David Pogue thinks the Pleo dinosaur is meh. He’s seen it all before with Aibo, and despite all the “it’s so lifelike!” ad and editorial copy devoted to it, the charm wears off pretty much the same day you buy it: “My surprise, though, was my kids’ reaction. They thought it was really, really cool—for the first half-hour.” He’s proposed a new website idea where you’d sign up for the latest Hot New Thing coming out of CES, Toy Fair, Macworld, etc., then pay an ever-shrinking percentage of the original sales price to own it when your turn came in line.
You’d list an object that you want to own—but for only a short time. Other people sign up, too, so that a chain of purchasing is set up in advance.
You buy the thing at full price. When you’re finished with it, maybe a couple of weeks later, the next guy buys it from you for 85 percent of the original price. Then he sells it to the third guy for 85 percent of that. And so on, until the last guy gets the hand-me-down Pleo for, say, $25. Everybody’s happy, and there’s not a bunch of closeted Pleos all over America.
Think eBay without the uncertainty; the chain of ownership is pre-established, and your little group feels the bond of kinship and shared experience, like a book club.
“Pleo, the (Yawn) Dino-Robot. Next!” [New York Times]