Toygaroo: Netflix for Toys

Pitch Online toy rental service – netflix for toys
EntrepreneurNikki Pope
Asked For$100,000 for 10%
Deal$200,000 for 35%
SharkMark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary

Company Background

What is Toygaroo?

Toygaroo was a short-lived company that came to fame due to being featured on season two of ABC’s Shark Tank. Billed as “The Netflix of Toys”, Toygaroo was created as a subscription service where parents paid a monthly fee in exchange for a box of toys that would be shipped to their home.

Who Founded Toygaroo?

Toygaroo was founded by Nikki Pope with Hratch Hutch Postik and Rony Mirzaians. Pope was the face of the company, and pitched their business on the show not long after moving to Los Angeles from Houston. She’d worked previously in marketing, and after Toygaroo’s collapse, she returned to work as a marketer for companies based in Texas.

Founder’s Story

Prior to her appearance on Shark Tank, Pope observed a few things when visiting her siblings—all eleven of them. As she watched her 13 nieces and nephews (all under age 8 at the time), she quickly noticed that there was quite a large amount of toys always present.

It also seemed that many of the toys enjoyed a brief amount of time as the center of their owner’s attention before boredom set in. She pondered if there was a better way to de-clutter the homes of families by using a rental system instead of wasting money on new toys that would be either outgrown or just forgotten.

With the help of her husband and other marketers, Pope worked for two years prior to Toygaroo’s launch to save $50,000 to begin their entrepreneurial venture.

What Happened to Toygaroo After Shark Tank Update

Is Toygaroo Still in Business?

Toygaroo envisioned as the “Netflix of the Toy World” at the time, is no longer in business. Around a year after receiving an investment, the company filed for bankruptcy in April 2012 and shut its doors.

The concept worked in theory, though the planners and investors hadn’t banked on the sheer size of toy inventory needed, as well as the costly prices of shipping, especially for larger, more complex toys.

In addition, it proved cheaper for parents to drive to the store or buy the toy online and replace it in toy swops with other parents than make use of the subscription model.

Even if Toygaroo had survived beyond 2012, given the cheap costs of toy manufacturing, along with shipping, it’s hard to see them staying competitive in the new normal post-2020.

Where toy purchases online are cheap and easy. The only monthly toy subscription model that seems to work is those catered towards the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) market.

Kiwico ships new toy projects monthly that encourage children to learn through fun and interactive design projects.

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