Knex Revolution Ferris Wheel

(K'nex $39.99)

Our eleven-year old tester had mixed feelings about this construction set. This is a new set for 2016, but it's really a motorized classic with 344 pieces. As our tester put it, “Some of the pieces are hard to connect and you can’t always read the directions.” We’ve heard this before about K’nex. Would she recommend this to others? "I'd say yes, if a child likes a hard build.” She did not agree with the age label of 7+ and she's right. This is far too complex for a 7-year old to build alone. What she liked best was “how the project turned out.” She didn’t love the build, but she and her younger brother did enjoy the fruits of her labor. They loaded the Ferris wheel, which is almost 2’ tall, with lots of Lego people and gave them rides. When asked what she learned by doing this project her answer speaks to the value of toys that do not provide instant gratification, toys that require thought and patience. In our able tester/reviewer’s words, the build taught her...“How to stay calm and not get frustrated.”

Note for History Buffs: More than More than 100,000 parts went into the original Ferris wheel that was built for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. The plan was to build something as iconic as the French had done when they built the centerpiece of their 1889 Paris Exposition, the Eiffel Tower. Some wanted to build a taller tower, but an engineer had a different dream—a wheel that turned and allowed people to see the entire fair grounds. It had 36 cars and could hold over 2,000 people on a 20-minute ride that cost fifty cents. The engineer’s name? George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. It was later used at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 (as in Meet Me in St. Louis).

Ages: Tweens

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016

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