March 30, 2009

BRIO On Swedish eBay: They Don't Make'em Like They Used To


And for a moment it looked like they may not make them at all anymore. But thanks to the excellent sleuthing of previous DT advertiser Christopher Robin of Our Children's Gorilla, we can enjoy a few sweet vintage BRIO toys from Tradera, the Swedish eBay affiliate. If you can figure out how to buy, pay for, and ship any of these, let me know. [And yes, you can wait until after you win the bidding.] UPDATE: Check out tips from Rebecca, a seasoned international trader on Tradera, in the comments.


First up is the awesomest--what else?--a three-piece wood train [above x2], but this one is big [30-36cm each], mostly unpainted, and finished with just enough metal trim to raise the hackles of even the sleepiest CPSC inspector.


Here are some classic Brio Tralaksakers, whatever those are. Aha, "wooden toys." Duh. Not quite three full sets, I think, more like 2.4, 2.5.


This BRIO Mec set is from the 60's, and it looks nice and playable, even though the condition's a little "skavda." Google didn't translate "skavda," but I like the sound of it just fine. Seems like a great word to start using as-is.


Hmm, interesting train, but it's looking a little skavda around the edges.

RELATED NEWS UPDATE: BRIO is not about to go bankrupt after all. The company announced that it had avoided its liquidity crisis through a capital infusion from owner Proventus and debt-to-preferred stock conversion that raises around 300 million kronor [$36 million]. Also, the company will split itself into two separate entities, BRIO Toy and BRIO Baby, and concentrate on the markets where it's strongest: i.e., in northern Europe.

Toymaker Brio wards off bankruptcy []


I buy on Tradera - it's not that difficult, though I know some German and can recognise similar looking words. First, of course, you have to register - so click on Bli medlem and fill in the boxes. Not all sellers ship outside Sweden - their auctions helpfully say, in English, 'Only buyers within Sweden or the Nordic countries'. Some who do ship outside Scandinavia say in their auctions, 'If you don't understand Swedish, please ask!'
As far as payment goes - some take Paypal, some Payson (which I'm not familiar with). A lot only take bank deposit (eg 'Betalning till mitt konto' or 'Överföring till bankkonto'). I can do that online if I have the bank sort code as well as account number, account name and SWIFT code - it does cost me AUS$20 per overseas transaction, and some sellers' banks also charge a processing fee (though I haven't worked out which). And the shipping - well, the seller works that out - I buy dolls house furniture, which is smaller than these toys, but it's not too expensive. (I've also bought a dolls house!)
But I would add, don't bid if you're not prepared to pay using the method the seller states, and to pay your bank's fees, and theirs, if there are any. Par for the course on ebay, obviously, but sometimes buyers don't expect the extra costs. I once emailed a seller asking if I could bid - she had previously listed as shipping overseas, but said that she had decided not to, as the only non-payers were from overseas. So expect higher shipping and some bank fees etc, and be prepared to pay them if you really want that rare toy!
(This has turned into a very long comment - I hope your 'let me know' request was genuine! and I hope this is some help.)

I have the same trains in a box in my basement, but they look like they've been through a lot more rough playing... anyone want them?

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