“ Brand: Brio / Model: 32811 / Type: Wooden roadway set „
My sons both love trains, but especially the youngest and we have quite an extensive collection with pieces from Brio, Elc, Wooden Thomas, Big Jigs, Tesco, Asda and Eichorn. While many of these brands produce brilliant toys, if there is one brand I would choose above any other, it would be Brio. I think this company is the leader when it comes to wooden trains, as well as making a number of other quality wooden toys. As I expected from this brand, this is definitely a very high quality set.
This set is very much like Brio's basic train sets. In fact I believe the track and bridge layout is identical to one of the starter sets Brio had for sale this Christmas. It gives you enough track to build two good sized loops with a nice bridge over the top. Unlike other sets though, this set has a light pink band painted over each of the tracks to show you which side should face up if you want to make the recommended track lay out. We did make the track as recommended at let it sit up in the living room for a few days, before taking it down and adding it to out larger collection, and this made assembly much easier - I would guess about 10 minutes.
I bought this set just for the track when I found it for £8 at a boot sale. I especially liked this set because mine came with two very short tracks, which I was much in need of, although the set diagram shows only 1, so this may have been a mistake. It also has some very short curve pieces, and although the small green support for the sloping bridge tracks is very small, it is very sturdy and does a brilliant job of stabilising our whole upper row of track. I know wooden train tracks are very much the same, but I really do think Brio has a nice smooth feel to it, and appears to made of a quality hard wood, plus it always connects to everything perfectly.
The Bob the Builder bits were a nice extra and Lofty and Scoop have now joined out train collection. They fit perfectly on the track and can even connect to all the wooden trains we have. Lofty is especially nice if you have any train cargo cars that have a metal stud so the cargo can be picked up by a magnet, as lofty has a small magnet on the end the crane. My sons ( ages 2 and 6) both really had fun doing this, and this makes Lofty our very favourite part of the set. Lofty can often be found loading cargo now for Thomas, Percy and even the Mallard or Flying Scotsman. Unfortunately though there is no cargo included in this set, so you can not use this function unless you have other sets.
While both boys enjoyed the track and the vehicles, I am afraid the small figure of Bob the Builder was left untouched. I am sure that other children would have played with this more, especially if they are Bob the builder fans, but my sons have not bothered. Still I think this is a brilliant starter set. My boys did have hours and hours of fun with this when it was in the living room,and it really has made a good addition to our train set. On it's own, children can build the track and drive the vehicles round and round, or enjoy creative play with Bob, Lofty and Scoop. It might be a nice way to start a Bob the Builder fan off on train sets, or as in our case, just a little something different to add into an existing set. I do think the addition of a car with cargo, or something for Lofty to lift with the magnet would have really added to this set though.
This set includes:
Bob the builder figure (plastic)
Wooden Scoop and Lofty
22 track pieces, including two sloping bridge sections.
1 bridge support.
2 plastic cones
2 wooden bushes and 2 wooden trees
1 wooden road sign.
(Note my set had one extra bit of track, but I am not counting this as it does not show up in track diagrams or on the amazon listing).