27 July 2017

REVIEW: Kid K'Nex Budding Builders Set

Little finger-friendly

When we visited the K'Nex stand at the London Toy Fair 2017, we were introduced to a forthcoming line from the toy maker, designed for smaller hands and younger minds. Now, a few months later, the Kid K'Nex line is ready to ship and we've been playing around with the Budding Builders Set.

If you're unfamiliar with K'Nex, check out some of our other reviews of the sets designed for older children. In essence, the system comprises interlocking rods and hubs which connect in a variety of directions. We've had fun in the past making roller coasters and cars, and also blasters and a filming stage, but never actual characters. You know, with faces and that. That's because K'Nex has never been a building system that you go to make an organic and soft shape, but the Kid K'Nex range addresses that.

Using the same method of interlocking rods, this kiddified version of K'Nex uses larger, softer, rounder pieces, making those connections easier to achieve and the parts simper to handle. As well as modified versions of familiar K'Nex parts, there are also new pieces like eyes, feet, horns, ears, and wings, so kids can get busy and make a wacky character. The line is aimed squarely at children aged three to five.

The Kid K'Nex Budding Builders Set includes 100 of these new, larger parts, set in a tough storage case. The case is far bigger than the parts require, as it is also intended to store the kids' creations safely (and, as K'nex no doubt hope, more parts that you purchase separately). Along with the parts and box there is also an ideas sheet with 50 crazy creations to inspire the young 'uns and help explain how the different parts connect together.

Kid K'Nex on the left, regular K'Nex on the right

And that's it. No instructions, no building guides, and no pressure. Kids can dig in, find a few shapes they like, and see how they fit together. Whereas conventional K'Nex requires older kids to really think about what they are creating and how all the parts should go together (making it great for STEM learning), Kid K'Nex is much easier, as throwing together a person-shaped thing takes just a few seconds.

And we've really had some fun with it. The kids loved being able to build their own stuff without adult help (something they've always needed with 'grown up' K'Nex) and the adults liked looking at the crazy shit they made. Seriously, mental stuff was made at Test Pit Towers. Nightmarish stuff.

Chunky parts, soft-touch pieces, and lots of ideas bundled in with a storage box; the Kid K'Nex Budding Builders Set is perfect for budding builders.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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