Train set compatibility? M&D, Plan & Brio - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 09-15-2009, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can anyone tell me if these 3 are all compatible/interchangeable?

Any feedback on one over the others?

M&D is the most affordable, but MIC. Plan is soooo responsible & eco smart/friendly but the train set is much more than M&D. But we have other Plan items & adore them. I don't know much about Brio other than they seem to be the high end in train sets?

TIA!!!

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#2 of 14 Old 09-16-2009, 01:35 AM
 
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Hi, I don't know about the M&D set (we've not been pleased with the quality of their stuff), but we have some Brio, some Plan (, and some Ikea train pieces/track and they all work together. The only issue is that the Brio/Plan train cars are too tall to fit under the bridge pieces that come with the Ikea trains, but that just adds an opportunity for creative engineering, most of the time.

We have about 80% Plan stuff, with about 10% Brio (mostly track pieces, one engine) and about 10% Ikea. I just remembered that we also have this other set, Nuchi, which I think was developed by someone who worked for Brio, maybe? Anyway, that was a really pricey splurge on the part of DH, but it fits with all the others, too.

ETA: I'm not a huge fan of Brio, since I believe that they had some trouble with recalls on their Thomas stuff, so I try to just stick to pieces of track where they're concerned.
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#3 of 14 Old 09-16-2009, 01:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ellairiesmom View Post
Can anyone tell me if these 3 are all compatible/interchangeable?

Any feedback on one over the others?

M&D is the most affordable, but MIC. Plan is soooo responsible & eco smart/friendly but the train set is much more than M&D. But we have other Plan items & adore them. I don't know much about Brio other than they seem to be the high end in train sets?

TIA!!!
M&D paint chips. Everything we have from them chipped. The only thing I like from them are their plastic crayons. Plus their wood stuff is from pine and gets bite marks in it.

I love Plan. I would go for the more expensive. I don't know if they're interchangeable.

Have you looked at the Ikea set?

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#4 of 14 Old 09-16-2009, 02:22 AM
 
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I can tell you the Melissa and Doug and the Ikea sets fit together.
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#5 of 14 Old 09-16-2009, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for responding!
I had read lots of posts on trains here & it sounds like most other trains are too tall for the Ikea set under/bridge section. We have an Ikea close so we will go check it out in person because of such a low price but I really, really like the idea of the Plan stuff & her having it forever. (we got another LO on the way too) DH's Dad will give a check for her bday next week & I wanted to have him "get" her something special with it & thought he would like it to be a train set. I think we can do the Plan RR Box thing with his check, but I just didn't want to get it & then not be able to expand it with other pieces or accessories since M&D is easily accessible to other family members.


Sidenote On M&D-
People tend to either love or hate M&D stuff. I would love it if it were Made in the US or somewhere other than China HOWEVER it is also very accessible for family members. Basically, then can go into their local store or the giants like TRU & pick it out instead of plastic. After DD 1st Bday last year (she got a lot of plastic crap that she didn't play with & no receipts) when my extended family did the big grab bag for Christmas (we do whole family on Christmas Day-it's up to about 30 adults & 12 kids-& the grab bag is a big deal), I said M&D play food since we were getting her a wood kitchen. It was such a relief to at least get wooden food at least. Especially since my extended fam doesn't seem to do gift receipts.

I have called M&D about paint concerns & possible chipping. They were really great to deal with & did admit they had a batch that was not up to par & the situation was dealt with immediately (barium, I think). She told me that their 5 children actually play & test toys from every batch out of production?

They also said any item that chips can be mailed back & they will replace it. I am not having too much of a problem with chipping yet but have heard it happens often.

We do love their Arts/Crafts supplies.

Stephanie~hippie.gifwife to Dov, mama to Ella Irie (9/24/07) & Kaya Raine (2/1/10)~our vbac.gifbaby, born 45 hours after PROM!!!
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#6 of 14 Old 09-17-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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Good to know about M&D. I actually tossed the worst offender. I know that they are able to keep prices accessible by using cheaper wood (pine) and paint, though I am not too concerned about the paint content, per se, because I met someone who knew them personally and she said they went to China really often and on surprise visits.

But I have several things from them bought over a period of time that have chipped.

You get what you pay for is pretty much it. I think it's great that your family is willing to go for wooden toys that they normally don't look at. Good for them, how thoughtful and accommodating.

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#7 of 14 Old 09-17-2009, 06:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annalivia View Post
The only issue is that the Brio/Plan train cars are too tall to fit under the bridge pieces that come with the Ikea trains, but that just adds an opportunity for creative engineering, most of the time.
The Ikea bridges are way too short. That said, some of the Thomas pieces are too tall for our Brio bridges.

We have mostly Brio and un-branded train stuff, and it all works together.

Brio manufactures in China now.

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#8 of 14 Old 09-17-2009, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We ended up going with the Plan Railway Station set. I called them & they said all the other train stuff works with theirs. I love their wood & other toys, haven't had any issue with things holding up (keeping fingers crossed!)

http://www.mytoybox.com/PT621800.html

Amazon had it cheaper but this place had it for Free Shipping & would get it here in 5 days, in time for her birthday.

I like that it can all be put away back in the box. We will save up for the Plan Train Table for Christmas so for now, it won't stay out all the time. I just wish Plan Toys were more accessible. I called 20 (literally) local carriers & not one of them kept their train toys in stock & orders are done a certain day each month.

I think for Christmas, we will ask for the Eco City or another system to go with it from DH's Dad.

And since we already picked our family grab bag & whichever cousin gets DD will start asking for ideas soon, I think I could ask for a couple other pieces to go with the Plan system-there will be plenty of time to order online.

As for M&D, they aren't the best but I still feel they are better than plastic toys.

Thanks for all the feedback!!! Can't wait to play trains!

Stephanie~hippie.gifwife to Dov, mama to Ella Irie (9/24/07) & Kaya Raine (2/1/10)~our vbac.gifbaby, born 45 hours after PROM!!!
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#9 of 14 Old 09-17-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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We have the Plan City set and a year later it still looks new and DS loves it. We got lots of Thomas stuff from friends that shopped at Target or what not and it all fits with it.
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#10 of 14 Old 09-18-2009, 03:31 AM
 
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There's a seller on ebay that makes tracks that are interchangeable with Brio. The sets are surprisingly affordable. Of course, I don't recall the name now.

M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey

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#11 of 14 Old 09-18-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jenneology View Post
There's a seller on ebay that makes tracks that are interchangeable with Brio. The sets are surprisingly affordable. Of course, I don't recall the name now.
Please post if you remember. I would to buy tracks made in the US.

We have the Plan Toys set and it is really well made.

I fall into the "skeptical about M&D camp." I don't like it but we still have a fair amount. It isn't well made and it is MIC. Brio is supposed to be better made but also MIC.

I tried to expand our train set cheaply with some open stock M&D tracks at a local store but the tracks were pretty crummy and only about half the pieces fit together well. The others were super loose or way too tight. I can't speak to the sets but I was unimpressed. Also, I realized I wasn't saving much money because the open stock was pretty expensive.

The male ends are different from Plan Toys which has the more traditional shape but the piece I bought did fit.
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#12 of 14 Old 09-18-2009, 03:20 PM
 
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ETA: I'm not a huge fan of Brio, since I believe that they had some trouble with recalls on their Thomas stuff, so I try to just stick to pieces of track where they're concerned.

I'm pretty sure that Brio does NOT make the Thomas stuff. As a matter of fact, I'm almost positive I read something about Thomas affecting the sales of Brio trains in the US. I could be wrong but this was my understanding.

Personally, I can't stand all the commercialized licensed and highly marketed Thomas sets.

We have Brio and only Brio but the parts are compatible with all the other sets.

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#13 of 14 Old 10-12-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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Bumping to say that I finally found a source of open stock Plan Toys train track pieces. This is the only place I've ever seen that carried them...

www.cowandlizard.com
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#14 of 14 Old 01-24-2014, 07:04 AM
 
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Hi,

 

we have Eischhorn, Brio, Bigjigs, Ikea and Plantoys and all much together. However, I don't know how to get two rails of Plan toys to ones of others.

 

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