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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My kids love building toys, and we have committed our family to three main series: Lego, Duplo, and K'Nex. We have huge boxes of assorted parts and also sets that we have purchased, and all of my kids enjoy putting together the sets. We especially like the K'Nex educational sets for building gears, levers, and other cool lessons. With that, I decided that the K'Nex Star Shooter coaster, featuring over 400 K'Nex parts, would be a blast to build. I was a little surprised by what we got, but happy with the result.

First, most of the K'Nex included are not the standard K'Nex, but are instead mini-K'Nex. This means that if you lose or break a piece, you likely don't have a ready replacement sitting in your box of assorted K'Nex. The only standard size K'Nex are the pieces of the motor and the opposing gear. The whole roller coaster structure is made of mini parts which don't lock quite as strongly as their large counterparts. While the overall effect is cool after it is built, we were surprised that most of the parts were miniature. The structure itself, once built, is about 20"x20" on the ground and about 41" tall. There is a K'Nex motor that allows you to thread a standard-size K'Nex rod through and it will turn it forwards or backwards. There's no real reason to run the coaster backwards, but the motor is generic. That's a nice feature because my kids have other plans for the motor when they are done with this toy.

While the box says "ages 7 and up", pair of kids above the age of 7 needed some help in assembling the track itself. The structure and the motor mount went together fine, but the track is a little tricky if you haven't built a K'Nex coaster before. Once they saw how it went together, it made sense, but it's not clear at first. So if you are going to hand this to a child, be sure you are nearby to help.

The whole set likely took about 2-3 hours to assemble, and once assembled, it was fun to watch the coaster go round and round. You can't put any people in the specially designed coaster car. Once complete, there's not much more to do other than watch it. I suspect my kids will take it apart soon and use the pieces for something else (most Lego sets eventually get disassembled and added to their main box). That being said, since it is mini-K'Nex, I'm not sure what they will do with the pieces when they get tired of the coaster.

Overall, it was fun to build and the kids laughed watching it actually work. For the price I think it is a worthwhile toy, but just recognize the pieces are not very reusable, and the coaster itself may require parental assistance to build.

Please see the video attached to my review to see it in action.

Update: I originally rated this 4 stars, but I am knocking it down to 3. As my kids played with the coaster, the track kept getting knocked off because the mini-K'Nex don't hold very tightly. The track shape is formed by bending straight plastic track pieces into twisty shapes with only the force of the K'Nex holding it in place, so if you knock off a piece of track you need to remember exact where, how, and at what angle it was connected. Needless to say, my kids kept knocking off track, getting the chain stuck, etc. It was frustrating for them to constantly be fixing it. So it was a fun toy to build and a blast to watch, but got frustrating to play with as the tracks kept falling off. Also, kids do have active imaginations, and it would have been a better toy if they found a way to allow you to put a person inside to ride the coaster.
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on November 28, 2015
 I bought this one and the K'NEX Amazin' 8 Coaster Building Set. They just go around and round but it is fun to put together and watch. I had both of them going at the same time and thought it would be even better if I was able to get them both connected together and working as one big rollercoaster. Well I figured it out and I was able to get them both going on one bigger coaster. I uploaded a picture and video.
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VINE VOICEon August 23, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My 11-year-old son loves the K'NEX sets and has for the past few years. He is an active boy who finds it hard to concentrate on things like homework and chapter books, but these K'NEX sets can capture his attention for hours at a time. In the past, he has put together several K'NEX sets. After his visiting Cedar Point for his first time this summer, he had a renewed interest in the roller coasters.

As with some of the K'NEX sets, some of the pieces were a little tricky to put together. My son has gotten better - and more patient - at this over time. However, with this particular set, he had more problems than usual. As he was building one portion of the coaster, another portion would come apart. Once the coaster was fully assembled, the chain rubbed at the top of the lift. This caused the motor to jam and pieces to pop out on occasion. (He insisted he followed the instructions exactly.) After a fair amount of "tweaking," he was able to get the coaster to perform better. So, although we do recommend K'NEX roller coasters in general, we do not recommend this particular K'NEX coaster due to these problems.
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VINE VOICEon September 18, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We have tons of K'NEX sets and are really big fans of K'NEX education kits. We have a STEM based homeschool and really understand the power these "toys" possess in teaching kids about physics. I say this because my experience with and love of K'NEX might be unfairly biasing my review of this particular set.

First is the use of the mini pieces as opposed to the more standard pieces. Mini pieces allow you to do a bit more intricate design, but they also require more pieces and more things to go wrong. With the lower age limit being 7, having fewer things to go wrong when building is best. The second issue is related to the first. For this coaster to work properly, it must be properly balanced and aligned - everything needs to be right. Again, with that lower age limit, aligning a looping coaster just right can be a bit tricky.

Now, if you get it all just right, the coaster works well - if everything stays just right. However, if the alignment gets off you are going to have some problems with your coaster running the course properly. I am not quite sure if it is the design of this kit or the directions that is causing us to have a hard time with this kit. We have worked with no less than 5 other kids and never had problems.

So, while this isn't a "bad" kit, it definitely isn't a starter kit. I would most recommend this for an older child that is very familiar with K'Nex and would like to up the challenge and add to their connection. A younger or newer child might have a bit too much frustration with this particular kit. So, K'Next gets two thumbs up from me while this kit gets a "okay for the right audience".
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on February 3, 2016
I love K'nex!!! I wish I could say my son/daughter loved this, but it is for me, very much an adult. Although my dogs do enjoy watching it go.
Smaller set, took about 2.5 hours to put together. I was building with a friend, and had to teach him how to read the picture directions. Also, I always take the time to sort my pieces first.
Would not recommend for smaller children because some of the pieces are TINY. Choking hazard obviously, but also, they tend to run away, so you have to be careful. Would be a fun project with kids as well. Great fun for adults.

Warning: There are 3 different track pieces, not just two. Meaning there are straight pieces and curved pieces, but the curve piece curve left and right. I had to dismantle the whole track and put it back together because I did not realize this, until the last two pieces. Oh and pay close attention to the pictures for which side of the track is top/bottom. Messed that up too.

Only con - I have another set(which was more expensive) that had larger, more sturdier pieces. I got a little frustrated putting this together last night because some of the pieces were a little flimsy. After some review, I think this is a "micro" set, meaning the pieces, connectors are smaller.
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on February 22, 2016
My son and husband put this together Christmas evening. The pieces are smaller than in the general k'nex boxes so they aren't really interchangeable. Because the pieces are smaller it was a little harder (or more painful) for my son to snap the pieces together. That being said it was fun for them to build and a nice unit. Fun to watch the roller coaster go. Check out the video.
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on April 7, 2016
LOVE! This roller coaster is SO FUN!!! The only thing that bothered me is when you are putting the rails together, one side clicks better than the flipside and you can't really tell which, and it doesn't specify, so you kind of have to play around with that. Other than that, it was fairly simple to assemble, just a little time consuming, but so worth it to watch that little roller coaster get so speedy over and over. I bought this for my 6 year old, who helped me construct it, but I definitely did like 75% of the work. I would think an 8 year old+ could build it fine by themselves though. My son probably could too, but it is a bit overwhelming because of the size. The pieces all fit really well together, beside the track part mentioned earlier.
Really fun, and I would recommend!
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on January 25, 2014
Great roller coaster but things you should know before buying

Made in America
Fun to build
Occupies your child and shows them how roller coasters work
Red painted car
Genuine knex parts
Car is fast
Has one one loop
6ft long chain
Lose a piece no spare parts so you can't build
Needs adult help
Only a experienced knex roller coaster fan can build this on their own

Overall:great toy like most toys from amazon
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on January 5, 2016
This thing is really cool! Only downside was the 40 steps it took to get it together and the fact that I ended up doing it alone bc my son wasn't snapping them into place in the exact spot shown on the instructions nor was he strong enough to "snap" some of them into place. I admit even for me, some were more difficult to snap; as well as the fact that I even put some pieces in the wrong spot and had to take it apart a few steps and fix my mistakes; however once I got it together; my son was so happy!! And I think it's pretty cool! I got a it for a great price so I can get over the frustrations. I will be buying more of these sets!
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on January 2, 2016
We had two issues: First, some of the pieces were missing (no major ones thankfully). Second, it is not as sturdy as some of our other k'nex sets (the educational line). We ended up returning it because our son was pretty frustrated with it falling apart often (some of the pieces holding the track to the tower weren't very strong). However, he did enjoy it when we were able to get it going after a bit of trouble-shooting.
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