I recently decided to signup for Pley, a service that supplies lego sets by mail for a monthly membership price.  They advertise that you're safe to lose a piece or two and that the kits are always sanitary using their special FDA grade process.  Unfortunately I found both of these claims to be false.

First off let's set the record straight, I'm an adult Lego geek. That's a technical term, you can check me on it. As a kid I had a vast array of sets and spent countless hours constructing my dreams. Then I went to High School, College and got married and had mostly forgotten about Legos.  Until I took a job where I was working on the hosting infrastructure used by the Official Lego Podcasts, like this one.  Suddenly I had an excuse to play with Legos again, it was work related after all...

I've collected a few sets as an adult, and I fully admit to playing with them from time to time.  I'm not ashamed. When I saw Pley I thought it could be the perfect life-as-a-service for my late night hobby.

I went through the trial and the first set I got was a total bust. The Desert Skiff came in the mail and I started piecing it together.  Normally I try to avoid the directions as much as possible, as that adds to the general fun of the puzzle.  But on this one though I had to pull out the book. This probably sounds a little crazy since it's only a 213 piece set, but hear me out. As it turns out the set was missing pieces, to the tune of at least 10! I finally couldn't finish the set because there were so many missing. I logged online an reported the missing pieces and sent the set back in.  I admit that out of frustration I didn't pull everything apart. I hadn't heard back from Pley until this week when they sent this email to me.

Hi Stan,

We hope you are enjoying Pley. We have received your set today. Thank you!

To keep kids happy, we ask all users to disassemble the sets to individual pieces so that each child has the same building experience with no sets arriving partially built.

Here is a note we received from on of our Pleyers:

Tal's letter:can you separate piece

We appreciate you taking a few extra minutes to separate each piece so that other children can enjoy the set equally.

Thanks for Pleying!

The Pley Team

I'm a little more than flabbergasted. I didn't get any replies when I filed a missing-part list! On their website they say, "Lost a piece? No worries. We won't charge." What they don't say is, "The next guy might be out of luck though!" Furthermore, if their process is so clean how did this kid Tal get the set still stuck together? How do they know I didn't stick a booger between those blocks?  And really what are they doing sending this kid's letter to me? Surely this is some kind of privacy violation!

The thing I really miscalculated though was thinking that renting one set at a time would somehow pacify my burning desire as a Lego-master to mix and match multiple sets. There simply is nothing better than owning your sets, period.

Unfortunately I just can't recommend this service.  Yeah, it's partially out of bitterness, but I also feel like I've been lied to. So keep buying on Amazon, or Target or wherever it is you get your Lego-fix and steer clear of Pley!