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Brio Versus Bigjigs Railway Train Sets

Bigjigs Rail are often viewed as the second choice when it comes to wooden railway play sets. Here we myth bust about this quality UK brand and compare it against Brio.

At Timeless Toys, we stock Bigjigs Rail who currently produce an extensive railway collection of over 150 wooden railway pieces. Despite being a UK company with a reputation spanning 30 years, it is Brio's brand and legacy as one of the first companies to introduce train sets to the European market that prevails as the popular choice. I therefore wanted to share their similarities and differences and introduce you more to the quality brand that Bigjigs Rails is.

Bigjigs began in 1985 in a shed in Kent by husband and wife, Peter and Liz, both teachers. The company remains family owned and based in Folkstone where their office and warehouse are powered by 216 solar panels! Brio was founded in 1884 in Sweden and have produced railway toys since 1957. They are now owned by the reputable German brand Ravensburger.

Bigjigs trains, track and accessories are made from rubberwood sourced from managed forests. Whilst they have a few battery powered trains they have remained focused on wooden based track accessories and trains including a UK selection of Heritage trains, a nod to British history. In store we sell the Virgin Pendolino, the Sussex Bluebell steam train and the Flying Scotsman for example. They also produce many themed railway sets, trains and track accessories: Construction, Safari, Medieval, Dinosaur, Fairy, Pirate, Fire & Rescue, Farm and Christmas.

The biggest change Brio have undergone in their design over recent years is their departure from their traditional wooden roots that made them such a well-loved brand and a move to plastic trains and accessories, a response to more battery operated and USB powered trains in their collection and their introduction of SmartTech train sets which have automated features of sound, light and motion.

Below is the Farm Railway Set by both brands. Can you tell which is which?

Side by side the quality of Bigjigs Rail is as comparable as Brio, and it is impossible to distinguish between each railway track when it comes to quality, design detail and play value. What is now distinguishable is that Bigjigs Rail is predominantly wooden and battery free, whilst Brio are now predominantly plastic and automated. They both remain high quality innovative brands and choosing is more about your preference for design, automation and material used.

But if it is a wooden train set that you seek and one that relies less on lights, sound and batteries, Bigjigs Rail are now the better option and it is for this reason that we choose to stock them. By choosing Bigjigs Rail, you are still choosing a high quality well designed brand and what's more, there is an abundance of choice for track accessories and trains.

Check out Bigjigs Rail in store and on our website here:

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