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Brio Wooden Train Sets

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      08.07.2010 13:59
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      A great product from Brio that can let creative minds run wild.

      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.

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        07.07.2010 11:26
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        So glad I got this for my son as is very popular.

        I purchased a brio wooden train set for my son when he was 2 years old and it is still played with a couple times a week. It cost me about £7.00 with P&P from ebay which was a bargain. Being made from wood it is very durable and has been through lots but not really any sign of wear and tear. I will say a couple of the end joins have been broken off but they super glue back together. A child can very easily put the pieces together. One end has a round part and the other end has the hole where it can fit into. Each piece has a different end and all parts like turn table, bridge etc has the same so any piece can 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 several wooden trains but also my son's Thomas trains all fit onto the tracks. You can buy wooden trains sets from alternative shops that aren't brio but I find they still join together fine. The set isn't just straight track pieces, It has curved parts, crooked parts for raising track, bridges, junctions and turn table. There is no set track that can be made so it's completely up to the child to design and make his track how it wants it. My son has good imagination and makes big bridges and has learnt to place wooden blocks under the track to make flyovers. There are wooden signposts and wooden trees that can be placed around the track too. As well as the bridges there is also a tunnel where the trains sometimes like to rest in the dark, Well that's according to my son. Each time this is played with a different track is made and different scenes take place. It is lucky we have the space as often the train track will be running around the sofa or his entire bedroom. If you don't need to buy a whole set then different track parts can be purchased on their own, Like just a bridge or a junction. It is a good way to build up a small set. All toy shops will stock some sort of wooden train sets or parts but you can even get some better bargains from Ebay or at car boot sales. The Cranky crane my son has can be played with next to the track and there are so many different things that can be purchased to make the set bigger that you would need Heathrow runway to build it on if you had everything from the set. My son's set is kept in a plastic storage box to keep it all together. Laughing to myself now as I've just heard that very box being emptied out in his bedroom lol. Like I said previously it is still regularly played with. I think it really does help with their imagination and helps co ordination too. I personally didn't buy this brand new as knew I'd always be adding bits to it and would become expensive.

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          07.06.2010 17:11
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          These toys are costly, but the amount of joy they give is worth the price. The absolute best trains

          Age level: 1-8 Durability: excellent Amount of fun: Top notch I have to say our brio train sets and extras are among the best toys we have ever bought. My older son had a few different train sets, including a battery operated tomy set, but he still loved to play with the Brio set on display at Toys R Us and at the Science museum, W-5, so for Christmas when he was three he got a number of brio train pieces. My younger son also got a few pieces even though he was only 4 months old at the time. Ever since them we have been collecting them. The five year old still loves them, as do much older children who have come to play but the 22 month old adores them. Its easy to add pieces bit by bit, collecting from boot sales and ebay too. Other wooden train set items such as Tesco, Wooden Thomas, and ELC also fit with the Brio sets, increasing opportunities for expansion. Brio remains the highest quality though and is always our first choice. I would caution that there have been some recalls on wooden Thomas the Tank items due to lead paint. This recall did not affect Brio Railways, but as they are of comapatable size it would be wise to check and Thomas items added to your set. Here is Brio's staement on recalls: http://brio.knex.com/customer/ConsumerNotice.php Although thomas is a different product I've included a link to recall info in case anyone, like myself mixes the two products: http://recalls.rc2.com/recalls_Wood_0607.html Beyond the basic train sets you can add on bridges, tunnels, batterry powered trains, stations, a lovely mountain tunnel and more accesories then I could ever list. You can also get train tables, but I find them to small, we made a brilliant one out of a damged door and some scrap wood. Brio Railways provide hours and hours of creative play, as well as increasing fine motor skills. They are absolutely lovely toys and sure to be much loved for years to come. Its a toy the boys come back to again and again, and very rarely would more then a day or two pass without it being used. On top of that, no Brio piece has been broken chipped or damaged despite years of play. This is a very well made product.

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            28.06.2009 21:18
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            A brilliant toy that your child will love for years

            These train sets have been around for like ever! I remember my younger brother playing with them when he was a toddler. They are durable and interchangeable, which makes them brilliant. Yes ok, they are not the cheapest toys on the market, but when i tell you that my son has inherited his uncles (my brothers) set and it is still as new, well, that speaks for itself. Brio is brilliant because you can buy one set, then keep adding different bits of track and trains to it. Your childs imagination can run wild because with additional pieces they can change the trck as little and as often as they like changing the layout of the track to suit them. As I previously mentioned these sets are very durable, and are designed to last, some of the peices my son plays mith are over 15 years old, and the bonus is that the older peices fit brilliantly with the newer sets i have bought him recently. (And my brother still wants to play with them when he comes round!) I really would reccomend Brio to any parent who wants to buy their child an educational, yet entertaining, and a present that they will cherish for years to come, and hopefully pass on to thier children then Brio is the one to buy!

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            09.01.2009 21:48
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            A great toy that you can buy a bit at a time and build your collection

            My little boy got a basic Brio starter set for his 1st birthday - he was probably a little young for it then - as soon as you started trying to build anything he started taking it apart. But, he enjoyed chewing the track pieces! He has gradually got more interested in it - first he used to sit on the floor while you built a track round him, then he started to push the trains along. Now, 8 months later, he loves it. He got some more track for Christmas - including some bridges and ramps. He can put the pieces together and he understands that he needs to turn a piece round so that it will fit into the hole of the other piece (rather than putting to holes together). We have also got some other wooden train track which fits perfectly with the Brio set - I was told that the cheaper versions are all compatible. These bits are fine, but the Brio is definitely better quality. I can't tell a difference with the track pieces but the quality of the trains is very noticeable. We are really looking forward to building a bigger collection as our little boy grows - I think we've got as much as we can cope with for now but it won't be long before he can build more complex tracks. It's quite expensive but most of ours has been presents. After we got the starter set, we have found that other people have bought little bits and pieces and our collection is growing.

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              30.12.2008 14:36
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              Well thought out toy for boys and girls.

              This is such a fantastic durable fun toy set. I bought the large set for my grand daughter for Xmas. Even though it's meant to be for 3 plus (she is 18 months) she just loves it and up to a point, knows what to do. This is the large set they do (as far as I know) and comes with it's own table and has loads of track, bridges, viaducts, a crane and sidings. The table is self assembly but you get everything you need to build it (screw driver, screws, Allen Key etc.). Build time is around half an hour, so that's not a problem either. The bridge makes different sounds as the train passes through which adds enormously to the interest. As for the train itself (there are in fact two of them), the locomotive takes batteries, has lights and makes choo-choo train sounds. The set includes loads of carriages, and a few little people that fit snuggly into some of the carriages. The track is well made out of a light coloured hard wood, and fits together a bit like a jig saw puzzle. I also bought her the remote control train which comes as a separate item, and this adds to the interest of the overall layout. Hers is the white version (I believe they do a red version of the same train). In some ways, she is a little young for it because occasionally she decides to lift the track, so she hasn't quite got the hang of this part yet but she does love putting the trains and carriages onto the track, and starting the engines off. She spends ages playing with it and often by herself, it so it's good for those times when she needs occupying but Mum and Dad (not to mention us grandparents) don't have the time. This toy is also very engaging for adults and anyone else who likes big layout sets with moving parts, so it makes it easy to play together. I got quite a good deal on the internet (paid about £200 for the lot) but it's well worth it, and so far it's given her (and everone else) a lot of fun. The other thing to note is that this is a quality built item, mainly of wood, but the plastic parts (trains, carriages, people) are really well made, and look like they will last forever. Train sets are always great fun for boys and this one is good for girls also.

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                24.09.2008 12:49
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                A great all-rounder

                We came by a brio wooden train track and trains when my childminder stopped childminding. She sold us her complete brio set for about £25. Little did I know then what a wonderful toy it was going to become for my son. There was a lot of wooden track pieces, including a couple of bridges and some accessories, such as trees, wooden characters and some brio wooden trains. Things I think are great about the brio train set: 1) It's built to last.... and last.... My childminder had had the set for about 15 years and it's still in great condition. Some of the trains are a tiny bit worn to look at, but still perfectly good for playing with and no broken bits at all. I can imagine holding onto it and handing it down to my grandchildren. I love toys that can last for generations and there aren't many that can. 2) It's not a gimick and it grows with children. Trains are always fascinating to children, in whatever shape or form. This means that it won't come in and out of fashion and isn't a toy with lots of little gimicks that children will easily tire of. I can imagine my son still playing with the set when he's 10 (and he's now 2 and a half). 3) There's so much mileage in it. It's great for parents to play with their kids, as it's fun for adults to build elaborate train tracks. It helps children to build their fine motor skills (through fitting the track pieces together, etc.), their creativity (in building different tracks and arranging accessories), imagination and role-play (My son acts out scenes from 'Thomas the tank engine', scenarios from home and nursery, new scenarios from his own imagination, etc.). Also, you can teach and reinforce colours (by the different coloured trains) in a relevant and fun way. 4) You can add to it as you go along and it doesn't have to be expensive. Because brio is build to last, you can pick up accessories cheaply second-hand. I've bought lots of bits from ebay, including trains, a car wash, a mending shed, a swing bridge, etc. 5) My son plays and plays and plays with it. He enjoys all of his toys, but this is definitely his favourite. I wish I'd had a brio set when I was a child. Oh well, at least I'm reliving my childhood now........

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                  04.01.2003 05:10
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                  Brio trains have been a part of our family life for some considerable time now. As a mother of three little boys aged two, four and six years Brio is a firm favourite in our daily routine. Over the years our collection has grown from a simple figure-of-eight set to one which now includes bridges, tunnels, turn-tables and platforms. Junctions and sidings sprawl across our lounge, ready to transport much loved engines to various platforms, windmills and stations. If there is one toy that is guaranteed to keep all three children amused it is the train-set and it is fun to join-in myself in helping to create more elaborate lay-outs. The engines themselves are very appealing be they the general steam and diesal range or indeed the ever popular Thomas and Friends series. They are brightly coloured and relatively hard-wearing and even when slightly bashed from years of enthusiastic use, they still look good and encorage play. Brio is not a cheap toy but even though more affordable versions of the train-sets are often compatible few have the durability of the original Brio sets. My advice would be to invest in one Brio engine rather than 3 or 4 budget engines. I have no doubt that the Brio trains will remain a firm favorite for generations to come. Our train-set is consistently the first toy children visiting our house plump for and it is a great ice-breaker for children less familiar with each other be they boys or girls. If I had to single out a toy most valued in our family it would without a doubt be Brio and it is well worth building a collection over several years.

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                    07.08.2002 21:25
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                    The Brio system is a classic wooden range of trains, track pieces, bridges, tunnels, turntables, cranes, crossings, stations, engine sheds, and so on. In fact, the range of sets and accessories seems almost endless. The track fits together with a simple ball-and-socket type join, which is great for little hands, and the trains are connected easily with magnets. This is definitely the favourite toy of my son Joe (3 1/2). He spends hours and hours quietly building wonderfully complex tracks all around the living room floor. Actually, he seems to enjoy the building part so much that when he's finished, he plays with his trains on it for only a couple of minutes before he's pulling it all apart to start over again. But that's got to be great for developing his mind, and his spatial awareness skills in particular. The only downside is when his 12 month old brother starts re-enacting Godzilla movies and wrecking the whole lot. Brio is quite expensive though, especially the Thomas the Tank Engine range. In fact, with all the different sets and add-ons you could spend thousands on the stuff. But having said that, the quality is very high, it's incredibly sturdy and a lot of the pieces do come with a 'lifetime' guarantee. This, and the fact that children can get hours of pleasure from it, means that it is still represents good value for money. However, there are cheaper (and just as good) alternatives around and they all fit together with Brio perfectly well. Some of the cheapest can be found at Tescos. Also, because it is so well made, you can often find mountains of the stuff at car-boot sales at great prices.

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                      30.07.2001 23:06
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                      • "The amount required to be tendered.(no pun meant)"

                      "Train!" Yes Thomas, it is a train, isn't it..come and have a look at.." "Train!" Yes Thomas, well done, it is.." "Train!" "Yes, 'train' ,Thomas. Do you like the train?" "mm hmm" "Are you coming out of the shop with us?" "mmm mm" By the way, where do you buy it? You buy it from all good toy stores, Your son turns around and smiles at you: Get the picture? (Yes, we see...) That's when Thomas fell for... the leader of the track.... Brrrmm Brrrrrmmm! (Well, choo choo actually.) Our Thomas never could put it down... (down, down....) Ever since we went to the toyshop in town... (What d'y'mean when you say that you went to the toyshop in town?) Thomas just stopped and stared, Perhaps it was 'cause we didn't want him to go there, That's when he fell for The leader of the track Choo chooo! I'm sure you've heard of Brio- if not, here's a quick recap, paraphrasing Brio's own website (go to Brio.co.uk for a full version) "BRIO® was founded by Ivar Bengtsson in 1884. His three young sons then joined him selling high quality wooden toys in Osby Sweden. Thus the BRIO® name was developed from Brothers Ivarsson at Osby." Bet you didn't know that. Apparently they are now "the No. 1 Wooden Toy Company in the world." Materials? well they say that: "BRIO® wooden toys are made from Beechwood and birch " which "is free of insecticides, toxic chemicals and flaws, such as knots and cracks." also, "Toys are painted with non-toxic, brilliantly coloured, high gloss lacquer" which may be " up to 60 coats of non-toxic paint to resist chipping and maintain their bright colours." Impressive, eh? Well, you certainly notice a feel of quality when you pick up t he pieces. The track is well made and sturdy and the engines and trucks feel solid and reliable. They do actually guarantee all of their toys against manufacturing defects forever! So where do you start? The cheapest set at the moment, if you are lucky enough to find it, seems to be the train engineer's freight set, a figure of eight track with a crossover piece in the middle. It comes with a train, engineer figure and truck, and according to Brio it costs a reasonable £14.99, but I've never actually seen this set in the shops, so I can't confirm it. They have plenty of others on their site, though they don't have prices..hmm... They also say that it is suitable for ages 3 and above. Well, as some of you may know, Thomas is only eighteen months old. However, we have bought him various things that are 'not allowed' for children his age. Are we evil parents? No- well not for that reason anyway. Thomas has played with Brio in Early Learning Centres and at friends' houses for long enough, and he can build the track together, place the engines on it and play with them perfectly well, so why not? I'm glad we did buy it though. We went down a different route to the normal one, as we couldn't find a starter set and aren't made of money, we bought a couple of straight bits of track and an engine. Of course, we couldn't buy any other engine but the Thomas one for Thomas, which was £9.99. Owch. However, I still think that it is worth it compared to other similar engines- it runs better than even the standard Brio engine, its wheels are more secure on the track (i.e. it comes off less easily) and it is very recognisable. The track was rather dear, costing about a fiver for two straight bits! This is a costly way of doing it thought- look for sets and bargains, like our second buy- we got them in a sale and got half price track, but in a special 2 bits free set, and we bought a second, red engine (stand ard Brio, smaller, less expensive than Thomas) so our Thomas could say 'dirty!' at it. (You know the story of James the Red engine, surely? If not, go and read it!) That cost about £14 for the lot. So, in all , we now had the same amount of track as the starter set, but with an extra Thomas train, for about £29. Expensive, yes, but durable and wonderful. I would buy more, and have done so- however, I would rather wait for bargains now: and as luck would have it, I found one: Tesco now do their own sets, compatible with Brio, though not so well made, and slightly ill fitting at times, but at unbelievably cheaper prices. (I got the big set for £15! I'll review this in full when I find a category to put it in- keep an eye open though!) Staying with actual Brio, there are many sets and extra bits available- the whole sets are the best buys, and for younger children, just remove the bits you don't trust them with for a while if you wish- pointy trees, figures etc. though Thomas is very good with them,and hasn't put any near his eyes/mouth in the months he has had them. Some of the better small sets are the mountain sets with their bridges, but there seem to be sets that aren't even mentioned on the official site, so keep looking for whatever specific bits you want, and you may find them! There are also the motorised trains available (starting at £10.99), though Thomas is quite happy pushing them along for now, and we don't want him to lose interest in that particular motor skill. I think this is a great thing to start collecting; they build up in complexity as the child develops, and their motor skills increase along with the progress from simple engine to engine and tender/trucks and so on, including crossings and cranes! Additionally, they keep us dads amused for hours, building the track up- though I keep having to miss out on that as Thomas likes to do it himself, and only wants my "elp" when he has to join up the tricky bits! Summarily, Brio is great, helps develop manual dexterity and patience, though it is a bit expensive, it is worth it in terms of its longevity, both physically and imaginatively. Thomas loves it. (If you just want a quick summary, read that bit instead of the whole review. Oops, too late.) And I suppose I should finish like this: (cue music) Thomas' other friends all stop and stare, They all like his trains, so he tries to share, He really likes it, The leader of the track... Choo Chooo!

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                        28.07.2001 20:47
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                        l am thinking of putting a beware sign out side my front door! Not because you are in danger of been eaten by our two wonderful dogs (they will only lick you to death) and the cat next door has taken to only ambushing the postman now. But since those cold winter days when Christmas was upon us, my once so called lounge has become a rail network that British Rail would be envious of. For there snaking across the carpet are miles and miles of wooden track that mysteriously seem to be expanding every time l turn my back. My suspicions lay with my better half who seems to have taken great pride in his work of art. This track is equally admired by our son, who now seems to have a multitude of trains going in all different directions. l must admit in the early days of him receiving this wonderful Brio l couldn’t resist going to places where they supplied this wonderful stuff and getting all the extra stations, bridges, cranes, but with the cost of Brio l soon came to my senses. The making of Brio started way back in 1884 when a man named Ivar Bengtson in Sweden started a business up with his 3 sons making high quality toys which they made out of Beechwood and Birch. Knowing that these are being sold to children the company ensures that the wood they use is free of insecticides and toxic chemicals. Which after what we see our children put in their mouths might not seem so important but as a company they still uphold that today. The most common Brio set that is sold is the starter kit, it does seem a bit expensive at £14.99. but has 18 pieces and is recommended for children 3 years and above.(l think they should have put in some small print that fathers were to have a partial role in helping sons put it together and then leaving it alone :o) It forms a figure of eight and comes with one bright red engine, a green tipping wagon and a little engineer that can sit up front. The engine and wagon have magnetic coupli ngs that any youngster will find easy to connect together and the track itself is chunky and the pieces fit together really well. Not only does Brio give hours of enjoyment it also provides children manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, constructive creativity and problem solving. I personally found that my son found the figure of eight a bit boring after a while (or was that his father!) anyway you can then expand this figure of eight with one of the many expansion packs, on the side of the box they usually recommend an expansion kit and what it consists of. For example the “Train Engineer’s Freight” set, this one will have extra tracks, an extra wagon, a crane with a magnet, trees, and a tall rail building. It doesn’t get any cheaper and this can set you back around about £25. This is one option you can choose but what l did instead of an expansion pack a brought another Brio set which was the next one up, from the starter kit. The Adventure Set, although also the figure of eight it also comes with a three part bridge, another engine and carriage, and if you have already bought the starter kit you no longer have to build just the figure eight, l have seen some wonderful creations on my floor, this was slightly more expensive than the starter kit at £19.99 but obviously cheaper than the expansion packs. The trains that come with these kits are the ones that you just pull along but there is an option that you can buy the battery operated variety which are Thomas the Tank engine and friends. These range from £10 to £15, this sounds rather alot but they don’t just go rumbling forward. You have reverse, forward and a light for effect. They are also compatible with the kit trains and the magnet lets you attach as many wagons and carriages as you like. If you have loads of track and just want extra bits like cranes, waterwheels, bridges these are also sold separate and can range between £10 to £25. Of course fo r those who want it all at once there are kits costing up to £99. sounds alot? that doesn’t include the table that you can put it all on! So if you want to keep your children and your better half amused on rainy days Brio has the solution :o) And if you want to look at Brio without having to wonder around shops they do have a site at “www.Brio.co.uk

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                          22.06.2001 00:51
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                          I would like to say that those who believe that train sets are only for boys I have bought my little girl a brio train set and she absoulutly loves it. Whenever we go anywhere she is always wanting to play with the wooden marvels this has given me hours of pleasure as well and encourages parents to take a pro active role in their childs play. The trains are so simple yet so enjoyable all made of wood and very simple yet very effective in capturing the little ones imagination they also sell cars,buses,vans,fire trucks etc etc which can be placed on a mat of a road and used in conjunction with the actual train set. If you have house work to do or chores in any sense this will keep the little loves quite for ages I even managed to clean the whole house and have a cup of tea after before settling down and spending hours playing with her and really enjoying it. Its a bit on the expensive side about £15 for a couple of extra pieces of track and £6/7 a train but will last for years and is very safe because they don't have loads of little plastic bits etc that can be swallowed or choked on. The set as a whole comes with only a few bits of track a couple of trains and some points but track and bridges trees buildings are available to purchase. You can also for a very steep price purchase extra sections such as train points,Thomas the Tank Engine trains and loads of buildings such as farm houses,train washes,dock loading set. Girls and boys will love this so if you feel a bit flush then pop down to any good toy shop I use Early Learning centre and take a look I am sure that you will agree it is rather brilliant even if a bit steep in price ELC also has a full set out for the little hands to play with so you will see the attraction as soon as they walk in with you.

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                            20.06.2001 04:35
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                            When a child starts to show an interest in trains at an early age you could do worse than to get them some Brio train track. I would choose the simple figure of 8 to start with just in case they do not continue with their interest. When my son who is now 9 was a small baby be used to like moving things around. When he was about 2 he showed an interest in train tracks so we got him a small Brio train track. Next time he was to have a present it was a bit more train track and gradually his collection has built up over many years. I still occasionally see a railway built up in his room. When he was preschool he would nearly always have one built with lots of trains going around it. I would advise any one to start off with a small track in case the recipient is not as keen as my son was. A collection of track and train pieces can be built up over time if they are a hit. I would also advise a first time buyer to buy more than just a ring as they are not as exciting for a child. The figure of 8 has a bridge to go over and under, the train changes direction and it is a good place to start. Brio train tracks are made out of good quality wood and fit together neatly. The connection is a simple one so that you can just keep adding sets as time goes by. When your child has had several sets of train track the railroads they can build are fantastic. The child's imagination can run wild as the train takes its passengers to the seaside or the mountains, to grandmas or aunty Mays. With the help of other toys and imagination the track goes through all sorts of country side. Picking up and dropping off passengers. All my children will play together with the trains. They all have their different slants on the game. I have watched several children playing together with Brio train track quite happily as long as they all have a good engine. Brio train tracks are good for an individual child, a family of children and a toddle rs group, when the pieces are kept together. I often bring out my sons set when small boys come to play and even small girls sometimes

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                              07.06.2001 04:53
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                              I decided to get my son a Brio set when he was two because he would stand for hours in the toy shop playing with theirs. My parents, Grandparents, brother and myself all clubbed together to get him a big main set with loads of additional stations/tunnels/crossings etc. and the Thomas The Tank Engine trains. I then had a local handy man make a big toy box with a slightly sunken lid, and set the board for the track into that - and voila! a family heirloom! It was incredibly expensive, but he's still playing with it two years on - the only toy not to have been broken after three months - and when other kids come round they flock to it and leave us adults in complete peace! I've watched him grow up with that train set. Developing from just pushing the trains round the tracks, fascinated by the movement, to making up his own stories and adventures - complete with sound effects! Brio is a great investment, ranging from just £4.99 for a basic train, to several hundred for a great big track. And you don't have to get it all in one go like I did, It can be built up over years. You'll probably spend quite a few hours playing with it yourself!

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                                04.06.2001 12:56

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                                The Swiss really know how to make a durable, fun toy. The wooden toys are the best ones, making Brio trains a great investment. It attracts a broad age range of children. I started "building my collection" when my son was 18 months-old. When I brought home the basic set, my 12 year-old & 13 year-old niece & nephew always played with it. They pleaded with me to buy more pieces. Once a purchased a few more pieces, I would find my 10 year-old, 5 year-old & 3 1/2 year-old nieces & nephews arranging the track in amazing formations. Each child approached the track, engines & cars in a different manner. The older children tended to try to create different formations, using all of the 100 pieces. The younger children, including my son, liked to move the cars around the track. At 27 months, he will play with his trains for hours. He loves the Thomas characters, which we have been collecting. We have also incorporated the Thomas the Train books to give him an understanding of what function each character has & in time, I believe I will see, just as my friends have seen, him make the trains interact with one another to make the “trains run on time.” Brio trains will give you the highest rate return for your investment in a toy! It will provide entertainment & learning for the whole family.

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                            • Product Details

                              Brio's history began in 1884 with basket-maker Ivar Bengtsson. Today Brio is a global corporation, and the biggest in wooden toys. Every parent wants his or her child to have a happy childhood. The meaning of a "happy childhood" varies from family to family, and between cultures and over time. But there are still some common factors. Bringing up a child in a safe environment and providing the stimulation that develops the child's various needs are common denominators for all parents. BRIO sees it as its task to contribute to the child's development by offering good toys that stimulate the child through play. Thanks to in-depth know-how, Brio develops toys that always generate joy for the child, while satisfying the child's needs in various phases of development. Brio is a reliable partner for parents, a support.