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When my son was five he received the K'nex 400 piece tub and despite it saying suitable for children aged seven years and above on the box my Mum had bought him this box set after chatting to me about it and we both felt that as my son loved constructing things so much that it would be a good buy for him. Although my son was interested in the kit straight away I have to admit that it was a little too "old" for him at five years and it took him another year before he really got in to playing with the kit and as he has now had it for two years I feel it is about time I review it.
This k'nex set comes really well packed in my opinion and so it comes in a tough red coloured plastic box which features a lid made from the same material which clips on to the top of the box securely to keep the pieces inside. My son has been known to just throw things in toy boxes before now as I'm sure all children have and so it is good to know the lid isn't likely to come off if it has been attached properly. The box still looks new and I like that it is so hard wearing as I think this is the kind of toy that will last many years and be potentially passed through generations and so it needs to be something that will last. The box features pictures of some of the things that you can make using this set and tells us that it is suitable for ages seven plus and that there are 400 pieces in this value tub.
What actually shocked me with this toy first and foremost was just how tiny some of the pieces actually are in the kit and so whilst there are 400 pieces included it doesn't come close to even half filling the box that it comes in! In a way I like that we can add more pieces to the set and they will fit in this box but in another way I look at it and get that feeling where you open a bag of crisps to realise you've paid for a bag of air! I can see why this set wouldn't be suitable for younger children simply because of the small pieces posing a choking hazard but I also think that they would not have the fine motor skills and hand eye coordination required to really get some use out of this kit too.
Inside the kit there are lots of thin plastic rods, connecting cogs and pins, wheels, and bricks which all can be used to either create your own designs or one of the ones in the instruction book. The instruction booklet features plenty of ideas for things to build and now my son is seven he has the concentration to really sit and focus on building something wonderful and so he has made amusement style rides such as a ferris wheel as well as a ride which you could spin round and the "chairs" would flare out as they passed a certain point. These aren't the kinds of things you could build in five minutes and my son will sometimes sit and work on something for more than an hour and again this is why I think age is an important factor when playing with this toy. I do think my son has more patience with this product than I do though as I soon get frustrated when I can't find the piece that I need or if something doesn't look right for me.
What is useful is the pieces are coloured and each piece will have a colour and so my son knows if he needs a certain small connector to look for a purple piece in the tub or on the floor if he has tipped them all out and I do think this is helpful.
Although my son struggled with this toy initially and as such had very little interest in it over the past year he has really started to spend some real time with this toy and so I would be more than happy to look for other k'nex tubs such as this one to add to his collection because I do have to say I think it is a bit like Lego in that you can't really have too much of it. I would say this kit is best suited to children aged six or seven onwards but that they would have many years of play from it if they are keen constructors.
This set costs £30.00 on amazon currently and I do think it is worth the price despite the pieces being small as there is plenty of play in one of these tubs.
Thank you for reading my review!
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