Pick of the Day: K'nex Motorized Madness Ball Machine

For the ADVANCED builder, this Rube Goldberg inspired ball run is really amazing. Having watched one of our most trusted teen builders work on this project for over a month, this is not for a beginner. In fact, on several occasions I kept assuring our builder 51af2ausmel_ss400_2Daniel that he could throw in the towel–but he remained committed to getting it done. While he thought the directions could have used some clarity (and he ended up with some extra pieces), we were all delighted that he finished. The over-sized plastic balls (comes with five) travel up the 4 foot machine on a conveyor belt–and then they take one of two paths down…one is down a circular path of ramps and the other is on two swiveling ball catchers (our favorite part!). The suggested retail is $119–comes with over 2,000 pieces.

If you have younger kids at home, you’ll want to protect your builder’s project by putting this in a room that’s safe. We had one close encounter with a visiting toddler tester who though he should be able to climb on the structure….luckily his mother reacted quickly!

(As with any construction toy, the key for beginners is to start with smaller sets so that your child builds her sense of confidence before going to the next level. Here’ s a perfect example of less being more.) For all of our top-rated construction sets, please visit www.toyportfolio.com.

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