Product Type: Brio Toy Train
Newest Review: ... fit any where. The turn table is fun as you can attach three four or even five different tracks from it. The train set come with sever... more
Probably more reliable than National Express
Brio Wooden Train Sets
Member Name: loveableukangel
Brio Wooden Train Sets
Advantages: Quality Product, Hard wearing, Durable, Long lasting. can be passed on through the generations
Disadvantages: Higher end price tag
When I was younger I always remember going with my parents to our local Early Learning Centre and heading straight for the table set up with BRIO railway which was there for children to play with, all the children would head for the little magnet connected trains amazed at how the magnets worked thinking that it was magic, I used to love playing with them but unfortunately being a little girl I instead used to get bought dolls and tea sets, my parents thought that it was too masculine for a little blonde haired girl to have a train set.
Now Im all grown up and have a little boy of my own who is just about to turn four so I decided a while back to see if I could find the toy I always wanted as as a clild, that I really wanted to introduce him into the world of Brio railways as I can vividly remember the enjoyment which I used to get out of those trains when I did have the opportunity to play with them.
Brio is a Swedish toy company that specialises specifically in the manafacture of quality wooden toys. The toys themselves are made out of beech, a strong, durable wood that is perfect when you consider they are being designed for children. It is this quality that has made Brio one of the biggest wooden toy manufacturers around the globe. Their most popular toy is the classic wooden railway system which was first released back in 1958 which in over 50 years has seen a significant advancement in technology yet the classic track has always stayed the same and has seen the pieces being handed down through the generations. My Nana had a selection of Brio train tracks that all us Grandchildren used to play with when we were all little, she has since passed these on to us to expand my little boys brio collection. Now I can remember these when I was my little boys age and Im 26 so they are over 20 years old,they are still in a lovely condition (well apart from someone attacked a couple of bits with a felt tip pen) and they all fit together perfectly and work in conjunction with the brio track that is sold today.
The tracks are all made to a high standard out of beech wood, you wont find any un even, sharp or splintered edges on any of the pieces and each is extremely hard wearing and durable.
Now unfortunately because of the high quality wood being used in the manufacturer of these pieces you will find that they have a higher price tag than other brands that are available out there, but they do say that you have to pay for quality.
Unfortunately because of this you will find that a lot of independent toy stores feel that these prices are too high so no longer choose to stock Brio products, they would rather stock brands like bigjigs that are more affordable.
Each individual piece wheter it be a building, bridge, train or piece of track is designed so that they can be connected together easily, you will find that these pieces can also be connected and be used alongside other brands such as Tesco, Bigjigs. ELC and Ikea. They seem to have all designed them in a universal way that compliments the Brio track which I think is great because if you cannot afford Brio pieces all of the time you can still expand the track by purchasing from these other brands.
Now I would like to comment that ELC also sell a brand of railway system under the name "Learning Curves" which also connects with the classic brio track, its designed around the much loved Thomas the tank engine and friends . Now Brio actually licenses these trains under the name Learning curves so if you purchase these you are still getting the same quality that you would assosiate with the Brio name.
The Brio train systems are designed for children of three years upwards , their is a vast collection of starter sets which you can purchase to start of your Brio collection. From the basic circle to the clasic figure of eight or the more expansive up and over layouts ( which can range from anything from £10.00 to £120.00)
I started off with a basic figure of eight set with a little viaduct bridge for my son as I felt that the circiular track would be a bit boring for him, this cost me £20.00. My son absolutely loved it from the moment he saw it and wouldnt stop playing with it but I soon found myself back online ordering some additional curved and straight tracks when he was trying to build his own track design and didnt have enough to expand, this was ok for a while but after a couple of weeks he was asking for some more track so I started to look around and decided to purchase a couple of expansion sets. Now the expansion sets are great, they include more complex pieces of track like curved crossings, additional pieces of curved track and cross track sections which allow you to expand the railway into all new directions, I also decided to purchase a couple of assending tracks and supports as this allowed him to take the track upto new heights.
My son really loves these pieces which allow him to take the track into new directions, all the different pieces makes this product so versatile, it allows him to let his imagination run wild and create what he wants too.
One of the things that I like about the Brio train tracks are that you can purchase additional packs to expand your collection, there are so many pieces available out there. From additional track straights, curved tracks, ascending tracks, turntables, bridges and tunnels
There are also many additional add ons that you can purchase, These include: railway crossings, track supports, fuel tank s tations, tower cranes, loading cranes, railway stations, repair sheds, tunnels, engine sheds,, suspenssion bridges and lifting bridges, all of which will be sure to add a bit more excitement in your childs play, Ive also reccently discovered that they sell road sections, these can be connected up with or along side the brio track, they are wider than the train track and have road markings, great for the little brio cars which you can also additionally purchase.
Now the only thing that I have found with some of the additional pieces is that some of them combine plastic as well as the beech wood and with my son being a little heavy handed he has managed to snap a couple of pieces so I now tend to stray away from the pieces which include the combined plastic.
Brio also sell a large selection of assorted train engines and wagons, from the classic engine that your child needs to push around the track themselves to battery powered or remote control operated locomotives and trains with lights and sounds, the trains can certainly show the changes in times since Brio was first established.
Personally I only purchase the trains which my son has to push along the track himself, my son is one of those children who has to be in control of what he is doing, for him a battery or remote control operated one is no fun, he likes to be on all fours, scrambling around the floor doing it himself.
Now as I said earlier Brio does come with a higher price tag, the following will give you an idea on the price you could expect to pay for pieces that you could add on to a basic starter set to expand your collection even more:
-Beginners Expansion Set £14.99 ( a selection of straights, curves and buffers and ramps)
-Intermediate Expansion Set £19.50 ( a selection of additional straights, curves and curved crossing tracks)
-Expansion Switches Advanced Pack £19.99 (a selection more complex pieces of track to expand the railway into new directions)
-4 x mini straights £4.99
-4 x medium straights £4.79
-4 x long straight track £4.99
-2 x ascending tracks £4.99 (allows you to take your track up into new levels)
-2 x track supports for the assending track £7.99
-4 x Short curved tracks£3.99
-4 x large curved tracks£4.99
-T- Switch Track £4.99
-2 x curved crossing tracks £8.95
-Double Suspension Bridge £15.99
-Magnetic Action crossing £8.99
-Manual Turntable £10.99
-Wooden viaduct £10.99
I would like to add that all of the prices which I have listed are based on Amazons prices as over the months I have extensively looked for good offers and this seems to be the best site to purchase authentic Brio products from
The trains for the sets can cost from as little as £4.99 for a basic push along train with 3 carriages or waggons up to the higher £25.00 for a remote controled train and carriage.
You can also purchase the Thomas the Tank Engine Character trains which Brio sell under the name learning curves, these sell from £10.00 for an individual character train to £15.00 for a train and cariage/waggon pack.
We have a large selection of different trains, especially the Thomas the tank engine ones and they are of a very high standard, they withstand my little boys heavy hands and being knocked about and they are still in good condition, they may have a couple of scratches or chips of paint here or there but I personally feel that this shows how loved and used they are by my son. The way in which the wooden pieces are made means that they can withstand virtually anything thrown at them and will last a long time meaning that they can be passed on to other children to enjoy.
So my overall opinion, well personally I feel that the Brio rail systems are a great investment for any child, whether it be a boy or girl.
The enjoyment I have got out of seeing my little boy sitting there playing with it, seeing his creative side emerge from all the different track layouts which he creates from his little mind make it worth that higher pirce tag. Its also a great opportunity to get down on the floor and play and interact with my son, have some one on one play time with him as we attemt to build the most complicated of layouts. My son has had hours of fun and plays with it on a daily basis, Im now use to walking into the lounge, the floor being covered in track and being told by my son to stop because a trains coming.
Summary: A great product from Brio that can let creative minds run wild.