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Changes to BRIO Distribution in the U.S.

Back in January of 2015, BRIO AB was acquired by The Ravensburger Group (Ravensburger is most widely known for its extensive line of jigsaw puzzles). At the time, BRIO did not have direct distribution in the United States, instead relying on Schylling Inc. to serve as a middleman. For those of us in the United States, there was nothing good about this arrangement: Schylling chose to import only part of BRIO's product line, updated their catalog annually while BRIO was introducing new products in both the fall and spring, and lagged the European markets by a year or more.

When Ravensburger acquired BRIO I was hopeful that this all of this would change. Ravensburger has had U.S. offices for decades, and could serve as the direct distributor for the BRIO line of toys. Sure enough, this appears to be what has happened: BRIO has been dropped from the 2016 Schylling catalogs, and U.S. retailers are seeing the current generation of BRIO Wooden Railway products. We still lag the European markets, but only by months instead of a full year.

I view this as a significant improvement. I'd rather see the U.S. get new products immediately, of course, but Schylling never was a very good middleman and I am happy to see them out of the picture.

Posted in Commentary.2 comments

Reader Comments

  • Fred Pelhay

    I'll just be happy when they start distributing the road tracks and crossings here.
    1
  • John M

    You used to be able to get individual road packs (straights, curves, and tees), but it appears that those have all been discontinued in favor of the the #33744 BRIO Road Expansion Pack (http://amzn.to/1r3kxVK) and the #33747 BRIO City Road Set http://amzn.to/1sNTnmP). It's not just the U.S. where they have been pulled: the products have been retired by BRIO. The road/track crossings also appear to have been retired, which means the only way to get them now is via remaining stock or starter sets.
    2

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