Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

K'NEX Rippin' Rocket Coaster

K'NEX Rippin' Rocket Coaster

Fall 2011 Toys
Ages: 9 & Up
Manufacturer: KNEX Brands
Price: $49.99

This K'NEX construction toy, Rippin' Rocket 2 Coaster, uses 545 pieces to build a huge, impressive, death-defying roller coaster. The more than four foot high, almost five feet wide and two foot deep structure shimmies and shudders as the motorized launcher shoots the single car up the vertical wall then down along the twisting, looping, flexible track, only to be sent upward again.

The kit includes a 39-page manual that uses illustrated step-by-step instructions to lead you through hours of construction. The instructions are suitable for young children, but I think this is a great family project. Though the manual includes instructions for just one model, bonus instructions for another roller coaster model are available online. The additional model looks less interesting, is more horizontal, and is a fraction of the size of the Rippin' Rocket 2, so we didn't go for it.

The massive model is constructed of mostly standard K'NEX pieces and every piece in the kit is used. There are no extra pieces except two very small connectors that seem to have been an add-on as they were taped in the box separately from all other, bagged pieces. Specialized track sections are more flexible than other pieces and they show stress in the form of whitening at some connection points. The tracks aren't going to break, but the stress emphasizes the need for care in removing/replacing these pieces.

The colorful, attractive model takes up a lot of space and is not very portable. It has been sitting on my dining room table for weeks and no one can pass it without turning it on to watch the little car shoot up the track again and again.

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

Look for this product at:
Toys R Us
KNEX Brands

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