K'nex Toys Review

After my last 2 K'nex reviews , I figure you guys all know by now that we're huge K'nex fans. You can read. You get it. We love K'nex.

So when K'nex sent me a bunch of their latest models to review, I told myself that I would NOT gush. I would not go on and on about how you can't have too big a collection of K'nex, how kids of both sexes and all ages can play with it, how it can entertain them for hours on end, how it pushes their creativity and building skills to the limit. I would not rave about how the rods and gears and wheels and tiny doo-dads combine to produce amazingly beautiful, sleek (not chunky and square) creations that are sturdy enough to play with (and I mean PLAY with -- K'nex creations really stand up to any amount of crashing, thumping and zooming that my little guys inflict on them!)

I lied.

In case you wondered, yes, The Pea loves K'nex too. Here's her latest creation: a Drop Zone tower for her Zhu Zhu Baby pets, complete with turnstile, safety cage and guard rails. How can you not love it?

I can't help it. I'll happily welcome more of the same K'nex we know and love, but this is all-new stuff. I've realized that there's a big hole in our K'nex collection, and these new sets have filled the void! K'nex has really opened up their product offerings by partnering with brands that kids know and love, to offer even more possibilities for character-based pretend play.

The Basics
Here's a rundown on the K'nex sets I was sent to review:

1) NASCAR race cars.
K'nex now has officially licensed NASCAR Building Sets, so kids can build and race their favorite racing cars, collect their favorite drivers and create an entire NASCAR® world. We received the 88 AMP Energy car, Office Max car and DuPont car.
2) OCC Bikes
K'nex fans can build and customize their very own Orange County Chopper bikes, just like the ones on the hit TV show. We received the Raptor Bike building set.
3) Multi-Model Building Sets
Specifically designed for kids ages 5-7, each Multi-model set centers around an exciting theme – Fire Rescue™, Hi-Flyers™, Revving Racers™ and Pirates – and includes super-cool new features such as a spring motor for movement and a K’NEXman figure! We received the Hi-Flyers set.
4) 350 Piece Value Tub
The K’NEX 350 Piece Value Tub is filled with loads of pieces and even more possibilities. Young builders can bring ideas to life using their imagination or follow the directions to build 20 suggested models. Ideal for afternoons inside, the 350 Piece Value Tub encourages open-ended building and after building play.

The Bongga
WOW. These new K'nex sets are so much fun! My boys' easy favorites were the NASCAR sets because they could race the cars after they built them. Each set has a tiny K'nex racecar driver figure representing the actual driver -- the 88 Amp car comes with Dale Jr., the DuPont car comes with Jeff Gordon, and the Office Max car comes with Tony Stewart, complete with stubble! The sets were challenging enough to keep them entertained, and they loved putting on the decals to make their cars look just like the actual NASCAR racing cars.

The OCC bike was sleek and beautiful, with special engine and seat pieces, as well as fat-boy tires that gave it a distinctive Orange County Chopper look. They're too big for a mini-figure to ride on (too bad, it would have been funny to see Paul Sr. immortalized in a K'nex mini-figure!) but we now have one very lucky Transformer robot who has a sweet new set of wheels: his own K'nex OCC bike!

The Multi-Model Hi-Flyer and 350-pc. Value Tub have been added to our humongous K'nex collection, and I say The More, The Merrier. I love how the Hi-Flyer has instructions for 10 different kinds of planes, so it never gets old!

Playing with K'nex always puts a smile on my kids' faces.

The Blah
The only thing I don't like about these brick-based K'nex sets is that they're not as sturdy as regular K'nex -- the brick connections are not as secure, and they seem to break apart much more easily.

The Bottom Line
I've said it once and I'll say it again: You can never have too many K'nex. It's a wonderful toy for any age and gender, and it will give your child hours of fun!

Disclosure: I received product samples from K'nex, but was not paid to review the product or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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