our money. Been trying for months to get it back and think a small claims lawsuit may be in order. They fraudulently took money knowing they couldn’t fulfill the orders. The California Attorney General should prosecute them.

  4. Micki Cottam says:

    This makes me so sad. I had been a happy customer of Toygaroo for a long time and am really upset by this news. It was such a great business model with a  great response so its disheartening that the follow through on their end wasn’t there. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt because they were always so wonderful to work with and seemed to be really trying. I hope I can find another company who offers the plans and selection they did. 

    • BabyCachet says:

       @Micki Cottam We are sad too. There is a wonderful company, http://www.toyconomy.com – they are one of our Mother’s Day Giveaway sponsors. Fabulous people to work with. Hope that helps. It is a great business concept and help parents save so much re: toy purchase.

    • BabyCachet says:

       @Micki Cottam We are sad too. There is a wonderful company, http://www.toyconomy.com – they are one of our Mother’s Day Giveaway sponsors. Fabulous people to work with. Hope that helps. It is a great business concept and help parents save so much re: toy purchase.

    • BabyCachet says:

       @Micki Cottam We are sad too. There is a wonderful company, http://www.toyconomy.com – they are one of our Mother’s Day Giveaway sponsors. Fabulous people to work with. Hope that helps. It is a great business concept and help parents save so much re: toy purchase.

    • KristineBeard says:

      We too are sad. I manage Treasure Box Toy Rental, an online toy rental service in Crystal Lake, Il. I have watched Nikki go through this process. We were a proud that a fellow toy rental service was getting an investment, and it helped our business. Renting toys is a new concept to most people. I am very saddened that Toygaroo has not made it. It will make it more difficult now for Treasure Box Toy Rental and other toy rental services out there. We will have to build customer trust all over again!

    • Hi,

      We are also sadden by the news, as a matter of
      fact, they inspired me to start a similar business,
      which we will be launching in a month called The Toy
      Exchange – http://www.the-toy-exchange.com
      We look forward to providing our customers with
      the best customer service possible.

  5. BabyCachet says:

    Sad that we found this article. We are doing our 2nd Annual Mother’s Day Giveaway in May and was contacting all of our 2011 sponsors. Nikki Pope was one of our generous sponsors from last year. Unfortunately, we found their website with a closing message, their FB/Twitter pages deactivated, and this page. We wish them the best for whatever path they choose.

  6. miamiyogi says:

    I signed up back in November, and didn’t receive any toys until January. The Toygaroo facebook page, and an email I received stated the delays were due to ‘winter conditions affecting FedEx’ and a backorder from toy manufacturers. I called FedEx, who told me there were no delays for ground shipping, and I was able to find the toys I ordered at every Toys R Us I visited. When I called them on these facts on their facebook page, they instantly refunded my money and gave me another month free.
     
    I suspect they misspent the monthly membership fees, and didn’t figure it would be a long lead time to generate enough cash from members to keep enough inventory on hand.

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