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My son just loves to build things and Lego and K'nex are amongst the things he plays with the most at home. When my friend asked what she could buy him for Christmas last year I had a look on the toys r us website and said that perhaps the K'nex collect and build corkscrew coaster would be a good buy as it was half price at the time and selling for £14.99. I had already ordered him a K'nex robot to build from the same range and so I thought it would be a big hit.
==What is it?==
The K'nex corkscrew coaster is like a boy's dream I think as it gives you the opportunity to build your own roller coaster structure which will actually be powered by a motor and will send a small cart around the track.
The front of the box shows an impressive picture of the corkscrew coaster built and you are made aware that the kit features a motor which will power your coaster. You are advised that the kit is suitable for children aged seven years and over and that the coaster when built will stand at an impressive 1.75ft.
There are two other sets available in the fairground type set and these arte the vertical viper coaster and the ferris wheel. All of the kits require two AA batteries for putting in the motor.
Those of you with wonderful memories may remember the review I did of the K'nex turbo moto bot which I also bought my son last Christmas and so you will be aware that whilst I am not the most technical person in the world after a good while and many stresses we managed to follow the instructions and build a functioning robot. This was not the case with this one and I will hopefully try to explain why as I go on with my review.
When we got all of the pieces out of the box we again sorted them all in to piles so that we would be able to find the piece we required and as there are 337 pieces I would advise that you make sure you have a good sized area in which to build because obviously the construction is quite big as well. We chose to build the structure on the floor in the lounge and this was sufficient for us.
When we came to open the instructions I have to say I immediately felt disheartened. With Lego products the instructions are taken step by step and are usually incredibly clear but every single K'nex structure I have had to build with my son has really difficult instructions to follow which are busy and to be honest it can be tricky to even see what has been added on from the following step sometimes! My son and I have become a bit more able at following these instructions after completing the robot but I do wonder how hard it can be just to make more clear instructions to be honest. There are 49 steps to complete to make this coaster and each of them could be so much more simply presented in my opinion.
As my son and I set off building the coaster things were fine but as time went on we both became frustrated by the unclear instructions which would often mean we put a piece facing the wrong way or something and then had a major battle to separate the pieces from then on! We must have been building for over an hour when my son was picked up by his Dad as he was going to a party at his Grannies and so I decided I would carry on building to complete the structure for when he got home. The thing is it didn't really work that way and when I did finish all of the steps in the instructions the coaster did not move around the track as it seemed the belt which would pull the coaster up was too tight. I took all of the pieces back down after I discovered that tweaking it here and there wouldn't work and set about building it again from the start only to find that the exact same thing happened again. At this point I have to say I wanted to smash the thing up but instead I just took it all back down and placed the pieces back in their organised piles as my mum was babysitting my son the next day whilst I was working and she is generally quite good at things like this so I left it all out for her. The thing is, I got home and she had the exact same problem as me and despite hours of faffing just couldn't get it right. My son's Dad had the same issue so there was a pattern developing here which I knew couldn't just be me now so I emailed K'nex to ask their advice and to basically say this is ridiculous. Their reply to me was simple....the structure DOES work, you must be doing something wrong. I found this totally ridiculous really as my friend paid £15 for this item and my son had a toy which was useless to him.
The real shame here is that K'nex do seem to make quality pieces which are brightly coloured but the whole farce when trying to build this one just makes me feel negative about the brand as a whole. There is no way in this world that a child aged seven years could get anywhere near completing this model on their own and my son is very able when it comes to building Lego and such like for children much older than this. I feel really let down by the K'nex brand I have to say that is has put me off purchasing other K'nex products even if I have seen one and thought my son would love it because I thought he would love this one but it doesn't work.
I cannot recommend this corkscrew coaster at all because it is sat in a box gathering dust and will no doubt have to be thrown away because it just is impossible to build it but should you want to buy one despite this review I can advise you can buy it for £15.99 from toys r us. I know that for some people this toy does work as I have seen the videos online but for us it didn't and three different adults tried to build the toy.
Thank you for reading my review!