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I came across this item looking for another product on dooyoo and noticed that no one had reviewed yet. I do hate for a category to be left empty - so I decided to review this. I only have one of these, which came included in another set, but you can buy a pair from Amazon on their own at £8.70. This may sound a bit steep, but I'm actually considering another set, these little pieces are brilliant if you would like to have an extended aerial track.
Our train set is a bit of a higgledy piggledy set with pieces from several different brands of wooden railway sets. It is set out on a very large table includes a large plastic mountain from an Asda set and a wonderful lifting bridge which is from Big Jigs. These between these I have a large section of aerial track, and of course two risers are used at the ends. Sadly the lifting bridge lacks a shelf or edge for the riser to join to, and no matter what we tried, it fell down quite a bit. This looked just the ticked to fix the issue, but because this does have a small ledge for another track to rest on - it will not attach directly to most accessories like bridges, mountains etc. Instead a small piece of Brio mini track was needed to make the connection. This has proved a perfect solution , and the tracks stay in place perfectly now - however one section of my ( oops I means the children's) aerial track still falls down at times, so I really do need at least one more.
Brio is known for wood - and I'm afraid this support is mostly plastic. Personally, I would have preferred the green legs of this support to be wood, but the plastic is very sturdy and thick - it doesn't feel or look cheap like many plastic toys do. The only actual wood here is the tiny section of track, which is beechwood, as all of Brio products are, and meant to be taken only from sustainable sources. Brio also claims this wood is non splintering, and I have to admit I have never seen a piece of Brio track splinter - and I do have quite a lot, some bought new and many other parts used. I have had some wooden track split and splinter, in fact I threw one piece away last night, but never with Brio.
This track is spaced just right so that you can pass another track directly underneath for figure eight shapes or fly overs. Train track can fit in either direction under this, so if you had enough of these - you could create a double decker track as well. You can then have trains going above and below this small section. I have used this with several other bits and pieces, including track from Brio, Big Jigs, Tesco, Asda, Lidl, and The wooden Thomas range, as well as at least one off the wall brand I can't remember from ebay. I have not had any problems with fit as long as I am just joining track to this. This little piece is exceptionally sturdy and well balanced and really does add a lot of stability to any above ground rail lines.
Obviously, this toy would not be of any use on its own. It does need to be added to an existing track and train set, but it should be able to be used with almost any wooden train set - it doesn't have to be just Brio. Personally - I find simple track shapes, like a plain circle very boring, and I feel half the fun of having a wooden train set is building all sorts of new designs. I believe this helps children with logical thinking as well - to imagine how it will all fit together and plan new connections etc... The only provision I would place in recommending this item , is that, rather obviously, you must have the riser tracks to make this of any use. If you have these you can create larger bridges, aerial tracks, stabilize existing bridges or just make a figure 8. It really does make playing with the tracks much more fun - and I have to admit - it isn't just the children who play with this.
Speaking of the children though, I do always try to include their opinion on toys as well. In all honesty, my 4 year old wasn't that fussed with this when I asked. he said it doesn't do anything until I showed him how the track fell down without it. It isn't exactly a high glamour toy, and will never rank as high with him as his mountain tunnel, engine wash, or even the little bell. But just because it isn't exciting doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile - so i won't be rating this down. My seven year old doesn't like to admit how much he still likes this set - as I think he feels a bit too big for toy trains - but he does say it is good for building things - which is his favourite thing to do with the trains - take everything apart and rebuild it all. As for me - I'll never be to big for trains - I think this toy is brilliant.
Introducing new heights of fun! Use the supports to build a bridge, make a tunnel or stack them and create a challenging highway system layout with up to 3 levels of railway play.