How Toy-Cycle Works is an online resource that connects families in local groups so they can give and get free used toys and games.

The community is organized into small local groups. There is no shipping involved. Each group is affiliated with surrounding groups so you can connect with more families farther away if you choose. This will increase the volume of toys and games to choose from, but you may have to travel farther to get them.

See how it works

When you sign up for the Toy-cycle community, you will receive a free trial period, after which you’ll be asked to pay a small access fee equivalent to $0.99/month or $11.88/year. There is no charge for giving or getting used toys and games.

Once registered, you can go to your Settings Page to create default settings for your experience on the site. You can select a default Pick Up Address, Pick Up Window and Pick Up Placement. This information will then autofill when you create posts. You can also choose to fill these out manually each time you create a new post. Your Pick Up Address will only be seen by the member you select to receive your item. Please read the Posting Guidelines for detailed information on how to create posts on our site.

You will also be able to select to receive individual notifications or a daily digest. Every time a member posts a toy or game in your home group – or in a nearby group if you have selected to receive notifications from nearby groups – an email notification with the Post Title, a photo (if submitted) of the item and a link back to the post will go out to group members.

If you want the item, you can follow the link and reply to the posting member that you are interested.

The offering member will select from among respondents. If you are selected to receive the item, you will receive an email with the Pick Up Address, the Pick Up Window – time that the item will be available, for example 10:00-12:00 Saturday–and Pick Up Placement, for example Front Porch. If the posting member has not indicated a specific Pick Up Window, but has instead stated something like, "Flexible," or "Email me," you will need to coordinate a pick up time with them.

You can communicate further with the posting member via the item post on the site. Your communications will be preserved there in a thread for your reference.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the Toy-cycle Team here.

The Toy-cycle community was launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in July, 2017 and is continually growing. In order to accommodate this continual growth, we've developed a process that allows you to plug in immediately even before a group has launched in your area. Simply sign up with your email address and zip code now, and you will be notified the minute a group is up and running. You can help to establish a group in your area by reaching out to friends and colleagues, posting to social media, etc.

The access fee allows us to operate and grow our community without relying on corporate sponsors or advertising. We do, however, intend for Toy-cycle to be inclusive and accessible to all. If you find the fee to be a financial burden, please contact us here to request a fee waiver. Or if you are an educator in a public school, or employed in a non-profit agency with a child-centered mission, please contact the Toy-cycle team here to request a free membership.

You can find more information and answers to frequently asked questions here.