It's not secret I'm a HUGE fan of Lovevery! We've had all of their play kits from 0 months to 4 years old, their block set, and their play gym! You can check out my full review and FAQ on them here, as well as individual Lovevery reviews of all their play kits and anchor items we've had to date!
BUT in September 2020 they updated their “Toddler Play kits” for 13-24 month play kits and it was… well drastic. We had already gotten out first KiwiCo Panda Crate and I planned on doing a comparison in the future, but with all the questions I've gotten about the Lovevery changes to their play kits I decided to put this little comparision together on my first impressions of the KiwiCo vs. Lovevery Play Kits after the September 2020 Update! We'll look at which toy subscription box is better in 2021?
- Video Review: Kiwico vs Lovevery
- Price comparison
- Quality Comparison:
- KiwiCo vs Lovevery Aesthetic
- Which will kids play with longer?
- Thoughts on Lovevery September 2020 Update to Toddler Play Kits:
- Current thoughts on the updated Lovevery playkits:
- Kiwico vs Lovevery: which toy subscription box is better? which is worth it?
- Shop Lovevery Play Kits:
- Shop KiwiCo Crates:
Video Review: Kiwico vs Lovevery
KiwiCo's Panda Crates cost $33.90 per crate for the basic line, or $68 per crate for their “plus” line. Crates ship every other month and price varies by the number you “pre-purchase.”
You get about 3-6 toys per Panda Crate which brings the cost per toy for the basic lines can range anywhere from $5 to $14 (depending on which frequency you chose and whether it has 3 to 6 toys).
In the Panda Crate Plus line you get everything in the basic line, as well as 1-2 more (longer lasting) toys and 1-2 play guides. Depending on the amount of crates you pre-pay for and number of items in those crates you're looking at anywhere from $8.50 to $20 per toy.
Lovevery's play kits for 0-12 months cost $40 / month and you get a box every other month, making each box $80. You get about 6-10 items in these play kits which brings the cost to about $8-13 per toy.
Lovevery play kits for 13-48 months cost $40 / month but you get the box every quarter, making each box cost $120. You get about 6-8 items in these play kits which brings the cost to about $15-20 per toy.
NOTE: The Lovevery play kits that cost $15-20 per toy often include items that would retail on their own for $15-$35+. So they are fairly priced for what you are getting IMO, but they aren't necessarily a “huge steal/deal.” You're really getting the best QUALITY around (more on that later though)…
Lovevery pretty much never runs sales or offers discount codes. You can get 10% off if you pay for a year's worth of play kits in advance though at step 2 of checkout.
And if they are running any other deals at the moment it'll appear in the box below (which they run like every other week, so keep checking back or DM on Instagram @theconfusedmom):
After receiving Lovevery products since 2018/2019 and KiwiCo products since 2020 here are my thoughts:
Lovevery feels high end and like a luxury item. The toys are overall bigger, the box it comes in is bigger, and there is NEVER a flaw in their products. Honestly, I've never seen products so consistently perfect/meticulous and we have A LOT of items from them.
KiwiCo is nice and there were no flaws in anything we've received from them to date. But there's something about it that just feels a little “less than” compared to how a Lovevery toy feels in your hand.
For instance, Lovevery's wooden toys feel like they have a water based finish, while KiwiCo feels more like raw plywood.
With that said, the “feel” of luxury toys is definitely a personal opinion and value system!
With that said, I've had Lovevery toys for ~ 5 years with two kids and they are doing great! While KiwiCo items have been a bit more hit or miss. They sometimes include cardboard or thin felt pieces that just haven't lasted; but their main “toys” are still doing great.
Lovevery's materials are top notch. Their cottons are organic, the inks they use are soy based, the woods are sustainably harvested. I mean they have really thought of everything here from a quality/environmentally conscious perspective.
I couldn't find any information about the materials KiwiCo uses.
KiwiCo vs Lovevery Aesthetic
Lovevery's toys are a bit more vibrant and colorful whereas KiwiCo's are a bit more earthy/muted. Both are primarily wood though and pretty clean.
As far as the aesthetic of the books: Lovevery's books focus on using real kids and KiwiCo's Panda Crate focus on illustrations featuring turtles and their Panda mascot “Poppy.”
Which will kids play with longer?
Every kid is different and unique so this is a little tough to guess. What I will say is this based on my personal experience:
My daughter always plays with toys for a longer amount of time when I'm utilizing toy rotation. Meaning only have 4-8 items out at a time in her playroom, and store the others away. When she doesn't touch a toy for a few days, I swap it out. This not only encourages longer play with the individual items, but also holds her interest in the items for a longer period of time (i.e. my daughter played with toys from Lovevery 0-12 month play kits well past 2 years old).
From my experience so far, both toy subscription services include items that my daughter has continued playing with past the age range it was intended for.
Both toy subscription services have a montessori element to the items they include, meaning they are educational toys that are (sometimes) self correcting. And both include Walodrf toy elements, meaning they are open ended items that can constantly be reimagined and reused in countless ways.
For example, my daughter takes one of the pieces from her cylinder puzzle from KiwiCo and uses it in her Lovevery racetrack as a “car.” Or she uses the geometric 3D puzzles from KiwiCo while building with her Lovevery toys.
Thoughts on Lovevery September 2020 Update to Toddler Play Kits:
Lovevery updated their 13-24 month play kits in September 2020 and this change took a lot of people by surprise. They cut the items included nearly in half, but left the price of the box the same which upset a lot of people. The truth is though: the previous version of their play kits were a STEAL! I'd find comparable toys on Amazon or Etsy for at least twice as much most of the time. So not only were you getting the best quality around, you were also getting the best price. It was a total no brainer.
Now their updated play kits require you to think a little more: do you want the best quality, most aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally friendly toys or do you want the cheapest?
Moreover, they do offer some toys in their playkits you just can't find anywhere else.
With that said, I do not think ALL of their updated play kits are worth it.
Current thoughts on the updated Lovevery playkits:
The Babbler Play Kit for months 13, 14, 15 – I think this play kit is still 100% worth it. This has some of my daughter's favorite items and the updates are things I think she'd love just as much. Moreover, the updates include items I KNOW she would get long term use out of.
The Pioneer Play Kit for months 16, 17, 18 – SKIP! This was always my least favorite play kit before, and it's definitely not worth it now IMO. You can find comparable items on Amazon at half the price of this play kit.
The Realist Play Kit for months 19, 20, 21 – I'm sort of on the fence about this one but leaning towards get it! It has some really unique items you just can't get anywhere else. For instance a lockbox costs $40 on Amazon and I couldn't find anything like the count and stack ring shoot or exactly like the quilted critter item. The flashlight is a favorite for my daughter. The 3D geo shape puzzle is similar to the one in my KiwiCo Panda Crate. With that said, I think the cup is dumb and this is my LEAST favorite book they included.
The Companion Play Kit for months 22, 23, 24 – I think this play kit is still 100% worth it. This includes some of my daughters FAVORITE toys and the new addition looks like something she'd really love too. You can find some Amazon dupes for a little cheaper, but the quality, manufacturing, and aesthetics are unmatched IMO.
Kiwico vs Lovevery: which toy subscription box is better? which is worth it?
Honestly it's a personal choice. If your sole guiding factor is price, then 100% KiwiCo (shop them here!)
If your top concern is the most natural, ethically sourced items for your child with a super bright and vibrant color palette, then 100% Lovevery (shop them here!).
In my experience, you can resell used Lovevery toys or KiwiCo toys pretty easily – so if you have your heart set on certain items from Lovevery, go for it and sell the one's you don't want.
At 3 years old, the toddler switches to the “Koala Crate” under KiwiCo, which focuses more on activities and not on toys. Though it's noteworthy, some of the items in Lovevery's 2+ year old play kits are a mix of toys and activities which may make Lovevery the better choice for some families as they get a mix.
Personally we are doing both right now and super happy with the decision!
Shop Lovevery Play Kits:
Shop KiwiCo Crates:
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Monti Kids Reviews + More
Kiwi Co Reviews
Montessori Gift Guides
Originally published 10/9/2020; UPDATED 8/29/23