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Pley works like Netflix for Lego lovers

Kids can test out Lego sets without the commitment of buying full collections. Pley co-founder Elina Furman tells Crave why parents and brick fanatics will love their rent-to-test format.

Kids can play with hundreds of Lego sets for a fraction of the price thanks to Pley. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Any parent who has felt overwhelmed by constant Lego bricks underfoot (and everywhere else in the house) might find relief from both toy clutter and costs with a service called Pley.

Pley was co-founded in 2013 by Ranan Lachman and Elina Furman, a mother of two, who realized she was spending a small fortune buying Lego sets for her son and saw an opportunity to provide parents nationwide with access to Lego sets at an affordable price.

"Myself and Pley co-founder Ranan Lachman both have families who are extremely passionate about Lego play," Furman told Crave.

"We have spent thousands of dollars on sets. Kids covet sets and it was painful to see these expensive sets just sitting around and collecting dust in the toy bins. We knew there had to be a better way to provide Lego for families in a convenient and affordable way. There was no rental Lego option on the market so we set out to create one."

The rent-play-return subscription service enables kids, parents, and fans to test out Lego sets without committing to buying sometimes expensive collections.

Pley subscriptions are available at three levels: $15, $25, and $39 per month, depending on the size of Lego set desired. Pley offers free shipping both ways and doesn't charge for up to 15 lost pieces. If you sign up for a no-risk, free trial you can try one Lego set for free. Then you can choose from over hundreds of Lego sets and add them to your queue. After you're finished with the set, return them to get your next set in the queue -- like with Netflix. Each returned Lego set is sorted and weighed and the bricks are cleaned with a sanitizer that's supposed to be both eco-friendly and child-safe, so the sets are ready for the next user.

Each Pley kit comes with Lego bricks, instructions, a handy bag, and a prepaid return envelope. Pley

"Our members are thrilled not only because they are saving money and time, they are also teaching the next generation about the principles behind the sharing economy, that ownership is no longer king and that the experience of building and creating is far more important than owning," Furman told Crave. "Renting and trading goods will become the new norm and taking responsibility for their toys and learning to share are lessons that kids struggle to learn."

According to a press release, in just 9 months, Pley has shipped more than 75,000 Lego sets from its San Jose warehouse; more than 15,000 families have purchased Pley subscriptions; and more than 15 million bricks have been washed and dried in Pley's eco-cleaning solution.

In addition to Lego, Pley hopes to include other toys that challenge kids and teach them useful skills.

"We are working on expanding our platform to include the best-of-the-best 'smart' toys that are being developed," Furman told Crave. "Right now, there is a huge creativity boom; a sort of toy renaissance in the industry if you will. We want to bring these advanced toys using circuits and robotics to families who may not be able to afford trying them out. We plan to become a discovery platform as much as a rental platform in the very near future, as well as expand our business internationally."