Under the motto "Brio World", we are presented with the Brio play world. Starting from the Brio Village with houses, school or playground - just like in real life - we move on to the various themed worlds. Horse farm, train station, police station or fire station - little by little you can bring the whole world into your child's room. Find out more in our video!
Simone Dericks: Hello Mr. Kornblum, I'm delighted to be here at Brio! Toys inspired by reality. Is that the slogan you represent? Sebastian Kornblum: Exactly, that's right. We have had the slogan Brio World for some time now. This means that we are still the classic railroad with many play worlds. We have the slogan Brio World to fill our play worlds with life. There are new play worlds that we have been building up for years. This is the Brio World I mentioned. We've set everything up nicely here, just as you would in a very large children's room. This is the Brio Village. The Brio figures live there, there's a house, an ice cream parlor, there's a school, a playground. After all, the figures have to do something, they have to live somewhere and when they go on their adventures they have to come back in the evening, of course. Simone Dericks: Yes, there really are no limits to the imagination. The children can keep themselves busy for hours.
Sebastian Kornblum: Exactly. And the next day, of course, there are more exciting adventures, for example at the horse farm or on the farm, or you can go to the station and take the next train. There's a big fire station over there. That means we not only have the police but also the fire department. You can have lots of adventures with lots of action and lots of play value, with lots of trains, battery trains and normal trains, helicopters, figures and everything you practically need to have a great time. Of course, we are not a company that depicts fantasy themes, but we concentrate on what children of that age find great. For the young target group, it is simply the classic theme worlds such as fire department and police and we will continue to expand this in the future. Of course, we also pay attention to what the children want. Of course, we also test the children, ask them and always get their feedback. We have a very innovative product development department based in Malmö. The colleagues there all have large families and between 2 and 3 children. It is of course important to have direct feedback from the target group. Simone Dericks: The Brio company has been around for a very, very long time. Sebastian Kornblum: It is now over 130 years old. The company is one of the best-known brands, if not the best-known brand in Sweden. We have been active in Germany for many years and are of course also synonymous with wooden trains.
Simone Dericks: Back to this great new police station. We have the garage here? Sebastian Kornblum: Exactly, it's a small police station, which is always very important for us, of course, is the connection to the rail. This means that I can set up the track here and then have the option of driving out of the police station with the police vehicle and driving on the track, for example, just like the children play, we also have roads, but the children play as they please. We have the police vehicle with lights and sound. On the other side we have the helicopter, because if the crook has stolen the gold, the police have to get it back. Of course, the best way to do this is with the helicopter, which can transport the gold and then bring it back. Simone Dericks: And the policeman sits in the front... Sebastian Kornblum: The policeman is a very important identification figure, which the children also need, of course. That is, of course, one of the identification figures in general. Simone Dericks: It also appeals to almost all the senses. With the sound, with the light,... Sebastian Kornblum: And it's also important that we open up in this area, because it's not just something that parents expect, but above all the children. To keep our toys interesting! Simone Dericks: So that means opening up to technology or developments in the digital age? Sebastian Kornblum: That's correct, they go hand in hand. We are of course happy to see that haptic toys are still growing on the market, as all the market data tells us. On the other hand, we also know that it is important to move with the times. Of course, light and sound is just one component; we also have a train that can be controlled via an app. And from fall 2017, we will have a completely new product concept on offer that we call Smart Tech, which implements technology in a very playful way. Simone Dericks: Let's take a walk over.
Sebastian Kornblum: That's what we call Smart Tech. As the name suggests, it contains technology. But what's important for our target group is that it's easy to understand. That a child aged 3 can actually play with it. And above all, that the parents are not afraid to buy the toy. The core component is an intelligent train, hence the name Smart. What we have built here consists of a total of 3 items, for the sake of clarity we have simply put it together. I'll show you the car wash, because if the train is dirty it has to be washed at some point. The train goes into the washing system, the nozzles move, it is washed and of course it is rinsed afterwards. Simone Dericks: So here, too, we have incorporated the theme in a very realistic yet playful way and have now also incorporated slight technical aspects. Sebastian Kornblum: That's correct, yes. But technology in such a way that children can really use it. And one of the main components of the business are the so-called action tunnels. Of course we know that children shouldn't play statically, in most cases they don't. The Brio train is a very lively toy. That means you are constantly building new tracks and changing the tracks. And the concept is such that the train not only reacts to the washing system, but an RFID chip is built into the train.
Sounds complicated but is actually quite simple, the chip reacts either to the washing system in this case or to the action tunnels, which the children can place freely on the tracks. The train drives straight ahead and if the child places the tunnel on the track, the train recognizes that it is driving through a reverse tunnel and then drives back again. There are various other tunnels. There's a tunnel that switches on the light on a train or a tunnel that makes the train stop and so we try to keep playing interesting for the children. The great thing is that these products can of course be incorporated into the entire Brio range. Many children already have a Brio world at home, many themed areas, and this is now an addition and not an independent play concept. Simone Dericks: That's great, so that those who are not yet so technical can incorporate it and the toy grows with the child, so to speak. Sebastian Kornblum: Right, exactly. There is a train. A starter set. I can buy the intelligent train with 2 of the tunnels. It is possible to use these tunnels in the normal Brio range and if the child enjoys it, you can buy the car wash as well. You can also buy the car wash as a normal single item. I can pull any sliding locomotive through it and it's just as much of a fun play experience and it's much more fun when the technology is included, of course.
Simone Dericks: I also think it's great where the development of Brio is going. It's 2017 now, and there will also be a toy fair in 2018. Are there any things you are already working on that you say will be there next year? Can you say that? Sebastian Kornblum: Yes, of course I'm involved in the product development process, but unfortunately it's always a secret, so I'll have to put you off until next year. There will of course continue to be exciting new things from Brio next year and we will remain in the realistic range. We will continue to offer children toys from worlds they know, that is what we are working on. Just like the Brio slogan says, Never stop playing! Simone Dericks: Thank you very much for the interview and I wish you a successful trade fair here in Nuremberg.