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K'Nex

American Toy Company

K'Nex logo.svg
TypeConstruction set
CountryUnited States
AvailabilityOctober&#;; 29&#;years ago&#;()–present
SloganImagine, Build, Play
Building Worlds Kids Love
The K'Nex Big Thing
Where Creativity Clicks
Official website

K'Nex is a construction toy system founded by Joel Glickman. It was first introduced in America in K'Nex is designed and produced by K'Nex Industries Inc. of Hatfield, Pennsylvania. K'Nex was purchased by Florida-based company Basic Fun! in [1]

The toy's building system consists of interlocking plastic rods, connectors, blocks, gears, wheels, and other components, which can be pieced together to form a wide variety of models, machines, and architectural structures. K'Nex is designed for older (5- to year-old) builders, although a larger-sized version, Kid K'Nex, is aimed towards younger children.

The toy has been released and marketed in various stores, as well as online websites. K'Nex has released various sets, educational kits, and models consisting of assorted parts, the last of which includes parts and instructions specifically packaged to be assembled into a specific model.

History[edit]

The concept behind K'Nex was originally conceived by Joel Glickman while attending a wedding. There, he started thinking of what he could do with his straw if he could connect it to other straws. He and his brother Bob Glickman discussed the idea and started the K'Nex company.[2] The original building system kept very closely to the idea that Joel Glickman had: basic rods and connectors which could be easily attached together to make various constructions. Other parts such as wheels and pulleys are also included to allow more flexibility in construction.[3] The first K'Nex Box was launched in the U.S. market in Original models with moving parts had a handcrank to make things move, but soon, gears and motors allowed models to move on their own.[4]

K'Nex made contacts at the four largest toy companies at the time: Hasbro, Mattel, Lego, and Tyco Toys, and all four turned K'Nex down. As a result of that, Joel Glickman made contacts that ultimately led to toy retailing giant Toys "R" Us, and the purchasing people there encouraged Joel to produce and sell K'Nex directly. The first shipment of K'Nex was made to Toys "R" Us in early October

Until , K'Nex did not make sets containing licensed brands (as Lego had with Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc.), but often based its sets around popular fads (such as mech warriors and RC cars). In , K'Nex broke from this trend and introduced a line of toys using the BattleTech/MechWarrior[5] label, and later launched the OCC (Orange County Chopper)[6] line of toys in and a line of Sesame Street[7] building sets in In , K'Nex released a brand of sets based on the monster truck live tour Monster Jam. Trucks released were Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, Monster Mutt, Blue Thunder, Avenger, El Toro Loco, Grave Digger the Legend, Son-Uva Digger, Advance Auto Parts Grinder, Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Air Force Afterburner, Mohawk Warrior and Captain's Curse (who was never released in the standard size). The trucks would be released in standard or mini size, and featured working suspension. Standard size trucks included a driver figure (most of which were cartoonish representations of actual drivers), and they would occasionally come in doubles. Mini sized trucks would come paired with another truck. The triangular boxes they came in could also be used as a ramp for the truck. The line was discontinued in In , K'Nex released a brand of Mario Kart Wii building sets with buildable karts and tracks as well as items and enemies from the series like Bullet Bills, Chain Chomps, Goombas, and many others. This set came with Mario, Luigi, Bowser, and Yoshi as the racers. Other licensed products that K'Nex has issued in recent years include Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoy, Angry Birds, KISS, The Beatles, Family Guy, and Monster Jam.

By , K'Nex was distributed in over 25 countries, including the United States.[8]

In , all of K'Nex's assets were purchased by Basic Fun!, a Florida-based toy company.[9][10] The acquisition was valued at around $21 million.[11][12]

Pieces[edit]

The basic K'Nex pieces used to make models include rods, connectors, and bricks. Basic K'Nex pieces are made out of polyoxymethylene plastic.[13]

  • K'Nex rods come in a range of lengths. The shortest rod length allows connectors to be immediately adjacent. When the additional length of connectors is taken into account, the ratio between successive lengths of rods is &#;2.[14] This simplifies the construction of right-angleisoscelestriangles, and these triangles provide structural strength in models. Most types of K'Nex rods are only slightly flexible, but there are extra rigid and very flexible versions of some of the longer rods.[15]
  • K'Nex connectors also come in a range of types, each having a different number of slots. They can link the rods together in different ways. The first way is to insert the end of a rod into a slot on the connector, where it snaps firmly into place. Rods connect at angles which are multiples of 45 degrees. The second method is to snap the rod into one of the connector slots perpendicular to first method. The rods cannot rotate and will not move without deliberate force. The third way is to slip the rod through a round hole in the connector. The rod can slide and rotate freely while in the hole.
  • K'Nex bricks were added to K'Nex sets in as part of the 15th anniversary of the brand. Consisting of post-and-stud connecting blocks and plates similar to Lego and other compatible brands, K'Nex blocks also have holes between the studs where K'Nex rods can be inserted.

There are several other K'Nex pieces, such as wheels, pulleys, and other simple machines. There are also various motors that can make the models move.[16]

Use[edit]

K'Nex can be used to construct innumerable creations because many different pieces can interlock at different angles and directions. From miniature cows to complete table sets to roller coasters,[17] many objects and contraptions in various sizes can be constructed. Because K'Nex pieces are made of a strong plastic and interlock, these constructs are usually quite sturdy.
Many hobbyists have included low-power servo motors and wheels other than K'Nex in their constructions. Even real bikes (complete with bicycle wheels) have been constructed with K'Nex.

Educational products[edit]

While all K'Nex building sets are educational, the company also carries a line of products that are targeted for use in the classroom. This includes building sets for creating DNA models, simple machines and geometry tools, among many other items.[18] These sets are presumably designed for preschool to high school-aged students.

Display models and exhibits[edit]

Concordia University's Engineering and Computer Science Association (ECA)[19] has erected models of a space shuttle, the Sears Tower, the Eiffel Tower, Habitat 67, and mazes out of K'Nex.[20] The U.S. Space and Rocket Center held a Guinness Book of World Records Award for the "World's Largest K'Nex Sculpture" and also has a huge space shuttle and rocket in their gift shop in Huntsville, Alabama. The Guinness World Record for "World's Largest K'Nex Sculpture" was broken in by a team in the UK with a meter long K'Nex replica of the BLOODHOUND &#;mph Supersonic Car. K'Nex also has a traveling exhibit, K'Nex: Build Thrill Rides, that visits school and museums across the country.

Computer game[edit]

A computer game, K'NEX The Lost Mines: Adventure Begins, was released in by EAI Interactive for Windows [21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^https://www.basicfun.com/Story/knex-acquired
  2. ^K'Nex Book of + Building Ideas () inside cover.
  3. ^"K'Nex &#; About K'Nex &#; History". Knex.com. Archived from the original on December 3, Retrieved November 25,
  4. ^"History of K'Nex". Knex.com. Archived from the original on February 23, Retrieved June 3,
  5. ^"K'Nex signs MechWarrior Toy License". Knex.com. Archived from the original on September 27, Retrieved June 3,
  6. ^"Orange County Chopper News Release". Knex.com. Archived from the original on February 23, Retrieved June 3,
  7. ^"K'Nex &#; About K'Nex &#; News &#; Sesame". Knex.com. Archived from the original on March 2, Retrieved June 3,
  8. ^"K'Nex &#; About K'Nex". Knex.com. October 20, Archived from the original on November 21, Retrieved November 25,
  9. ^Whyte, Alexandra (February 13, ). "Basic Fun! buys K'NEX". Kidscreen. Retrieved February 6,
  10. ^"Basic Fun! Acquires K'NEX". Basic Fun!. February 12, Retrieved February 6,
  11. ^Savana, Freda (February 10, ). "Hatfield toymaker K'NEX sold". The Intell.com. Retrieved January 2,
  12. ^"Basic Fun Keeps K'Nex Licenses". Licensing International. April 19, Retrieved January 2,
  13. ^"Ticona Polymer and Processing Expertise Helps Rodon Deliver Successes, Including K'Nex® Toys". celanese.com. Celanese Corporation. Retrieved March 19,
  14. ^This holds true when measured between the centers of each connector's hole on either end of the rod.
  15. ^"Apprentices". Kraftworks.org.au. October 8, Archived from the original on December 3, Retrieved November 25,
  16. ^"K'Nex Education: Motor Pack". Knex.com. October 20, Archived from the original on December 4, Retrieved November 25,
  17. ^http://www.amazonArchived July 11, , at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^"K'Nex &#; Educators &#; Products". Knex.com. October 20, Archived from the original on November 18, Retrieved November 25,
  19. ^"Concordia Engineering and Computer Science Association". ECA. June 15, Retrieved June 15,
  20. ^"Concordia's Women in Engineering chapter construct massive K'Nex shuttle". The Concordian. March 8, Retrieved June 3,
  21. ^"K'NEX The Lost Mines: Adventure Begins". legendsworld.net. Retrieved March 16,

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%27Nex
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FAQ

If you are missing a part from your new K'NEX set, first compare the parts you have to the list of parts in the instruction book. Each part will have a number next to it which is the quantity that should have been included in the set. For example, if you see a 2 next to a blue rod, you should have 2 blue rods in your set. Be sure to check the parts list carefully against the parts in your set. Determine which part(s) is missing and contact us at [email protected] or KID-KNEX option 4 for Consumer Services. Make sure to have the model number from the set available when you call or email. You can find this 5 digit code on the front panel of your box in one of the corners or in the middle of the UPC bar code, for example: _ _ _ _ _.

 

I lost a part. How can I replace it?

If you are ready to build again and find parts are lost or broken, give us a call at KID-KNEX option 4 for Consumer Services and we would be glad to assist you.

Check out the Model Instructions page to find instructions for your set or to see additional builds that may be available. You will need to enter the model number for the set in the provided field. You can find this 5 digit code on the front panel of your box in one of the corners or in the middle of the UPC bar code, for example: _ _ _ _ _. Enter this number in the field to find the instruction options available for your set. Instructions for sets produced before the year may not be available.

Visit our Model Instructions page and enter the model number for your set in the provided field. You can find this 5 digit code in the instructions manual you received along with your building set, or on the front panel of your box in one of the corners or in the middle of the UPC bar code (for example: _ _ _ _ _). Enter this number in the field to bring up the instruction options available for your set. Click on the instructions you'd like to download.

Micro K'NEX are the smaller version of standard (classic) K'NEX. To help you tell the two sizes apart, the micro and standard shapes are always different colors. For example, a standard red three connector (a corner piece with three connection points and a hole) is yellow in the micro scale.

K'NEX bricks work with other leading brick construction toy systems to expand your building possibilities. Look for special transition parts that enable you to combine bricks, rods and connectors in your creations.

90% of K'NEX parts are made in the USA at our factory in Hatfield, PA. Visit our America's Building Toy page for more information and to see how K'NEX parts are made.

Should the time come that you were ready to give your K'NEX product away (and we can't imagine why you'd ever want to do that), K'NEX products can be recycled.

Non-battery operated K'NEX pieces can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Keep soap & water away from all motors, sound modules and any other parts using batteries.

If you have one of our multi-model sets that came in a plastic storage bin, there is extra room to add pieces to your collection. Some of our biggest fans have told us that they use fishing tackle boxes or large plastic tubs to store their parts. Be creative and devise a storage method that works best for you.

K'NEX building sets are NOT appropriate for children under 3 years of age. All K'NEX pieces are non-toxic and do not contain hazardous chemicals. If accidentally swallowed, the K'NEX part should pass through the child. The parts have rounded edges to help prevent scratching in the digestive tract and are designed with opening perforations so the child should be able to breathe if the part is lodged in an air passage. See a doctor immediately if there is any indication the child is having trouble breathing!

K’NEX parts are made primarily with ABS and POM.

K'NEX was invented by Joel Glickman in  

Currently we do not offer public tours of our factory. We invite you to watch our factory tour video for a behind-the-scenes look at our manufacturing and design process.

K'NEX has introduced so many new parts since the original 22 connectors, rods, wheels and pulleys that if you tried to hold them all in your hands they would overflow! Each year we design new and unique pieces and shapes—which is great news for those with big imaginations!

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is home to what Guinness World Records calls the world's largest K'NEX sculpture. In the summer of , Space Camp crew trainers built a life-size T-Rex, whom they affectionately call K'REX, out of , K'NEX pieces. The sculpture is feet high, feet long, feet wide and weighs 10 pounds.

If you can imagine it, you can build it. K'NEX designers let their imaginations run wild. They also listen to feedback from our fans and draw inspiration from what's popular at the moment.

Very carefully! All display models have an internal support structure made entirely from cubes built with blue rods and connectors. The support structure, or K'NEX cubes, prevents the display models from twisting or crumbling as they get bigger. The skin, or outer layer of the display, is made up of unique combinations of K'NEX parts. They're what give the cubes the final shape and look needed to create reality with the structure.

You are welcome to share pictures of your builds or models with other K'NEX fans on our Facebook page.

K'NEX Rods, Connectors and trim pieces used in both K'NEX Education and K'NEX retail sets are universal. You can combine parts from any and all K'NEX Sets and use them to create anything you can imagine. The difference between the two types of sets is that K'NEX Education sets are designed with the express purpose of being used as a classroom tool rather than an individual child's toy. K'NEX Education Sets contain curriculum support materials, developed and tested by award-winning educators in classrooms across the country. These curriculum materials provide lesson plans detailing how to integrate K'NEX into lessons to teach concepts such as simple machines, amusement park technology, potential and kinetic energy, space exploration, fractions, measurement, and much more. These sets also contain multiple K'NEX parts and instructions so that groups of students can build models and study these concepts simultaneously.

The curriculum materials included in the K'NEX Education Sets vary based on the subject matter. For most sets, the curriculum is presented to the teacher in the form of the Teacher's Guide. This manual provides the lesson objectives, background information for the specified topics, student activities with reproducible worksheets, methods for assessment and lesson extensions. For these sets, students work in teams to build the models from the building instruction booklets or cards and then take direction from the teacher for experimentation and investigation. Examples of this are: the Intro to Simple Machines and Intro to Structures: Bridges series, Forces, Energy & Motion, and Amusement Park Science & Technology. Other sets have curriculum that presents the concepts and activities directly to the students in the form of Activity Cards. The cards provide the background information about the concept, written to the student, as well as directions for investigation and experimentation with the models they build. The students work independently, in teams, through the activities on the cards, using the Reference Cards for support. They provide feedback to the teacher for assessment in the form of written assignments such as journals and oral presentations. The teacher does not have to be actively involved in the individual lessons. Examples of this are the Simple Machines Deluxe Set and Primer Math sets. K'NEX Education's new Collectible sets offer teacher's guides separately. For a comprehensive list of guides that are sold separately please see FAQ #9. For examples of the curricula, please visit the Lesson Plans section of this web site and download sample lessons from various K'NEX Education Sets. In some sets, such as Exploring Machines and Forces, Energy & Motion, teams of students can build the same model simultaneously. In other K'NEX Education product offerings, this is not the case. We offer numerous opportunities for students to investigate the topics by including multiple models that demonstrate the same concept. This allows them to understand the concept universally as opposed to just related to one particular model. For example with the Simple Machines Deluxe Set, if you are teaching 1st-class levers, your students can build a balance, see-saw, catapult, handcart, rowboat, and scissors; all of which function in the same manner as the real-life objects they replicate. In the lessons, teams of students build and experiment with the different models. Then the groups can share what they learned with the class to establish how this idea applies to a variety of different things in the real world. This will help them understand the concept as a whole, not just how it applies to one particular example. We also encourage you to have the students build models of their own design, based on the concepts they are studying. This allows them to use their creativity to demonstrate their understanding of the concept being studied. This also serves as a performance-based assessment tool.

K'NEX Education Sets are designed to be open-ended and flexible. There is no right or wrong way to integrate them into your lessons. The Teacher Guides offer detailed information for how to execute the lessons. In many cases, you can open the book and teach without adding anything to the information presented there. You may need to spend some time reviewing the guides first to determine which topics fit into your curriculum. You will most likely not present everything included in the set to the students.

K'NEX Education Sets provide materials that support a variety of instructional models in the classroom. Some teachers use the sets to support full class activities, some use them as part of a modular program, and still others set up science or math centers that revolve around a particular K'NEX Education Set. The descriptions of the K'NEX Education Sets outlined on the web site and in the catalog specify the number of students the sets support. You can use this information to determine your particular needs. If a set supports 20 students, you can use it with an entire class. If a set supports students, you may use it as a modular activity or science center or purchase more than one for use with the whole class. New Collectible Education Sets are designed for students working as a team. These sets were designed to allow students to set up a work station or to collect sets over the course of the year to acquire a classroom solution. These sets allow one model to be built at a time. Examples- Simple Machines Deluxe supports 20 students. Organize the class into five groups. Each group focuses on a different type of simple machine i.e. levers or gears and completes the models and activities for that machine. At the conclusion of their investigations, the groups rotate to another station. When all groups have completed the rotation, have students present their investigations and findings to the class. Forces, Energy and Motion supports 12 - 16 students. This set provides materials to build four identical vehicles simultaneously. Assign 3 to 4 students to each group for activities. Each group investigates the same concepts with the same models as directed by the teacher. If you would like to use this activity with an entire class of 24 to 32 students, we would suggest that you purchase two of these sets.

Some K'NEX Education Sets support existing curriculum while others are so comprehensive they can completely supplant existing units in the curriculum. K'NEX Education Sets are intended for use with students of all ability levels. Beyond the lessons that are included in the various sets, there are extensive opportunities for the teacher to design creative activities that motivate and challenge students in many settings. Educators successfully use K'NEX Education Sets in a variety of settings: Science, Technology, Math, and Gifted classrooms, home school environments, college classrooms, community outreach centers, etc. Many educators use K'NEX Education Sets as part of contests and competitions.

K'NEX Education lessons and building exercises vary in length. They are divided into manageable segments with easy breaking points. Most Teacher Guides offer suggested duration periods for the entire lesson based, for the most part, on minute periods. Each K'NEX Education Teacher Guide also has introductory sections that address how the curriculum is designed and suggestions for usage. The building portion of the lesson takes a minimum of 15 minutes. Lengthier building projects can be subdivided as necessary. Clean up and organization are essential, so you need to leave at least five minutes for putting the pieces away and processing what was learned. You can adapt lessons to best fit your classroom environment and accommodate students of different ages and ability levels. Pick and choose the segments of the lesson you wish to present or do the whole lesson for a comprehensive discussion of the topic.

K'NEX Education Sets are available through a variety of educational catalogers and home school distributors. If you need assistance purchasing a K'NEX Education Set, please contact us directly via email at [email protected] or by phone at KID-KNEX.

Turn the potential problem of material management into a great lesson for your students by selecting a few to be your inventory control team. On a weekly or bi-weekly basis, have the team count the components to determine if any are missing and make the sets orderly. Explain the importance of materials management, inventory control and the need for accuracy in counting. All businesses must keep close track of their inventory and components to ensure that they have the materials they need to make their products, fill orders for their customers and deter theft.

Contact us at by telephone at option #4 or email at [email protected] and we will be happy to help. 

K'NEX parts are made to last a lifetime of normal use. If you experience a problem, please call us at KID-KNEX option 4 for Consumer Services, Monday - Friday, a.m. to p.m. EST. K'NEX Education representatives are happy to assist you.

Sours: http://www.knex.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions

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Everything You Didn't Know About K'nex

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