I know my K’Nex collection cannot rival that of some. The truth is I never purchased any for myself or my kids, and I never received any as gifts. But I did receive a desk from some friends which happened to have some K’Nex pieces floating around inside of it. I wasn’t really into them much at the time, so I quickly forgot they were there.
A few years ago I had an opportunity to play with a large K’Nex set, and although they impressed me as being a little more versatile than Tinker Toys, I still had no desire to play with them or purchase any. As my daughter grew older, construction toys began to become more important again. First Mega Blocks and Duplo, then Tinker Toys. It was what we played with when we played together. About 6 months ago, we introduced her to K’Nex, and suddenly I began to want to do more with them. Last month we built a Ferris Wheel using 1000 pieces! But that set is not ours, and we can only play with it once a month or so.
The Ferris Wheel was so much fun that I decided I would look for some K’Nex online. I had no idea how expensive these things are! It would be easy to spend over $100 just for a set to build that ferris wheel. E-Bay was not much help either; it seems there is a shortage of K’Nex in the world, and the auctions are going for very near new prices, but with outrageous shipping charges in the neighborhood of $30 for 1000 pieces.
Last week I was digging through one of the drawers for some shelf hangers when I came across the K’Nex again. It was like providence or serendipity. I was overjoyed, and immediately showed them to my family. My daughter was especially excited, and exclaimed “You already bought K’Nex?!?”
I sat right down and began building. With nothing but my imagination, I built model after model, switching the pieces around again and again as though I were trying madly to catch up on all the missed years of play I could have had. With each new creation, I paused only to snap a picture to capture it for posterity before moving on to the next.
Afterward, I occurred to me that others could benefit from the pictures, or would at least be inspired to try to build other things than what the instructions show.
So here at last is my K’Nex page, with some of my best K’Nex models. Be aware that not all of these use my entire K’Nex collection, but I usually try to use as much of it as possible. First is the refractive telescope.
If I had the shorter, green rod, I could build the reflective telescope, but that may just be a pipe dream; we’ll have to wait and see what happens on E-Bay. Anyway, below that is the gunner’s turret. This is part of a larger model of a B-1 bomber, which I cannot build at the same time as the turret, and it really doesn’t look much like a B-1 anyway so I didn’t include it here. Structurally these two look very similar, but i can see the differences, and with greater K’Nex experience, I’m sure you will too.
Next is the CN Tower, in Toronto. This is probably my most ambitious project to date, considering that the CN Tower was once the tallest building in the world, or so the Canadians tell me.
Next is a rather frivolous creation. This is a broken model of the backwards ‘R’ from the Toys ‘R’ Us sign. It’s broken partly because I am making a statement about how Toys ‘R’ Us has lost its way, and is no longer where I go for toys, and partly because I ran out of pieces to finish it.
Next we have Baby Alligator in the Water. This one is for my daughter who loves baby creatures of any kind. The cheery baby alligator is waiting patiently for a snack to munch on. I know real alligators don’t have eye lashes, but they make it looke even cuter, don’t they?
Next up is Lollipop Stuck in Sand. This is one of my favorites. It really is more a piece of art than a simple model. I get kind of choked up just looking at it. Very nostalgic.
Next is the Sundial. The awesome thing about this model is that it really works! You could tell time on this just as well as on a real sundial costing $10 or $15. This is truly an amazing model!
I just want to take a minute here to assure you that all these models are my own creations. I really have no instruction books or any K’Nex reference materials of any kind. I didn’t search for this stuff on the internet or anything like that either. And although these are all my creations, I am giving anyone free license to copy, alter or (not likely) improve these designs as they wish. Go nuts!
So, on with the show! Next up is a cool variation on the sundial. This one does a very good job of telling time mounted on a southern wall. And just like the previous model, this one also works just as well as the real thing! K’Nex truly are amazing!
Next is Sunrise. This one is tricky, as I used lighting to try to increase the effect, which as you can see cast a shadow of my ‘sun’ onto the table. I still think it looks cool though.
Next is sunset. I didn’t cheat on this one; I learned my lesson, and this is purely K’Nex. I like the ‘log’ in the foreground, but I think my sun needs to be closer to the horizon. Anyway, art imitates life, it doesn’t duplicate it.
Next we have a palm tree. I think this would be really neat to combine with the sunrise or the sunset, but hey, I would have to double the size of my collection. It’s not worth it, I mean do I really need to build that many things at once?
Next is the radio telescope. I worked on this one for a long time. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, but I just couldn’t get it to stand up. Finally I settled for what you see in the picture. I’m not satisfied with the results, but with limited resources and time I can’t complain. Besides, if I had an infinite supply of K’Nex, where would the challenge be? I could just build a real radio telescope.
My last model is kind of a closing statement; I hit a roadblock and began to see nothing but lollipops in the sand and wheels stuck in the mud. I was exhausted, I guess, so it was a good place to quit. I hope this page has been an inspiration to you as you seek to create new and exciting K’Nex models!
I can’t say for sure that the possibilities are infinite, but as you can see, they are limited only by your imagination, and maybe a little by how many K’Nex pieces you have.