What Are Trio Building Sets?
Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Back in 2009, Fisher Price developed a line of building toys - not really blocks in the traditional sense - that they dubbed Trio. They seem to have given them that name because almost every set includes 3 types of building pieces - bricks, sticks, and panels.
The line of Trio toys didn't last very long - only until about 2012 - but they developed a dedicated following among parents and grandparents who (like me) thought they were pretty interesting building sets.
One of the earliest general sets came in its own bin. The lid of the bin was itself a building piece! You could use it as a base plate (much like those found in LEGO sets) on which you could start constructing your creations.
As mentioned above, most sets include bricks, which are the "blocks" that many people think of, that have holes in most or all of their faces.
Into these holes you can plug the sticks and panels that make up the other two main types of pieces. The bricks themselves are either single cubes or multiples that make rectangular prisms and that snap together vertically.
As you can see in the picture above, a set often includes more than just bricks, sticks, and panels though.
This particular set has a car, a person, a tree, a propeller, and the upper part of a building. You can also see that the bricks and sticks come in various shapes and sizes. What's more difficult to tell is that the panels are often double-sided with a different picture on the reverse.
What Types of Trio Building Sets Are There?
There are several themes you can find throughout the Trio line. The three most common are Batman (and related Justice League or Super Friends characters), a medieval (castles, knights, and dragons) theme, and Hot Wheels race cars.
Other themes include animals, the farm, construction, rescue, transportation, undersea, Western, and general purpose.
You can find a page dedicated to each theme in a list below.
Each set originally came with an instruction booklet (much like a LEGO set) that gives step-by-step guidance for putting the pieces together "correctly". There are no text instructions - only pictures and arrows - so a youngster who can't read yet should be able to follow them with minimal help.
That said, a very young child may need an adult's help to snap the pieces together. Sometimes it takes a fair amount of strength to put a stick into a brick and make it stay. To a point, that's okay because it encourages parents (and grandparents) to play with their children (and grandchildren).
The recommended age for the majority of Trio sets in 4 to 9 years. A few sets go as low as 3 years.
In addition, there are a handful of sets called "Junior" which are intended for children as young as 1 year. These have larger pieces and vehicles.
What Trio Sets Are in Each Theme?
I have somewhat arbitrarily divided the Trio sets into themes as you can see in the list below. It's arbitrary, but it makes total sense.
Since there are less than 10 sets per theme (with the exception of Batman), I'll be giving you just one link to each themed page, as opposed to one link for each set. Sorry, you'll just have to scroll a little to get to each set once you get there - but you'd probably do that anyway, right?