The Awesome World of K’NEX looks at building sets from K’NEX.

KNEX 1K’NEX works a little different than Lego or other building sets, and we were able to test the pieces and assembly with two kids, ages six and eight. The K’NEX pieces as you can see from the pictures primarily consist of long rods and circular connectors. The result is that you can build very large sets with

Our progress after the first night, about halfway done.

Our progress after the first night, about halfway done.

fewer pieces, and the pieces do a great job staying together because the overall creation is very lightweight. When you do break a piece it is different than Legos, and other sets in that there is no type of chain reaction that causes more damage to your project. Fixes are quick, easy and usually isolated.

We started the Ferris Wheel assembly one night and finished it the next morning. Total assembly time was about two hours. The motor takes two AA batteries, but once everything’s set and going, this really is a fully functional Ferris Wheel that stands about two feet high.

Photo Aug 14, 4 06 54 PM

Our completed Ferris Wheel stands about 2 feet tall

The six and eight year old kids were able to do the assembly almost entirely on their own, even though the box says for ages 9+. I think the set is perfect for six year olds to do with a family member.  Even kids as old as 12-13 years old will find the set a lot of fun. There were 400 total pieces and much of the assembly was repetitive (“make eight of these rods”) so kids can get the hang of it very quickly.

As far as sturdiness, it is so lightweight you can easily pick up the whole Ferris Wheel and carry it around. Here’s a photo of our completed Ferris Wheel with some modifications the kids made on the riding cars.

The K’NEX Ferris Wheel can be purchased for around $60+ on Amazon, and one other bonus is that the instructions explain how to build two other amusement rides from the same pieces. So once you’ve completed the Ferris Wheel, you’re really just getting started.

Many of the other K’NEX sets are lower-priced, which opens up opportunities for a $20-$30 birthday gift, that we think any young builder would be thrilled to receive. Along these lines, we also had the chance to test out two sets from K’NEX’s “Beasts Alive” series including “Robo-Jaws” and “Robo-Croc,” both of which are around 150 pieces, and include motorized pieces that create biting like action that the kids loved.

K’NEX has grown substantially from its beginnings in 1992, and these newer sets are great additions to the ever growing product line.

— Andrew, Editor

Posted in Building, Learning