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Plan City or Brio trains for 2.5yr old?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
People are starting to ask what ds would like for the holidays (already!) and I was thinking it would be nice to get him started on a type of toy that can be added on to in the coming years.

I am having trouble deciding between the Plan City and Brio trains. Ds loves trucks and cars and loves to play pretend (MIL has a little quilt with roads on it and she says he'll drive his cars and little people around on it for hours). He has a small set of those Brio toddler trains but the tracks really frustrate him and since the engines are battery powered he rarely pushes them by hand. Does anyone have the Plan City? Do your kids enjoy it or did it get old fast? Ditto for the trains. I just don't want to put a big chunk of money into a system that he'll get bored with or outgrow quickly. TIA!
post #2 of 10
We started Thomas (interchangeable with the brio i think?) when dd was about 2 (3 now) she loves it, plays with it about twice a week she would play more but we have no space to keep them out all the time here. We started with a small circle set and have slowly had 1 train or package of track added to it on b-days and christmas. Start small it can be hard for them to know how the tracks can fit together at first.

oops forgot to add my 7 almost 8 year old cousins still play with the thomas set they have.
post #3 of 10
My DS is a serious Thomas freak. He plays with Thomas every day. Sometimes on the track table in his bedroom and other times he'll bring the trains out into the living room and play with them. We bought him the table and several ttains on ebay when he was 18 months old. Got a really good deal on it. Daddy set it all up while he was at day care. That night after we had exchanged our Yule gifts we took him into his bedroom. His eyes got so big and he kept saying "Mine, All Mine." He has not lost interest in it yet. His favorite thing to do out of the house is to go to Barnes & Noble and play with their Thomas set up. Some days he will play with his cars, but mostly it's the trains. Sometimes he runs the cars on the train tracks. He does not have the battery operated ones. When he did have a couple he would still push them around the tracks. We just let the batteries die in them. He enjoys the wooden trains. Not all of the Brio trains are battery operated. Get him some of those.

post #4 of 10
I bought Plan Toys City Parking garage and gas station for my son's 2nd Bday. He adores it and so do all of his friends. Now we are looking into expanding it w/ more cars, fire station and airport. He has people,all sort of vehicles, trees, road and bridge system and plays w/ it daily. When he got it, he did not want to leave the house because of that toy! It is very well made and I do not regret $$ we put into it. PM me, if you would like, I can send you website, where we got ours from( pretty good deal).

I figured that we would get him nicer train set when he is older- kind of like something him and DH can work on and enjoy together...

Hope this helps!
post #5 of 10
My son really likes the wooden train sets too. We started with a inexpensive set from Target ($20, I think) and have added a few Thomas pieces here and there. Someone gave us a Thomas table that was being thrown out and it is great. The table lets him work on the track without sitting/standing on it. There are clips available that will hold the tracks together which helps with a toddler trying to use the tracks - and often knocking the entire thing over.

In terms of compatability, most wooden train sets (Target stuff, Ikea, Brio, Thomas and Friends, etc.) are compatible. I don't see much advantage to the really expensive tracks - the stuff from Target works fine and looks very similar. The cars and buildings and other accessories from Thomas are nicer than the inexpensive knock-offs. I just about hit the floor when I saw how much the Thomas pieces are. We are now waiting until x-mas to add a few new things. I did find that TJ Maxx sometimes has Thomas and friends accessories (train stuff, videos and DVDs, colorforms, etc.)

This is the website for the track clips and some free layout plans:

post #6 of 10
My almost 2.5 yo just LOVES his plan city!!!

His Grandmas give him new buildings, trucks, people, etc. for birthdays and Christmas. The set is easy to find on sale.

The set includes train tracks and roads to fit Thomas types of trains. So far ds has no interest in Thomas trains even though he does have a cheap IKEA train set that sits in a drawer in his truck table.

My vote would be to start with plan city and expand the set with Thomas trains if he shows interest later.
post #7 of 10
I would go for the Plan City, just because everywhere one goes (around here at least) you encounter those Thomas or Brio train sets. Toy store displays, pre-schools, other people's houses.... I feel like my son is getting his fill of that train table set-up without my having to buy it! But the Plan City is a little more original and I like that you can work all kinds of pretend play into the life of the town, it's not just move the trains around the track
post #8 of 10
Honestly, I think that you'll have a blast either way.

For DS's first Christmas (so he was almost 4 months, lol), the kids' big present was a Brio train set. We have added in the past four years and have a ton of tracks & trains now that are very well used.

I'd love the Plan City stuff, but just can't get started in something else (esp since we are apparently becoming a Playmobil family).

I might decide based on who you are asking to buy things for him and where they are willing to shop. I haven't seen a lot of Plan Toys in stores, but you can buy Brio/Thomas a lot of places. If it is people who are willing to shop online, it doesn't matter, but if it people who need to buy it from a B&M store, you might be better off with Brio/Thomas.
post #9 of 10
Plan City is made by Brio and therefore all interchangeable. Plan City is made from renewable rubberwood in Thailand. Also, The name trains by maple landmark also are interchangeable with Brio/Plan City. I know a lot about these brands, pls PL me if you would like any more information.
post #10 of 10
We started Brio trains last Christmas when Noah was 14mo. He was a little small for it, but already pulls out the bag with the trains in it and says 'choo choo' and can put tracks together and knows one side of the magnet doesn't work (nooo) and the other does (yes).

DH loves trains so this was a natural choice for us - I also like the 'puzzle' component of putting the tracks together.

I'm not expecting him to grow out of it since DH and I love to play with them!
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