Bye Bye to Brio

After carrying Brio Wooden Trains for the last 22 years, we have decided — with real regret — to drop the line.

Lots of reasons why, really. Brio’s market share, in our store, at least, has been eaten away at by the upstart Thomas the Tank Engine line of trains from RC2. We’re pretty sure that Brio essentially underestimated the impact that Thomas would have on the wooden train market worldwide — which Brio had basically owned for decades — and they were not successful in getting the license to produce Thomas-themed trains for the North American market.

So, Brio’s generic trains (no matter how well made) faced an increasingly uphill battle against the Thomas product, whose appeal was and is still reinforced daily by Thomas the Tank Engine animated television shows and movies. Furthermore, Brio’s trains are still made in Sweden, a high-cost manufacturing area, while the Thomas product is made in China.

So, we’re clearing out the Brio Wooden Rail products at 25% off. We won’t be ordering any more; when they’re gone, that’s it. It is fully (well, about 99%) compatible with Thomas, Imaginarium, or any other wooden rail system, and better made than most.

We’re sad to see it go.

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