Brio news fall 2009

We knew Brio was not going on well, but this year some clever ideas are coming to their catalog:

- 5 new locomotives
- Electric locomotive: the classic green or red is redesigned, but in a gray and more realistic design
- Speedy bullet train train: a push along great locomotive, in the style of American locomotives
- Green freight locomotive : once again in the style of American locomotives
- bold switching engine: little engine pushing
- popup hood engine: a car where the hood
can be lifted

- 4 new cars, a "clever" crane wagon in fact two cars, one with a load with realistic design, a tank wagon, a timber wago, a coal wagon ... all very redesigned for more realism

What to deduce from those news? no new building, some round circuits with Disney characters, it reinvents without innovating because inovating is expensive ...

In addition, the American design clearly gives a good idea of the market for these new elements.

Currently, many european merchants offer their own range of alternatives, the strategy seems to keep Brio trains because this is the real added value identified to date at Brio ...

Brio networks is here !

As announces in a previous post, Brio launches a new range called "Brio Networks” based on the metaphors of heroes and villains, with for hero Emo and its email train and for villains the propagators of virus.

The concept is around a platform of email circulation with sound and light animations in a futuristic style in rupture with the traditional toy train. Each message has its own sound.

The central module is the box including a central post office, the Emo factor and its email train, the vehicle of the viruses, 5 unique messages, 14 wooden rails and a support of email sorting.

For the characters, the small creatures of the Brio Network includes for heroes: Emo, Dex and Para, for the villain ones: Turner, Lazie and Viro. Articulated and magnetized, these characters can adhere to the refrigerator for example and be positioned in each one of their vehicle. In each pack, a character is hidden for the greatest surprise of all!

There are no motorized elements in this new range. Rails and accessories are still compatible with the traditional railroad.

New: Video and goodies available on:

Brand compatibility

A lot of different brand distribute compatable items ... not too much...

Nearly all brands of wooden rails are compatable : the small slack from one rail to another make no problem... since they are designed in Europe. Chinese circuits are often of a poor quality (imperfect sandpapering, wood too light , magnets too weak).

That affects also the bests: the "my first electric railway" from Brio with a wagon does not pass above bridge 33351 which is very common in sets, some more grams in the front would have avoided that. There has been no answer from Brio to this problem so far... On the other hand, engines with two batteries does not show this problems...

If you experience other incompatibilities, please notify us !

New products for fall 2006

New items from Brio for 2006, announced on several web sites (US, UK, DE...) here are the news:

  • 33247 4 Wheel rechargeable engine
  • 33248 Rechargeable battery for 4 Wheel - red
  • 33249 8 Wheel rechargeable engine
  • 33250 Rechargeable battery for 8 Wheel - green
  • 33435 Cargo Express green with battery
  • 33760 Smart Track Set
  • 33769 Smart Track Wagon battery animated

The biggest news are the rechargeable and changeable batteries on one side, and on the other the Smart Track wagon.

Announced availability: Fall 2006

What can a 18 month child play with ?

Brio offers two circular circuits:
- 33700 My first railway train
- 33701 My first battery powered railway train

The most important questions is to choose or not to have a child start with a battery operated system or not...

The battery powered engine does not make special noise, cannot be run in push-along mode and must be stopped manually by pressing the button or the batteries will wear out...
Afterward, it is recommended to extend the circuit by adding a crossing or a bridge to make it a bit more attractive.

Begin at the beginning

The aim of this blog is to start a discussion on ta very interresting subject: the first train toy for children (18 months - 7 years).

This simple toy that can evolve along with the children is not very present in France, but very present in other countries.

A simple search on ebay with Brio keyword gives:

  • : 150 (half are only real used items)
  • : 1517
  • : 2174
  • 10000
UK has a culture of Thomas & Friends, train and vehicules with human like faces, along with books, magazines, movies... In UK, Thomas is mande and distributed by Early Learning Curve (ELC), which is relatively cheap. ELC provides a lot of buildings and elements that make the scenes more realistics, and a lot of trains and cabooses. Thomas & Friends is very popular among children. Big retail shops have their own brands (M&S, Tesco...) that are compatible with the reference standard (see below on Brio).

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