WeLoveBricks – Lego for Hire!
At Fundamentally Children we support initiatives that give children opportunities to play. We recently learnt about a brilliant new online LEGO hire service called WeLoveBricks. We asked the founder, Lucilla Carr, to tell us more about the company and the philosophy behind it.
LEGO used to be a bucket of bricks designed for “free play”. Children created whatever they liked. In recent years LEGO has released a series of themed sets, with complex models to build following detailed instructions. For many of today’s young brick fanatics LEGO is all about “the thrill of the build”. Afterwards, the models are often forgotten, while the child asks for a new set to build.
WeLoveBricks allows members to rent and play with as much LEGO as they like for a monthly subscription of £7.99. Members create their own wish list by choosing sets from the WeLoveBricks online catalogue. When they’ve finished playing with a set, they send it on to the next member.
At the centre of WeLoveBricks lies three core values: trust, respect, and reliability:
- Trust – members may join the club without signing a contract, without paying a deposit or a joining fee: “no strings, just bricks”!
- Respect – members look after the LEGO sets and pass them on to the next member in the same condition in which they’d like to receive them, ensuring everyone has a great build experience.
- Reliability – sets are sent on to the next member promptly so members are rarely without a set to play with.
Combined with these core values are three fundamental beliefs:
- People are essentially honest.
- Members are trustworthy, respectful and reliable.
- LEGO is more than just a great toy; a LEGO set is also a ready-made teaching resource.
Instead of returning a LEGO set to the centre after playing with it, members send it to another member, thereby creating a virtual community. This unique business model delivers many benefits for the member, as well as the WeLoveBricks community as a whole.
- The number of sets a member can play with each month is determined only by the pace at which he or she plays.
- The cost of postage for the whole WeLoveBricks community is halved relative to the traditional rental business model, keeping the monthly subscription cost as low as possible.
- The variety of sets on offer and a regularly updated catalogue help to sustain the members’ interest in LEGO – there is always something new for them to build.
- There are more sets in circulation than there are members, so members frequently have two sets at a time.
- The environmental impact is reduced by halving the number of times a set is packaged and posted, because a set isn’t returned to the centre every time it has been played with.
- Space-saving: no need to store LEGO sets – just send them on. This really appeals to adult members who want to build but not keep the sets, and to professionals who use the sets as a training resource.
- Teaches children the benefits of sharing: you don’t have to own a toy to enjoy playing with it!
The catalogue currently features more than 70 LEGO sets across 11 themes, with an average retail price of £25. If a child plays with four sets per month, that’s £100 worth of LEGO building pleasure for a subscription cost of just £7.99. If a player loses a few bricks, WeLoveBricks will replace them for free – they trust their members to be honest when a piece is missing.
WeLoveBricks also has ambitions to help the wider community by donating 5% of annual profits to children’s charities.
The original Good Toy Guide was set up to support Toy Libraries so we’re really keen on the concept of WeLoveBricks.
We’re really interested to hear your thoughts on this company. Would you use WeLoveBricks?
Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook.
Image Credit: The Salisbury JournalTags: construction, imaginative play, Lego, play ideas
This post was written by Dr Amanda Gummer