Brio the premier Swedish toy company plans to celebrate its 130th birthday by paying homage to the benefits of play. They also plan to remind people that adults need to have a chance to play as well.
Deputy Managing Director of BRIO, Sophie Elvefors, explained that playing is the most important concept at the toy company as it has helped guide the development of the company and thus children in general for the past century. She added that their goal is to create toys that will be passed down from generation to generation so that they can enrich the lives of people and children.
The toy company has decided that instead of paying tribute to its most iconic toys over the past century such as the wooden railway and Labyrinth Game, it will continue to look to the future of play and inspire the idea of play in everyday life.
Around the world, there is a growing concern that play is not afforded the important and necessary role it should have in children’s upbringing. Research shows that children are given less and less opportunity to play freely and that families are spending less time with each other.
In November last year, the Cambridge researcher Dr. David Whitebread was awarded the BRIO prize for his report, “The Importance of Play”. This year, BRIO is continuing its work of introducing more play into people’s daily lives. In its campaign competition, “Liberate a Friend”, BRIO gives adults the chance to reawaken their inner child. The winner will be paid to take time off from work in order to be a child for a day.
“It’s a fun way for us to place the focus on something that we think is important. Free play is being given less and less of a role, despite the fact that we know that it is central to the development and creativity of both children and adults.”, says Sophie Elvefors.
The train that stops in every home
A child’s first BRIO toys are often inherited from their parents and they go on to create imaginative worlds by combining the older toys with new, more-modern BRIO products. During the past decade, BRIO has launched several innovative concepts. Modern monorail trains and aeroplanes now run along the same railway lines that Grandad played with as a child.
“We have put a lot of energy into raising the value of playing and expanding, for example, the Railway world. At the same time, we are doing this in a respectful way to ensure that the old and the new literally fit together”, says Michael Heun, Product Development Manager at BRIO.
BRIO’s 130 year history
BRIO was founded in 1884 in Osby, a small community in the south of Sweden. BRIO gained a reputation for making toys of high quality. As early as the 1940s, BRIO was appointed official supplier to the Swedish Royal Court, an honour the company retains to this day.
BRIO’s first global success, the Labyrinth game, came in 1946. This was a unique invention that was not only adored by children but was also used all over Europe in the rehabilitation of thousands of injured pilots, following the Second World War.
Since then, successes have followed one after the other. 1958 saw the launch of BRIO’s miniature railway, with tracks and bridges made of wood. The BRIO Railway with all of its components constitutes BRIO’s largest export.
“One of the keys to BRIO’s survival and growth during its 130-year history is that we always placed our focus on the child and the act of playing while, at the same time keepin pace with the times. BRIO’s history is an inherent part of the company’s identity and will be a strength as we look to the future”, says Sophie Elvefors.
Watch the campaign video below.