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Which wooden train sets are good (and cheaper than Brio!)

(13 Posts)
dancingwitch Mon 17-Nov-14 11:15:22

My parents have decided DC2 is having a wooden train set for Christmas. I'm not entirely sure it is going to be played with that much so don't want them to spend £££ on it. At the same time, I want the pieces to lie flat when put together so the trains run along it. Any suggestions? I think Lidl are doing their wooden toys this week. I am sure I have seen a cheap set in Tesco before and in IKEA.
Also, did your children play with it more when it was track & trains or did they prefer it once it had stations and all of those sorts of accessories?

zgaze Mon 17-Nov-14 11:21:42

The Tescos one is brilliant value for money as a starter kit, we started with that as a 1st birthday present. DS would sit for ages with one train and the bridge just rolling it down one side. Then over following birthdays and Xmas we added to it with nicer bits, the proper Thomas stations etc (cheap in TK Maxx if you get lucky) and it's still played with a lot now he's 5.5

pasbeaucoupdegendarme Mon 17-Nov-14 11:23:43

We have the ikea one at my parents' as they decided dd required one smile It's fine as far as I can see.

Unexpected Mon 17-Nov-14 11:24:06

Replied on your other thread but Lidl have one in this week which looks good.

Sootgremlin Mon 17-Nov-14 11:29:44

Did exactly the same as zgaze above. Paid about 12 for the basic one in Tesco (in fact free with clubcard vouchers!) and then grandparents added extra engines, bridges etc. These were from. Bigjigs and Brio and all fit nicely. He was 2.5, year later still gets played with a lot, but I usually have to suggest it and set it up.

I find it is actually better with a simple layout he can get his trains straight on, some of the bridges etc send the track in four different directions and then it takes too long to set up and he loses interest more quickly. It is good because it is easy to suggest others to add to without taking up a great deal more space. He gets more and more adept at setting it up himself as he gets older too, so see a few years in it yet.

NotMrsTumble Mon 17-Nov-14 11:33:20

Just been to lidl and bought theirs, lots of accessories too. All looks good and nice to have a road set too. Road set, train set garage and 3 sets of 3 vehicles for under £45 I think (but then I got carried away and bought wooden play food and other bits - most expensive lidl shop ever!)

TheBiggestDinosaur Mon 17-Nov-14 11:36:30

We have lots of track from various places - Brio, Universe of Imagination (the Toys R Us one), John Lewis, Tesco, Thomas and Friends.

I prefer the sort that is cut out all in one piece - some brands (I think Tesco is one) have a little peg that is stuck in one end, and they can get pulled out.

Mine particularly like tunnels and bridges, and building a ludicrously long train with lots and lots of trucks.

We have some Thomas Wooden train track, and it doesn't fit perfectly with the other track pieces - never had any problem with any other brand though. (on the other hand, the Thomas stuff has road markings on the reverse, which is quite fun)

jThompson Mon 17-Nov-14 11:46:36

We have some nice bits from tesco, a station, engine shed etc but I was not that impressed with their track. Spent a while with sandpaper as there were rough edges and the pieces didn't quite slot together.

I liked the toys r us one best. The basic set has a fairly solid bridge which was great when they were small, the ones involving support piece were a bit to easily knocked over.

They also had a pack of just track which had some small bits with two of the same connector which helped with some of the more complicated layouts.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Mon 17-Nov-14 13:06:37

Ours was a mix of Brio (bought secondhand), John Lewis and possibly Tesco. JL had a nice starter set I seem to remember.

I think you want a few interesting pieces and then enough track to make different configurations. They were never very bothered about accessories that sat alongside the track, only the ones that made the tracks more interesting. Ramps and bridges are fun as the trains go much faster with the help of a little gravity grin

Ours got played with a lot.

Frogme Mon 17-Nov-14 14:34:50

Our tesco one was fine and looked good with the brio bits we had. It was a few years ago but didn't have the bits that pulled out, that was mentioned above.

StarSpotter Mon 17-Nov-14 16:20:00

Don't know if this is any help, but there are Brio sets in TK Maxx (and online) at the moment cheaper. I've got Ikea (that one has pegs), Tesco, Sainsburys etc. The track is mostly the same, so go for the cheaper. The Brio trains do last longer though - the ELC ones tend to look tatty fairly quickly.

fluzle Mon 17-Nov-14 17:19:06

We bought a Melissa and Doug set from Amazon for £50 - it is brilliant! Have had hours of fun with it already!

LovelyWeatherForDucks Mon 17-Nov-14 20:04:47

We have a mixture of Sainsburys, Brio and BigJigs - Brio is best quality but for basic tracks etc the other makes are just as good. I like the BigJigs things - its a good price and seems better quality than the supermarket ones, and not vastly more expensive. I found it cheaper to buy in local toyshops than via Amazon (my usual toy purchase portal!). I'm planning on building up our train set with supermarket 'basics' with a few of the more interesting bits (e.g. bridges, train shed, station, level crossings) by Brio or BigJigs. I've avoided Ikea as the joining pegs are plastic and don't look as a nice and I'm not sure they would work so well with the other bits we already have.

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