Monday 4 November 2013

Brio Remote Control Railway Set review for The Toadstool

Our latest review for The Toadstool Online Toy Shop is a real classic. We've been sent the Brio Remote Control Railway set. Whenever you think of toy trains it's almost impossible not to consider Brio. All of my children have at some point received at least one Brio set, and fortunately some was not given away between having the bigger lot and the two little ones, so we've enough to make an impressive layout now.

We've been sent the Brio Remote Control Railway Set and the Brio Clever Crane Wagon to review. Our review for the Clever Crane Wagon is here.

The Brio Remote Control Railway Set

Everything is neatly packaged in the box, and there are no small parts, so there's no worries about losing anything before you start.

There are various bits of track , a road sign, a traffic light with moving parts, the remote control and the train itself with 2 carriages.

The track makes a good sized layout with plenty of scope for play and is fantastic quality with completely smooth edges and lovely wooden parts.

The train looks gorgeous. It has 2 trucks, one which can carry the canisters of liquid rolling stock and one which has what looks like a cement mixer on the back. The mixer turns as the train wheels turn, which delighted my boys.

I love the attention to detail. The engine and one set of wheels on the mixer truck have chunky grippy tyres and the train doesn't slip at all, nor does the mixer stop mixing!

The remote control is infra-red, so the controller needs to be able to 'see' the train in much the same way as a TV remote needs to 'see' the TV. It's incredibly simple and intuitive to use and my boys needed no tuition at all, they both got the hang of it instantly.

Here's our video of the train in action, with boy no.3 (age 5) talking you through it...

There is a track piece with a large storage silo and there are also 2 smaller canisters that form rolling stock for the train, but we aren't told what is in them, so this leaves loads of scope for different role play and encouraging the imagination.

The set includes a traffic light which you can move to show red or green and a 'caution' sign. I'm incredibly impressed with the sign as we've had literally hundreds of road and trackside signs over the years and they've nearly all been trodden on and snapped. This one is rubber and bends, so not only won't it hurt when someone treads or sits on it, but it shouldn't break during normal use.

My boys love this set and have played trains non-stop since they opened it on Saturday morning. They have created long and complicated storylines around what is in the tanks and where the train is going.

We brought out the rest of the track and my 15 year old spent hours with them designing layouts and playing with the Remote Control Train...I don't think you ever really grow out of train sets...

The Remote Control Railway Set has a suggested age range of 3+ and I think that's right although I believe it to be better for 4+. My youngest child is 3 years 8 months and while he can manage the controls just fine, I've always found that at times younger ones mess about and find fun in setting powered vehicles off across the room randomly without even paying any attention or letting them run off the table. It's annoying at best, uses up the batteries to no end and abuses the toy. My 5 year old is well past that stage and carefully makes a track before he even thinks of starting the engine.

This is a really good starter set because it has a full track and loads of scope, and you have plenty to fire the imagination. Train sets are brilliant for hand-eye co-ordination, problem-solving and learning about friction, speed and how vehicles move. They're brilliant for making up stories and learning about the world and this one has everything to encourage a child to start thinking and asking questions.

This month sees the start of  ToadTest Parties (toy talk & reviews) and they're kicking off in style with Brio wooden train play.

Join in the conversation on Twitter (7th Nov), Facebook (12th Nov) and Google+ (18th Nov) from 8pm-9.30pm to learn more about Brio, read reviews of the Brio range, have your questions answered and even win prizes.

The Toadstool will have special offers on Brio railway throughout the party period 3-18 November.

I was sent the Brio Remote Control Railway Set for the purpose of review


  1. That looks great! I love the remote control aspect, although my son loves his train set sometimes he does get fed up pushing them around but I know he would love this!

    1. It does bring it back for children who've grown out of scooshing around on the floor chasing the carriages... :)

  2. This looks really cool! I was thinking the same, it would bring back more interest for those who are starting to grow out of it. Sadly Mr Z at times now thinks he is getting too old for the trains (he still plays it like every morning! but he says he's too old for thomas now) but he would love it with remote control. Would be good if you could buy the remote control trains seperately as we have loads of track already so just the extra remote control trains would be enough really

    1. We will be expanding the range with 'just remote control sets' soon, so the ones that come without the track. But for review purposes it is sometimes better to offer a stand alone version...

    2. I know, for reviews definitely better - but after watching I went to go look on the site if you have the trains on their own as it would be nice to buy, lemme know when you do get them in cos I quite fancy some :)

  3. That looks awesome!! Can I admit that I am a huge fan of train sets?! ;) x

  4. oh we love Brio. I'm quite sad now that Matti has outgrown his set. I might get it out and force him to play with it ;)

  5. This looks lovely Jenny, your son is great at explaining how it works too

    1. Thank you Mary! I didn't really prompt him - I just told him we have to tell everyone about everything it does that's special - I think the last 18 months of reviewing has worn off on him :D

  6. I love BRIO. This train set looks fab.


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