Reviews - BRIO toys

We have reviewed a selection of toys which have been sent to us, as well as recommending some that have been a particular success at home. These will help you and your children to have fun together while they are learning. On this page, we have focused specifically on the wonderful range from BRIO - there are far more than just train sets to discover!


Brio Wooden Pram

This sturdy and attractive wooden doll's pram is very different to the conventional idea of a doll's pram, but that makes it much more versatile and gives plenty of opportunities for imaginative play for both boys and girls.This strong red doll's pram measures 34 x 26.2 x 45.7cm, and is suitable for ages 18 months and up. Of course, it is manufactured to BRIO's high standards and from FSC Certified wood; the pram is a really bright red, with red and white wheels and a natural and red wood handle. The handle can be put into different positions. It comes almost fully assembled - just one side of the handle needs fixing into position and you're ready to go. The pram trundles along very well - it's easy to push, even for small children, and remains very stable. It's strong enough to take out and about - perfect for a walk in the park, and very eye-catching with its unusual design. Most doll's prams are more suited to older children, so it's super to see this for younger ones. I foresee it being used to transport all manner of things apart from dolls! It's capacious and would make a great tidying-up toy - ask your little one to go round and fill it with all the little bits and pieces that are inevitably around at the end of the day, and make tidying up fun. Another good use would be as a shopping trolley - set up shop and invite the customers along, supplying them with their own trolley. It's a lovely way to encourage role play and imagination, and I think would be really good in pre-school settings, as well as at home.  The design encourages imaginative use, rather than pre-conceived ideas. Find out more about this lovely wooden pram and buy from BRIO here.


BRIO World - Police Station

The BRIO range is growing rapidly and they are producing some wonderful sets which will extend children's imaginative play - and they can be used alongside BRIO's classic train sets for added imaginative and role play value. The latest addition is this police station, and there's lots going on to keep children happily engaged. The police car can be driven up the ramp and directly into the station - and then there's a lift that goes up to the first floor where the prison cells are; this keeps those pesky prisoners away from everyone else! Once the prisoner (a suspicious looking character!) is safely in the cell, lock the grill gate. Then it's time to set off again in the police van, ready for the next job - and don't forget to set off the siren and lights so you get there as quickly as possible. The police van also has a magnetic coupling so it can be linked with other BRIO toys; there is so much play value here. This set is mainly plastic but you can be confident that the wood used is from FSC Certified wood; the quality of manufacturing is, as always, excellent. The set includes the Police Station, a ramp, a piece of track, a police van, and two Figures. It is suitable for ages 3 years and up. Find out more and buy direct from BRIO here.

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BRIO is far from being just about railways; they have a superb range of toys to encourage imaginative play on children of 18 months plus, and this Farm Set is one of them. Young children can enjoy a busy day with the farmer, as there are so many different parts to this set. With a little help from an adult to start with, children will soon be playing imagiinatively with the many components. They can help the farmer feed the animals with the hay bale; build the fences to keep the animals safe; tidy up with the wheelbarrow and spade. For even more play value, the set works really well with the other BRIO sets for this age group.  Once the end of the day arrives,  all the animals have to be put inside inside the barn and the doors closed. It's great to be able to pack all the contents away in the barn (although it would be even better if there was a back to the barn). The set includes 1 Barn, 1 Wheelbarrow, 1 Hay Bale, 1 Cow, 1 Horse, 1 Bucket, 1 Spade,  and 4 Fences as well as the barn, which has opening front doors and a small swing door. With so many items, there is plenty of scope for children to be imaginative and act out a variety of scenarios. The Item measures 30.5 x 16.3 x 19.5cm. Suitable for ages 18 Months and up - and I always like to see toys specifically for this age, as so much is available for either older or younger children. Of course, the whole set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards with the wooden parts from FSC Certified wood. The recommended price is £39.99 and you can purchase the set from BRIO here

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My First Take Along Set from BRIO

Here's a great chance for younger children to start on their BRIO journey - suitable for 18 months plus, this carry-along play set with bright colours is just perfect to be young one's new play companion. They can take it along when travelling or visiting and play wherever they want - or enjoy using it at home. Just open the bag, magnetically couple the engine and wagon together and drive the bell wagon down the track to the accompaniment of the bell chiming as you go - a great little extra little ones will love. This snazzy plastic case has the train and track inside and the set includes the Carry Case, 2 tracks (these are, of course, compatible with the rest of the BRIO sets), 2 ramps, an engine and a carriage. The track runs around the case, and then you attach the two wooden raised ramps and plastic end pieces. It's fun to use and really easy to tidy away and store; perfect ti encourage young ones to tidy up their toys! Young ones will welcome the opportunity to share with their older siblings whilst having a train perfectly suited to their age. Manufactured to BRIO's high standards, this is a good way to develop early role play and imaginative skills. Find out where to buy yours with BRIO's toy shop locator.

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BRIO Special Edition 2017 Train

Wow! This will make a fabulously stylish addition to any child's BRIO train set. It's a superbly made and decorated train and coal tender, made partly of FSC certified wood, embellished with bright red wheels, a black cowcatcher and snazzy gold extras which look super against the red and black. The piston wheels turn as the train travels along the track and the magnetic couplings mean that other BRIO carriages can be added. It will look good as part of any train set, but it does have a bit of a Wild West feel, which will be great to fit in with a themed set. The technical bit - The item measures 15 x 3.9 x 5cm, and is suitable for ages 3 years and up. THis is a special 2017 edition, so don't miss out on this super addition which will add a bit of class to your child's train set - it's definitely a collectable.

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BRIO Village Family House Playset

This is just one playset from the superb range that makes up BRIO's Village Family. This superb BRIO Family Home Playset means all the caharcters who play in the village cave a lovely house to go home to. This extensive set Includes 4x Figures, 2x Chairs, 1x Table, 1x Bed, 1x Toilet, 1x Bookshelf Block, 2x Kitchen Blocks, 1x Bench, 2x Fences, 1x Step, 3x Roofs, 11x Columns, 1x Ladder, 9x Panels and 6x Base Plates, giving plenty of flexibility for little ones to create their dream home - all the sets in the BRIO Village range are completely modular allowing young ones to build and rebuild the scenes in new and unique ways every time. Suitable for ages 3 Years and up, this set is, of course, manufactured to BRIO's high standards for complete toy safety, and from FSC Certified wood (some elements are sturdy safe plastic). It all feels really sturdy and will definitely be robust for hours and house of play and reconstruction. The parts fit together really well, making a strong construction for endless play... and then they come apart so a new design can be created. A great way to encourage children's problem-solving skills as they create their ideal home. It also encourages social skills (especially when children share the toy - or have their own set to add), as the realism and flexibility of the setting allows for all sorts of home role-play scenarios. You can buy the Family House set from BRIO here - and make sure you check out the extensive Village range here. I love the fact that this is such an extensive range - as the sets are suitable for children from ages 3 to 7, that could be presents sorted for quite a while to come! Endless possibilities in this stimulating and excellently designed set.



BRIO Village Modules: Family Home Expansion pack

This pack is a great way to encourage children to make their BRIO house really their own - all the extras give great scope for the imagination, encouraging them to make make their BRIO family home bigger or create their own unique layout. This expansion pack includes 2x Roofs, 1x Bench, 3x Columns, 5x Panels, 3x Base Plates, giving a great deal of scope for building in variations... or maybe an annexe to the house? This is just one part of BRIO Village, which is completely modular allowing children to build and rebuild the house in new and unique ways every time. With so many fresh approaches available, children will never get bored. Suitable for ages 3 years and up, this set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards and from FSC Certified wood with some plastic elements. It all sots together (and takes apart) really easily, even for little fingers, giving children a real sense of satisfaction as they create to their heart's content. This is a superb addition to the BRIO range, with all the high production values and educational aspects we expect from BRIO. Superb. Buy from BRIO.

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BRIO Rail & Road Travel Set

This is a great way to start a road/rail collection and also a super way to increase interest in an existing rail layout, by adding roads. Rail sets are a perfect way to encourage imaginative play as children set out the tracks and then make up all manner of scenarios. The inclusion of a roadway with this set really gives masses of scope for increased imaginative play, as passengers change for train to car; goods are transferred between the two and cars stop to let the train pass at the level crossing. Like all BRIO toys, the set is safe and durable and encourages children to imagine, to interact with one another, and to develop their fine motor skills. This set includes a bus/train station, 2 level crossings, 13 pieces of train track, 6 pieces of roadway, 2 off road ramps, 3 train carriages, 3 figures, a car, a bus, a suitcase, and a signpost.brio33
The inclusion of people immediately gives added play value, helps fine motor skills as the people are moved around the playset, and encourages conversation as children act out different happenings. All the vehicles have the classic BRIO magnetic couplings, allowing for easy connection to each other - and to all the other vehicles in BRIO's extensive range. When set up as recommended, the track layout measures 76 x 75cm. It is the compatibility across sets which makes BRIO sets such a good investment, as they can be added to to extend the original play value - every time you buy a new set of track, or a new vehicle, it generates refreshed interest in the whole set-up. And you will never be short of gift ideas! I really like the fact that there are roads as well as rail - an excellent way to increase play value and longevity. And longevity is built into BRIO, with their high production values which mean the toys are durable - perfect to hand on from one generation to another. This is another superb set and the combination of road and rail is a real winner. Do browse the BRIO site to see this and the rest of their wide range.

BRIO Farm Tractor Set

This is perfect to introduce younger children to the joys of BRIO - and older siblings will welcome it too, as it means their little brother or sister won't keep playing with their BRIO! This brightly coloured tractor comes with its own trailer, which can be unhooked, plus a driver and a horse who fits into the trailer. On the front of the tractor is an easy-to-grip red knob which steers the front wheels of the tractor, making it a good introduction to push toys with steering; it's a good way to develop manipulative skills and to learn about cause and effect. The tractor is a good size for young children, measuring 24.5 x 7.4 x 9.8cm and it is suitable for ages 18 months and up. Of course, it is made to BRIO's high standards and the wood used is FSC Certified wood ; the toy is partly wood, with the horse and man made of wood as is the front of the tractor. All the corners are gently rounded, there are no small pieces that could become detached, and it's all easy for little ones to use. The trailer couples to the tractor with an easy push- and the trailer has another coupling point at the back so that others in the same range can be attached, increasing the fun, and the play value. It is a good way to encourage imaginative play, as your child can make up imaginary scenarios - perhaps the horse is off to a horse show, or going out to pasture. A lovely first tractor - and good to see that BRIO are catering for the younger market.

BRIO Rescue Emergency Set

Wow! Any child that is given this fabulous set is going to be over the moon! It is absolutely fantastic, with so many play opportunities for children to enjoy. Come to the rescue in BRIO World - disaster has struck! The train has got stuck crossing the bridge - and that's just one possible scenario. Children's imaginations will be stimulated by all the pieces in this set and they will soon be making up their own stories, and acting them out, perhaps with some of their other BRIO toys as well, because the whole range is compatible. The set includes 30 pieces - the fire station with fold-up door, well equipped with a fire engine and wagon and two firefighters; the fire engine even has a siren for more realistic and exciting play and the fire tender has a swivelling ladder. There's a fire to put out, of course. Then the scene can be set with the 12 pieces of track, level crossing, bridge (plus rock supports) and ramp; the lumber truck and accessories, plus two trees. The set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards; the wood is FSC Certified wood and the plastic is of high quality. The attention to detail is excellent, especially on the vehicles and characters. A set like this gives children so much scope to use their imagination, and the theme of rescue is a great prompt to act out all sorts of situations - and maybe to introduce some discussion about safety too! The vehicles all feature the classic BRIO magnetic couplings allowing for easy connection to each other - and to all the other BRIO vehicles. Buy the set direct from BRIO - and make sure you browse around the site at the same time - there are other rescue sets. My favourite thing about BRIO is the fact that every time you add a new set, it refreshes the whole BRIO collection and as children's collections grow, the play value just increases. Railways are timeless toys - they offer so much play value, encouraging imagination, role play, co-operation, stimulating conversation and developing motor skills.
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