Reviews - BRIO toys (page 2)

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 World - Travel Train

Time to set off on a journey! Place the driver in the engine compartment and the passenger in the carriage, using the lifting roofs on the engine and compartment spaces, and off you go. This toy train will complement any BRIO railway set, with its front, middle and rear carriages which can be magnetically coupled. The set includes two metro train engines and a metro train carriage, plus two poseable figures (watch their heads under some of the bridges!). The item measures 28.9 x 3.7 x 5cm and is suitable for ages 3 years and up (although we find younger ones love to play with BRIO too, with older siblings to help). As always this is manufactured to BRIO's high standards, made with good quality plastic. Children's imaginations and role play abilities will be engaged and enhanced as they act out scenarios while the driver takes his passenger along the track to stop at stations on the way - maybe the people can change with others from BRIO waiting at the stations, or perhaps it's night-time; time for the driver to take the trains to an engine shed or train wash. So many possibilities. With its different look from other BRIO trains, this is another lovely addition to children's collections.



BRIO Rescue Firefighting Train

This is a great one for imaginative play and it really will stimulate children to act out different scenarios as the train rushes to the rescue - maybe there's a fire or perhaps a kitten needs rescuing from a trackside tree. The really neat feature about this particular set is that pressing a button on the top of the engines disconnects the two wagons so that the train can make a quick getaway and call for help. The set includes the engine, a hose trailer and a water tanker trailer. The ladder on the hose trailer swivels up and the hose can be retracted. Each element of the set is attractively and appropriately decorated. Parents will be pleased to know that neither this nor the Travel Train above need batteries - it seems that children get just as much fun from the manually pushed trains anyway, especially when lots of children are playing together. Lots of trains and carriages can be coupled together - all the BRIO trains and carriages come with magnetic couplings - and children love to see how many they can link together! With so many features for imaginative play, this train set is a great addition to the BRIO range.



BRIO World - Train Garage

Another lovely addition to our BRIO set! Now one of the trains can be safely tucked up at night, to add to the imaginative play opportunities of the train set. Complete with its own integral rail track, trains can be smoothly shunted off for the night or when rush hour is over, waiting to be called for duty again. The special feature of this is the sliding plastic garage door which can be opened and closed using the red knob on top of the garage, either closing one end, or opening the garage up completely so it can be used as a tunnel - a clever dual purpose. The garage is made from a combination of wood and plastic and is attractively painted with bricks and accessories on the outside. The plastic top incorporates cut-out windows and a vented roof for realism. All of the wood used to make BRIO toys are made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified sources. This means all the wood used at BRIO is traceable and that it originates from responsibly managed forests. It assures that the raw materials do not come from illegal logging sources. A sturdy well-made toy with rounded edges and complete safety for children. Another well thought-out product to add to the play value of BRIO, one which easily fits in with existing pieces.



BRIO World Remote Control Travel Train

Remote control trains are our young testers' very favourite among the trains - they allow them to make the best possible use of the very extensive tracks they create, and they have great fun manoeuvring around the other trains. So this lovely set is a wonderful addition to the BRIO range, that children will love for the way it enhances the play value of their wooden railway sets. Children can control the train just like a real driver, either by using the remote or using the buttons on top of the engine. They can actually make the train go back, stop, move forward, speed up and slow down - and use their judgement to get it to stop at just the right point on the station platform which is a good way to develop motor skills and coordination. With its sound and light effects, which are effective and appealing, this traditionally styled toy encourages imaginative and collaborative play, supporting children's  development. The pack includes the remote control, a play figure, train and carriage - these have BRIO's magnetic couplings so they can be attached to other trains and accessories. The remote needs to be pointed directly at the train, but that's a good learning curve for children and not a problem. This is an attractive set in bright white plastic with nicely curved edges and an opening roof to the carriage so a figure can be inserted.  The engine works really well, can cope with gentle inclines and goes at a decent speed. Our young testers especially liked the range of sounds and the option to use the remote or control the train directly;  there's an auto cut-off too - brilliant!  The fact that there are two channels means that two remote control trains can be used at once - a nice feature to top off a really good addition to BRIO's range.



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