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K'Nex is a brilliant and creative construction toy aimed at all ages. They have a range of kits that will suit all ages. I would only recommend getting the larger kits with small parts at ages 10+ because they can be quite complex and time consuming. The first kit I ever owned had the parts and instructions to build many large motorised vehicles. I got it for my 8th birthday. Unfortunately it is now discontinued and I can't remember the name. It was very good value and I had hours of fun. From then on I did increasingly difficult projects and even designed my own Ferris wheel, which I was quite proud of. I gave it up in the end though as I just got bored and moved on to a different hobby, Which if you must know was a Hornby model railway.
If you can't decide which K'Nex kit to buy I would highly recommend the motorised, multi-model kits as you can build a range of different models obviously and the motor adds another fun dimension to your creations. You don't even have to stick to the instructions, just let your imagination take hold and build anything you want. The only limit being the amount of pieces you have. If you are thinking of buying this for a small child (5 and under) then I would recommend buying Lego as it is more easy to play with and will help develop your child's creativity. Trust me I was given Lego when I was little and am now studying for 2 GCSE's in engineering so exposing your child to things like these at a young age really can go a long way. My opinion on K'Nex is that it's a great project and young teenagers will love it, especially the roller coasters and giant models you can make. The last project I did was a really big roller coaster. It took me around 8 hours to construct it and the finished product was very satisfying and strong. The only problems I had were a few of the parts snapping during dismantling of it. But other than that it is really robust and strong. Its great for engineering projects as it can demonstrate the strengths of certain structures and things. It has lasted years and I would definitely recommend this as a Christmas present as a change from the mind numbing video games normally found on Santa's list.
I definitely recommend this as you will get hours out of it in construction and when you have finished and can play with the model you have made it is easy and simple to use as the parts just snap together and stay together with quite a firm grip.
K'nex is something which seems to come out in our house sporadically. It is a construction toy so is classed as "educational" in the same way that Lego is .
It is basically lots of different sized sticks which fit together using either straight connectors or wheell like peices so that either multiple joints and angled joints can be made as these "wheels" can slot together to make a 3 dimensional shape.
The instructions you get with the kits are pretty good and the peices are all colour-coded so you know you are looking for a purple piece or a white wheel.
The trouble is it is quite time consuming and sometimes interest is lost half way through making something. You can make some really big models - we have aset which makes a crane which is about 1.5m high, there are also some sets which willm ake big fairground wheels.
The big sets are not cheap(£80-£100) but as they bring out new sets fairly regualrly some of the older versions can be very heavily discounted in places like Toys R us - so there are bargains to be had.
They do a good cross section of sets which are designed for all ages and now they have brought out a version for even younger children.
It is also worth buying one of the starter kits so that different models can be made. A good investment toy which children and adults will keep coming back to.
K-NEX has currently taken over our house,with every spare minute making rescue axes,windmills,cars,planes,boats and a myriad of other weird and wonderful machines,monsters and whatever else my 8 and 6yr old daughters can imagine!
I bought my eldest a 425piece set and it sat on the shelf for six months!,until one rainy day it was reluctantly opened and BANG!! addiction was almost instant!
This is a clever construction toy with joining pieces and rods made of sturdy plastic(some are bendy) and cogs,wheels and plates depending on which set you buy.
So had to buy the youngest daughter a box and glad i did as the creations just get bigger and weirder the more that they use it.
Have got lego and playmobil stuff but this is the one as far as my kids are concerned,if you really want to see kids using their imagination and improving there problem solving skills,then buy them some K-NEX.The instructions are clear and easy to follow and done in levels to build confidence which they do very quickly.
Have had to extend sets already by buying bits and pieces from e-bay for fairly reasonable prices.
both my sets come from the entertainer and were about £15 each,dont be disapointed by the boxes not being full,as there is more than enough to keep young ones going,just be prepared fro the "can we have some more were building a castle/hospital/zoo/garage" you get the picture!
What is Knex?
Knex is a construction toy like Lego where your build an item with instructions. Children can start at the basic construction kits to the really advanced ones. Expect to pay very high for the advanced kits. Knex helps bring out the creative side and imagination in children as well as give them a sense of achievement.
Knex parts are quit small and different coloured to help when following the building instructions. Knex parts are made out of plastic.
Some of the items that you can build with knex are Ferris wheels, roller coasters, bridges, windmills, cars, bikes, Planes and so on.
Why do i rate Knex so high?
My son is 11 years old and has always been a child that's none stop on the go and could not sit still for 5 minutes. At the age of 8 we brought him a basic knex box with basic instructions, well he was just glued to the box, we never heard anything from him for days. All these new models were being built and taking over our house but who cares he was enjoying himself. A
As time went on we brought him more and out of the blue he would make these marvelous models without instructions. Christmas 2005 we brought him the knex roller coaster cost £50 but was well worth the money and it took him 8 hours to build, he ignored the rest of his pressies and just kept building.
My sons concentration level is now excellent he is very creative and great at science and technical stuff, i feel Knex played a good part in helping my son learn how to figure things out himself.
Where to buy knex from?
Yes you can by from most toy shops but they are quit expensive, hunt out car boots and charity shops. I brought 2 big box's of lego from a car-boot for £10 this included the motors which can be a bit pricey on there own. At a charity shop we brought the pin ball and another roller coaster for £15 both brought from a shop would have cost £80. So keep an eye out or why not place an advert in the local press that your looking for some, that's what my friend did and got herself a good bargain, with some sets thrown in free.
My daughter is 8 years old and loves doing Knex too so don't rule the girls out.
Having completed an opinion on LEGO. I showed the finished work to my daughters, who are teachers and use building sets such as LEGO on occasions in their lessons at school. After complimenting me on my spelling, they told me that although LEGO was a superior product for the very young, there was a better product in both educational and entertainment terms, for 6 year-olds and above. This product is called K’NEX, and I was invited to spend an afternoon having my grandsons teach me the intricacies of building with it. Well I have to admit, it is really great fun for adults as well as children. The pieces are designed to fit together in an altogether innovative way, that makes the construction of quite complex models possible. After a couple of hours, I was forced to agree that in many ways it was better and more adaptable than LEGO, and I decided to investigate both the origins and current projects of this building system. K’NEX was invented in the US by Joel Glickman. Apparently he was at a rather boring wedding and began tinkering with drinking straws. Such is the way of the truly inspired invention; no weeks of deep meditation followed by a leap from the bath and a cry of “eureka”, but a glass or two of bubbly and a slice of wedding cake, and your fortune is made. This fiddling with straws, led him to the basis of K’NEX, i.e. the “rod and connector” system. This was just the beginning. Soon wheels, pulleys and a gearing system were added to create vehicles, machinery and a myriad of other creations. As each new creation was completed, it was included into an instruction book, and included in every set manufactured. As time went by, colour palettes, designed to add realism to the models, were added. These even included chrome parts and wheels. The latest from K’NEX is the CyberK'NEX concept. This allows actions and even personalities to be downloaded from the Internet. <
br> The various sets are designed into age brackets. These are: Beginner (5-7); Intermediate (6-9) and advanced (7-100) The website is to be found at www.knex.co.uk and as one would expect with a forward-looking company such as K’NEX, the website is modern and fast. You are invited to join “Club K’nex” on the home page, and this gives access to member’s own work, sneak preview of new K’NEX innovations, expert advisory panel, ask the designer and competitions. The site is split into six main segments, and these are: •Games. A choice of seven, K’NEX related games to play, fun and fast loading. •Gallery. A selection of work sent in by members, and also new stuff designed by the K’NEX team. Looking for inspiration? Here is where you will find it. •Goodies. FREE Downloadable goodies such as screensavers, notepaper, cursors and wallpaper are here. KLIX orientated of course, but what else would you expect. •Toyshops There's only one thing better than virtual K'NEX and that's real K'NEX. Here you will find a list of toyshops, which are sorted by county, which stock the range of K'NEX. Checking your own local toyshop is also advised. Ordering online is also possible at www.funstore.co.uk. •News Details of the very latest projects in the world of K’NEX are found here. •Selector By using a drop-down selector, it is possible to search for the perfect model/building set. Just choose the type of model and the price range you're looking for and then press the Select Button. It can also be used to answer questions about your set, e.g. How many different cars can you make with your particular set? Which set do you need to make a powered windmill? Not earth-shattering to you or I possibly, but to inquisitive 7 year olds, probably vital information.
The cost of K’NEX is not prohibitive, as a basic building set costs less than £20 and the add-ons are only a pound or two. The more adventurous kits can cost £50 but this includes electric motors etc. So there you have it. LEGO versus K’NEX. No contest really as they both do sterling work in the entertainment and education of our children, If however I have to come down on one side or another, it would be K’NEX for children over the age of 6, but still LEGO for the teenies.
This is a toy for kids and adults alike, and dads get very absorbed with it. There are lots of different sized sets available, and they cost between £3.00 and £100. Before you buy though, it is a good idea to invest in a big plastic toolbox for storage, as you can be sure that once you`ve bought one set it won`t be long before you want more. K`nex are lots of different coloured plastic pieces that are joined together to make models. They work on the same basis as lego, but k`nex is much more versatile. Each of the larger sets comprises of 7 different coloured rods, varying in length from 1½cm to 19 cm. There are also many different sized pieces called connectors, as well as tyres, hub caps and pulleys. All these pieces either just slot into each other or snap together. All the parts are colour coded and each piece has it`s own colour, this makes following the instruction diagrams relatively simple. Although once you get onto the larger models they can get a bit tricky. Don`t be deceived into thinking, that because the pieces are so small they won`t take up a lot of room, because there is no limit to how big you make your models once your imagination starts running away. My husband once spent 3 days trying to find out how big he could build a ferris wheel, and once it was finished it was half the length of my big rug and about 6ft high. Each set comes with it`s own instruction booklet. These aren`t written instructions though, but picture diagrams, so when you get onto the more complex models, you really need an eye for detail. There is a vast range of models you can build, including cars, planes, tractors, helicopters, bikes, boats and many, many more. The basic set includes some simple flat models that even my 4yr old can do, but apart from these, most children won`t be able to follow the diagrams until the age of 7 or 8. The larger sets include motors, which run on 2 AA batteries, or rubber band power, you can
have loads of fun with these. There is also a new robot set out now that has programmed chip units, lights, sound and a remote control as well as lots of other special features. Guess what`s going to be on the christmas list this year! The really small sets only use about twenty pieces, and these build simple models such as dinosaurs, spiders and little cars and trucks. There is also a set that builds little men to sit inside your bigger models. There are no hard and fast rules to k`nex, you can either follow the instructions, or just use your imagination and make it up as you go along. If you want to see some creations made by other kids, then check out these 2 websites. 1. www.knex.com 2. www.knex.co.uk Here you`ll find screensavers and notepaper to download, also a gallery of photos posted in by kids of stuff they have built themselves. If you think you can do better, then there`s the option to post your own photos. You can also check out all the sets that are available to buy, including prices, what the sets contain, and where you can buy them. There is a photo here of a tiger, built entirely using k`nex. It took 28,000 pieces to build it, and is 1.25 metres high. Personally, I haven`t got the patience to build something that big. If that`s still not enough, then you can join the k`nex club at the second site I`ve listed. It costs £6.99 inc. p&p, and you can get an application form by e-mailing the site. With this you get a k`nex funfax, divider pages and personal page, a bronze club badge, k`nex notepaper, membership card, sticker sheet, pen, special edition instructions and a personal copy of the latest k`nex brochure. You will also receive 4 editions of the k`nex club magazine each year. If you`re a true k`nex addict, then you can also buy watches, mousemats, bags, wallets, caps and t-shirts in the shop, all imprinted with the k`nex logo. On the side of each box of k`nex there are tokens to co
llect, these can be used to buy selected items from the shop. Even if you haven`t got kids, go buy a set now. You will have great fun. Sets are available from Argos, Index and most toy shops and supermarkets.
K'nex Roller Coaster A series of multi piece construction sets, consisting of a multitude of pieces, in this case nearly two and a half thousand of them. Ranging from obscure looking connectors to pretty unasuming little bits, that all fit together in a collosal amount of ways. I have no idea of the cost of this toy new, but we bought it with other sets for £30 out of the local paper. Designed for the older child (11 and over), this creation is going to need a lot of time, effort, patience and space to put together, (not that I have much of any). We have made it a family mission to complete it within a reasonable amount of time. This masterpiece will stand over 3 ft high on completion and has 26ft of track. It does not currently have a motor, but I do see that may be a future acquisition. The Roller coaster is powered by a hand crank, which with the aid of a plastic chain drags the car to the top of the track, where in this case it hurtles down and follows the track around a spiral although this set is capable of making a loop the loop version with the same pieces. We bought this for our 9 year old for Christmas lasr year, as daddy was an engineer, and likes to still build things. We knew that this set was large, but we did not realise the magnitude of it. The set is colour coded with 7 different lengths of rods and 10 different connecting pieces ranging from tiny green pieces which resemble Barbie Christmas crackers, to long black 6 inch rods. The connectors allow the pieces to be joined in many ways, and angles fron 45 degrees right through to the scale can be achieved.. As the rods are flexible it is really quite easy to create most shapes and angles. The connectors however, are extremely stiff even after constant use, and I can vouch for the sorest thumbs right now. A little tip. Make as much as you can on a flat surface it makes popping the rods into the connectors much easier. Unlik
e Lego, the edges are actually quite smooth, so when you tread barefoot on it(Is that familiar!!)it is far less painful. The instructions for this model are a little confusing, (We managed to make the base for the loop the loop and tried to fit it onto the spiral version, believe me it does not work!!!.) Apart from the confusion, and the fact that they are massive, the instructions are really quite good when you understand how to use them. The disadvantage of such a huge project is the sheer amount of pieces involved. This project contains 2,400 pieces, 399..398.., you know how it goes. Fortunately when be bought this set it had another couple of sets in with it, so if we are missing pieces I think we will still be able to finish it. Along with the extra sets came a really good handbook with some ideas for extra models from the littlest bike to ferris wheels and roundabouts, all colourcoded, and all possible to make using just the book for instructions. So far it has kept us (Me and hubby LOL!!!)entertained for ages, I just hope we can summon the enthusiasm to rebuild the base before the kids destroy it, oops I mean play with it!! Overall this an excellent education toy, and the possibilities from such a vast set are as limitless as your childs imagination.. Sadly the cardboard box that it came in will not last long and I feel that a plastic stack and store box with a lid could have been supplied for very little extra by K'nex. I would certainly think that older kids anywhere would enjoy this construction set, not so sure about their parents though, it is rather of lot of pieces, and will need some supervision and assistance. **Update** We finally completed it on our third attempt, yes I did say our third. We made the loop the loop in the end. Told you the instructions were complicated. And....... all of the bits were there. phew!!!! Well worth the tim
e effort and energy of putting the damn thing together.
Knex is fantastic stuff. It lets your child construct things and have fun whilst at the same time developing dexterity and problem solving skills. Basically its one step up from lego - but thats a big step. There are numerous different sets you can buy which shown you how to use their peices to create a wide variety of things. The smaller ones do very little other than look nice but the larger sets can also be animated by using various motors, cogs, wheels etc. The set I am most familiar with is the 3ft ferris wheel set. This particular set allows your child to construct a theme park - well elements of it anyway. From the kit supplier you can build a ferris wheel, roller coaster and swing (although not at the same time) all of which can then be set in motion using the motor supplied. The effect is actually rather good and also rather large so forget it unless you have lots of space because after spending hours putting it up they are not going to want to pull it apart again immediately - so basically be prepared to give up your living room for a couple of days if they go for the big one. Knex is not suitable for younger children because of its smaller component parts. You get lots of different coloured rods with the knex kits which are snapped together to make the finished article, but the connecting bits are small enough for younger children to swallow and choke upon. I wouldn't recommend even having knex in the house if you have younger children - even if its meant for older children to play with because invariably the bits get left lying around and being multicoloured and jolly looking they will act as magnets to those you least want playing with them. I would say that it is suitable for children over the age of 7/8 because it is actaully quite difficult to build the things they suggest. The parts snap together neatly etc but the amount of time which needs to be spent and the detail to which the instructions must be followed rules
out younger users and older ones with little patience. So is it any good. Well at $50 for a glorified lego set it ought to be and indeed it is. You get a huge amount of Knex for your $50 (although its basically just extruded plastic), more than enough to keep the little monsters happy for a while although you will find the box gets lighter and lighter as bits lose themselves. If you can stand the thought of losing part of your home for a while and have children who you think could be quiet long enough and concentrate long enough to enjoy this then buy it. If not then you may be wasting your money.
I bought my daughter a knex set for Christmas. It has been one of my better decisions as a parent as it has kept me amused for hours. Recently, we bought her an additional set and I was pleasantly surprised to return home the other day to find a powered dinosaur lumbering its way towards me across the floor. It was so well designed that even the tail swung from side to side with every step. Cunning design is the key to knex. There are so many different ways you can join the same two pieces. This makes the possibilities endless. In this respect knex does encourage imaginative play whilst teaching some important lessons about what is possible in construction and engineering. There are of course instructions to follow if you wish to build one of the set models, but perhaps the most fun is to be had with experimentation. My only criticism of knex is that sometimes the pieces clip together a bit too strongly for little fingers. My daughter is 8 which admittedly is at the lower age range for this toy and she does struggle to separate some of the smaller bits. However, all the pieces are sturdy and you would struggle to break them even if you tried. In summary, this is an excellent product for fathers everywhere. You can be as simple or as complex in construction as you like. There are also some good options with power units as you can choose from battery or sola. Just make sure you give your children a chance and don't hog the toy to yourself all the time.
My son had his first knex kit two years ago - it was the roller coaster. I have to say that it took my husband and I a whole day to asssemble it and then it took up half of the living room! Our index fingers where also sore as there are some pieces (the yellow ones) that are very hard to slot in place. I therefore would not recommend this kit, although it was very impressive when completed. My son now uses this to make other projects such as cars, planes, roundabouts, in fact the only limitation is the childs' imagination. Being now the age of ten he is able to easily construct these things without having to ask for assistance, as he did when he was eight. I certainly would not reccomend this for anyone under the age of eight. The pieces do however, tend to get everywhere so I would suggest a large plastic tub in which to house them.
Knex are fiddly peices of plastic, designed purely to infuriate all mums, dads, grandparents etc. Seriously though, Knex are a similar idea to lego, but takes it that one stage further. They are basicaly all sorts of different pieces, that all fit together. You can buy them seperate, or in boxes, with a predetermined design. You get instructions inside, but don't expect it to pull any punches. My son had three for his birthday. His birthday was in May, and I have only just got round to doing the final one. The box set that we have done today, is a Jet fighter!! The end result is absolutely amazing, considering the only things you have, to put it together are small peices of plastic! I'm quite chuffed with the result. However, the box says it is for ages 5-8. Now my son is 6, and there is no way he could have done that. I struggled and I'm 24 LOL. The instructions are all pictorial, there are no written guidelines, you know such as, put A into slot B, whilst removing D from E etc. In some cases this is easy enough. You put together different 'parts' at a time, then you have to connect the main peices. This is where I had the most trouble, as by now I had quite a large main part, which I had to connect to another main part, and the diagrams were realy hard to make out. It ended up as a case of trial and error. Still, my son is now a happy owner of a Jet fighter, that took me three hours to make, and will probably take him about three minutes to break! These are brilliant, if your child is slightly older,a nd enjoys making things. The designs are really good and get more advanced depending on the age range. There is also a website to check out, so me and Thomas are just off now to see what goodies we can get!! I just hope he doesn't get anymore for Christmas!!! ARGHHHHHH www.knex.co.uk
Construction sets for ages 5 and upwards