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The search engine is rolling into the station

The search engine is rolling into the station

Brio NetworkHere’s a quandary. Your company produces an iconic children’s toy beloved by generations. But lately, it seems like everyone is knocking off your product, and sales have slowed. How do you update your product for the 21st century, to keep it fresh and relevant for today’s kids? Well, if you’re Brio, you take a huge risk. You move away from the choo-choo trains that have defined your brand, and instead reimagine the engines as the working force inside a computer network.

If it sounds weird, that’s because it is. But it’s also gutsy and very well-executed. This is the biggest product launch for Brio in twenty years, and there’s a lot riding on its success. They’ve developed a motley crew of little characters (networkers), who zoom around in funky vehicles delivering e-mail and fighting off nasty viruses. The e-mail messages contain an electronic chip that enables their contents to be read aloud by a mailbox unit.

All of the Network products are compatible with standard Brio track, and you only need to invest in a couple of key pieces to start experiencing this brave new world of wooden trains. Or whatever they are. For more information, don’t miss the outstanding Flash presentation on Brio’s website. It’s very cool.

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