The Captain is one big kid, and for our 6 year wedding anniversary, I got him a subscription to Pley.  Pley has been deemed the "Netflix of Lego," but their website makes it difficult to understand what you are truly paying for.  I'll try to help by giving you our experience with Pley. Please note, there are no children in our family.  This is solely based off of the experience of a late 20s male.  Your experiences may be different.

1) Understanding your subscription options

Pley offers 3 subscription options:

We are currently on the Mega Fan subscription.  To give you an idea of what each plan would consist of, "Fan" is typically 200 pieces and smaller.  "Fan" caters to those who enjoy City, Ninjago, and Creator.  These sets are smaller sets and can typically be bought for $40 in store. Currently there are 71 sets to rent for "Fans." "Super Fan" is typically 400 pieces and smaller.  As a "Super Fan" you can rent both Super Fan and Fans sets.  Currently there are 123 sets to rent for "Super Fans" plus the 71 "Fans" sets.  "Mega Fans" includes all of the previous plans sets and larger.  These do not seem to have a pieces limit as this grouping includes the Death Star (3803 pieces).  The "Mega Fans" have access to most of the Star Wars sets and the Architecture sets.

2) Picking Your Subscription and Filling Your Pley List

Once you pick your subscription, you can order any LEGO set in that level and all levels below.  You can search by set name, set number, and even theme.

After selecting you favorites, you then have the ability to prioritize the sets into the order you would like to receive them (in an ideal world). Pley suggests that you keep 25 sets in your queue in order to insure that you receive sets in a timely manner.  Don't know if you can find 25? No problem! Pley offers a "automatic fill" which looks at your choices in sets and keeps your queue topped off with similar sets.  The reason this I'd important is that Pley isn't always able to fill from your #1 onward. They gave a limited number of each set so they match availability with queue priority as best as possible to insure you're receiving as many sets as possible in a month.

3) Receiving Your Box

As soon as your previous set is received, Pley sends you an email letting you know what your next set will be before it arrives.  After receiving this email, you can track the package's journey through your Pley account page.

4) Unboxing
Not all Pley sets come in the official blue box, but unboxing is just as fun without the marketing!

Pley sends LEGO pieces to each set in mesh zipper bags.  Depending on the size of the set, you can have a various number and varying sizes of bags in your box.

Each bag is marked with identifying information to help you make sure that you have the correct bag for the set you received, and gives you the ability to make sure that you receive all the pieces/bags/instructions that should have arrived (this is where the 1 of 3 comes in handy; especially with larger sets).

Manuals come in large zip-lock bags and are included in your bag count.

All Pley sets include a return shipping label with prepaid postage.  Do not lose this!  This label makes the Pley set idea "worth it" since you are not paying for shipping to or from your home.

The largest negative for The Captain and I involves the pieces after unboxing.  Since you cannot control how a previous user takes apart and returns the LEGO pieces, you end up with a massive pile of pieces.  With larger sets, like we are using, it was hard to get use to not having a "open bag one" type instruction that we could follow.  As of now, it hasn't been a big deal, but if we ever get the Death Star....our tune may change.

Then it's just about building and enjoying! 
5) Post Build

After the build, use the box your Pley set came in and the pre-paid return label to mail back your set.  Be sure to include all the pieces and try to take apart the entire set. Confession: We've had sets where some pieces were so small, we couldn't take them apart.

Pley advertises that if your child likes the set and doesn't want to return it, you can buy it at a discount.  The Captain has kindly returned all his sets (surprisingly) so I do not know what type of discount this purchase could be made at.

5) Pros vs Cons

Overall for us, Pley has been a great idea.  I'm not sure how long term our subscription will be, but I know we've already saved money using the service:

Pro: In your Pley account settings, you can see how much you've saved by using Pley rather than buying the sets.  The great thing about this is they take into account your monthly cost of rentals!

I think the biggest thing to consider is will your recipient be willing to return the sets?  The Captain is an adult and understands that these sets do not belong to him, but I'm not sure how easy this concept would be to explain to younger LEGO enthusiasts.  I know A2-D2 was thinking of getting one for her son, and it would be interesting to see if her experience is any different!

I hope this helped some of you make that purchasing decision!  Until Friday, remember...only a few more days this week!  See you on Friday when A2-D2 wraps up the week with a High 5!

Exquisitely Geek

Welcome to Exquisitely Geek! We post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please subscribe, to the right, to receive email updates on the blogs posts! We hope to see you again soon - Seven of Ten and A2-D2

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