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Good quality Brio substitute?

(33 Posts)
justwanttoweeinpeace Mon 14-Nov-16 17:06:10

DS has a Brio train set. He wants more for Xmas. Before I go out and sell the car to pay for it, could anyone recommend a good Brio compatable alternative?

I'm not buying another thing from Thomas and Friends, it's terrible quality and I'm sick of throwing broken trains and bits of plastic out.


HelenaJustina Mon 14-Nov-16 17:10:13

We like BigJigs, they do some great tunnels etc but although they are boring make sure you get enough curve/straight bits to join the fun bits together!

HungryHorace Mon 14-Nov-16 17:10:19

Bigjigs track is great and compatible with Brio and a few others. 🚂🚂

HungryHorace Mon 14-Nov-16 17:10:54

Yeah. Agree re the straights. We've bought quite a few extras as they are never enough!

HungryHorace Mon 14-Nov-16 17:11:08

There, not they.

KP86 Mon 14-Nov-16 17:11:48

Most wooden sets are interchangeable, including cheaper ones KEA and Sainsburys, so if you're just looking for more track rather than all the extras, they might be an option?

justwanttoweeinpeace Mon 14-Nov-16 17:25:04

Think I'm looking for both fun stuff and the straight tracks.

comeagainforbigfudge Mon 14-Nov-16 17:31:39

Ive got wooden train stuff from john lewis that went down a treat with train obsessed child. Was a reasonable price too

CJCreggsGoldfish Mon 14-Nov-16 17:33:10

I got DS's brio train set from TK Maxx for a reasonable price, so worth keeping an eye out in there.

peppermac Mon 14-Nov-16 17:34:11


We have a Brio mad dc too!

Waggamamma Mon 14-Nov-16 17:35:05

Ikea and Tesco both compatible and good. Big jigs for more interesting pieces.

ChristmasSeacow Mon 14-Nov-16 17:54:24

We have a mix of brio, bigjigs and a brand called Toys for Play (rubbish name but good quality and some interesting pieces, like Bigjigs, and sold on amazon).

I would recommend against Ikea - while it is technically compatible the joining pieces are made of plastic inserts, not wood, and they can be quite stiff to put together with brio etc. DH and I can manage it but it's not fun, and DS got very frustrated because he couldn't do it. We've weeded it out now and stuck it in a cupboard, so it was a complete waste of money!

justwanttoweeinpeace Mon 14-Nov-16 18:03:43

Quick question - do all these brands do double sided track or single sided?

KP86 Mon 14-Nov-16 18:15:20

IKEA is double sided

Izzy82 Mon 14-Nov-16 18:45:18

Agree with pp, the IKEA stuff is pants. The plastic connectors are very stiff and my son gets very frustrated with it. It takes some force sometimes!
Toys r us do one- 'universe of imagination'

Kittykatmacbill Mon 14-Nov-16 19:52:21

We have a mixture of brio and lidl, it's really excellent stuff. Excitingly it's in store on the 17th i.e. Thursday, really worth checking out.


Compatable motorway

AmyAmoeba Mon 14-Nov-16 21:39:07

Never minded the ikea stuff in our house and it was handy being able to pop out the plastic connectors to make a double female section when we got into bigger take over the whole house tracks.

Hated the tesco stuff- very soft poor quality wood that splits easily.

Big jigs - excellent, particularly loved the bendy tracks

Lidl - love the road sets. They add a great new dimension to play.

justwanttoweeinpeace Mon 14-Nov-16 22:54:27

I'm going to need sell the car when it takes over the garage anyway aren't I?

JosephineMaynard Mon 14-Nov-16 23:06:08

Another vote for Bigjigs. They do double sided track. There's a lot of fun add ons you can buy with Bigjigs, plus packs of extra track.

Agree with pp that Ikea track doesn't fit well with Brio / Bigjigs. We found the Ikea stuff very stiff too when put with other track, hard for a small child to manage.

Tesco poor quality compared to Bigjigs and Brio.

It's worth keeping an eye out in TKMaxx, they often have cut price Brio stuff in around this time of year.

ChristmasSeacow Mon 14-Nov-16 23:08:14

All the brands I have ever bought are double sided for the curves, where the piece can be used on different sides to curve in different directions. I think the straight bits are not as there is no point, it doesn't add to the versatility. That's true for Brio and bigjigs anyway!

NapQueen Mon 14-Nov-16 23:10:11

Those Lidl ones look amazing!

ChristmasSeacow Mon 14-Nov-16 23:11:48

Ooh and yes to the bendy track, it's brilliant for those hard-to-connect closing of the loop!

timeisnotaline Tue 15-Nov-16 09:59:36

The George at Asda wooden train set looks great - is the track good quality?

FreeButtonBee Tue 15-Nov-16 10:06:03

Ebay! I've just got an 85 piece set for about £40, made up of one big set plus 5 or 6 xtra trains/buildings. I could afford new but actually it's basically indestructible so I'd rather save the cash for buying one or two extra trains that DS would really love

ethelb Wed 16-Nov-16 08:11:34

Lidl is doing some stuff from this week

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