Our attributes for BRIO – TSS Business of the Month for January 2016

BRIO and Wood (a long time connection)

the osby horse
The Osby Horse

After moving to Osby, Southern Sweden in 1884 Ivar Bengtsson and wife, Sissa enjoyed continued success from selling woodchip baskets and other goods. They went on to produce their first wooden toy in 1907 (the Osby horse). After their three sons Viktor, Anton and Emil took up the reins, the toy manufacturing remained prominent. Later, once Anton’s son, Lennart Ivarsson became CEO, the company went international and BRIO was a top wooden toy manufacturer with a range which included the famous train sets. BRIO is still ever-present in the development of new wooden toys for children. Wood is natural, workable, clean, long lasting and tactile and BRIO makes the most of its qualities. Since 2014, all wooden toys have been made from traceable wood coming from responsibly managed forests

BRIO and Design (toy designs are timeless, uncomplicated and fun)

a Design meeting at BRIO Head Office, Sweden
Daniel Mauritzson (pictured right) BRIO Head Office, Sweden

Imaginative play and child development have always been and remain a key consideration in any design concept through to fruition. When asked how he knows a new toy will be compelling to children, ‎Senior Product Designer, Daniel Mauritzson says (and we quote from the websiteA crucial part of my job is to watch how children play, and to understand how children think and react. Therefore my colleagues and I spend a lot of time testing new toys by observing how children use them, and we try to learn from this before we complete a design. This is incredibly exciting because you are always surprised. Children’s imagination is a marvellous world.

BRIO and Education (the teaching and the learning happens more autonomously in play)

The very nature and make up of a BRIO toys means that Education happens naturally through play. When it comes to participating in imaginative play, a child’s learning style is not necessarily a top consideration. Toys made from wood has long been popular in early years education, vital even in some teachings. And for the educational benefits of the wider community 1984 saw BRIO open a toy museum inside its former warehouses in Osby . The museum is called the BRIO Lekoseum and it celebrates the company’s long heritage of craftsmanship and the product

BRIO and Imaginative Play/Learning through Play /Role Play

railway set
For BRIO, Play is vital. Play has developed BRIO as a company and as people for over thirteen decades. Play enriches lives, in childhood and beyond. BRIO says: ‘The day we stop playing is the day we stop developing. When we leave behind our inner child, we leave behind part of humanity’. BRIO believes very much in the concept that a successful toy is able to stimulate a child’s imagination.

BRIO and Child Development


BRIO toys aid children in their development in many ways which includes:

  • Physically: as toys like the Toddler Wobbler (see above) can help the child learn to walk and to stack and store things in
  • Emotionally and Socially: because in role play, for example, children can form bonds with others young or old
  • Intellectually: toys can be used at different intellectual levels as the child grows

The BRIO Company Set-Up Today

ravensburger BRIO Malmo
Ravensburger/BRIO Head Office in Malmö

BRIO´s product portfolio currently consists of numerous toys but also games for the whole family under the brand Alga. We know BRIO is not Sweden’s biggest brand by a long chalk, but it has been a Purveyor to the Royal Court of Sweden since the 1940s. Today, BRIO is owned by Ravensburger (another successful family business) and who are a leading manufacturer of puzzles, games and activity products in Europe, and a high ranking publisher of children’s and youth books in the German-speaking region. The head office is in Malmö, Sweden

BRIO AB is a global company, represented in over 20 countries, with Malmö an independent subsidiary, with subsidiaries in Germany, France and Japan too and distributors around the world


let toys be toys

To mark the retirement of the now late Lennart Ivarsson in 1990, the Lennart Ivarsson Foundation was established in recognition of his lifelong work at BRIO ABA. Every year, since 1992, the Lennart Ivarsson Scholarship awards the BRIO Prize. The aim of the BRIO Prize is to promote scientific research and development linked to children and toys. This scholarship is given either to a distinguished researcher or to a non-profit organization focusing on children and play.

Next month, on 3rd February, the organisation Let Toys Be Toys is to be awarded the BRIO Prize 2015 in recognition of their outstanding grass roots campaign. It is run by volunteers and to all intents and purposes is a pressure group designed to persuade retailers and toy manufacturers to stop categorising toys by gender. The prize will be awarded by the Lennart Ivarsson fund



4 thoughts on “Our attributes for BRIO – TSS Business of the Month for January 2016

  1. When I provided day care services Brio & Ravensburger were my go to choices for new games to replace the worn out hand me downs that I kept from my own childhood. I would never have replaced those games with any other company’s product.

    Liked by 1 person

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