Want more presents under the tree? Rent a toy!


The concept is simple: you pay a monthly fee and rent toys at your own pace, usually for a month. Each website claims the toys have been sanitized and disinfected. The idea is that it will save you money and storage space.

When it come to toys, moms know their kids can be really fickle.

"He is so wishy washy, so different; first one minute he is playing with toys and the next he's playing cars," mom Shanie Sapp said.

"Sometimes she does get tired of them and we have to filter them in and out to keep her interested," mom Robin Ward said.

That's why several toy rental websites just launched. They promise to make toy shopping less expensive and give moms more room at home.

"They get bored with toys and storing them is ridiculous so the big toys are the fun ones and they are really mesmerized with them for a while and it sits in the corner for the really long time," another mom said.

Toyconomy.com is a toy rental website. Right now, it's $1 to join and become a member until February 2012. After that, it's $9.99 a month.

As a member, you can rent as many toys as you want. It's always free shipping and the price of each toy is half off the non-member price. For example a Melissa and Dog Snowman costs non-members $5.99 to rent, but the "member only" price is $3. We checked Amazon.com for the actual price of the toy, and it's $16.99.

At Toyconomy.com, for members it's always 50 percent off each toy and there are no minimums, restrictions or due dates. Keep the toys as long or as short as you want.

"When you are done with it, you give it back so you don't have tons of stuff, I think it's a great idea," mom Lindsey Prowse said.

We rented a couple of toys to check out the quality and to see if they were properly disinfected like the website promised. We found our toys bubble wrapped, shrink wrapped and smelled like they had been sanitized.

We also checked out another website called Babyplays.com, and it has two membership options.

The basic plan is $19.99. With this membership, you get four toys every other month. For the plus membership it's $32.99 but you get four toys every month. There are no shipping fees with any of the two memberships. You can also pay as you go.

If you break a toy or lose a piece to that toy, fees vary depending on the retailer you choose. There is also an option to buy the toy for a discounted rate if your child cannot part with the toy.

If you want to rent a toy before Christmas, most sites need your order in by Friday.

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