Tuesday, 12 September 2017

K.Nex Web Weaver Coaster Review


The K'Nex Web Weaver is a new large set for 2017. It's a big roller coaster with a rechargeable motorised coaster car which powers itself around the twists and turns of the track. The spider's web theme makes it work as a Halloween centre piece as well as a Christmas or birthday gift.

Disclosure: K'Nex sent us the Web Weaver kit for this review. As always, our opinions are our own.


Unboxing

The Web Weaver comes in a large cardboard box. It's not ideal for storing the parts away later if you need to reclaim the space taken up by the coaster for a while. 

You get a selection of standard K'Nex parts plus rails and attachments. There's also the coaster carriage and its stickers and some cardboard parts to decorate the coaster structure. 

You also get a large booklet with instructions to build the main coaster.

There's a USB cable for charging the Li-ion battery in the coaster car.


Getting Started

The booklet has a small mention of a K'Nex 3D app, but only on the back of the booklet and there's no explanation of what this is. Actually, it's really useful, you can manipulate a 3D model of the Web Weaver (and lots of other sets) so you can see exactly how things go together. 

We're fans of digital instructions for models but they don't seem to be accessible from the app though there is a pdf available online. (There are links in the app which might be intended to go to the instructions but they were broken when we tried.)

It's worth putting the coaster car on to charge before starting the build. Note that you need to remove the front of the car and disconnect the battery to charge it. The front of the car feels a bit delicate you may want to encourage kids to be careful or help them with this bit. 

The Build

My 10-year-old built the coaster on his own in under 2 hours. His 9-year-old brother was absolutely no practical help! 

The only problem my son had was attaching the cardboard where he slightly tore one of the cardboard panels. He adapted it and was happy with the result. 

The model can be used in a vertical and a horizontal mode which gives you two different coasters without needing to rebuild.




Trying it Out

The coaster is extremely fast which really appealed to my kids. It has a real wow factor. The track and stickers glow in the dark which is always popular with kids and works well with the spooky theme.



The coaster carriage is powered by a propellor on a motor - similar to the way mini drones work. It's very effective! The mechanism is well designed and just works.

"I just want to ride it."

"It's insane."

"It's crazy fast."

"How fast does it go. How fast would it be if it was my size?"

 The coaster can be moved between the two while in action which is pretty neat.

"How do we stop it?"

At some point, unless you let the battery run down, you need to stop the coaster. The instructions tell you to put your hand in front of the carriage to stop it and then pick it up and turn it off. My son was a bit nervous about doing this. The car is lightweight and there are no moving parts at the front so it's fine, but it does add to the excitement.



Verdict

The K'Nex Web Weaver is a great Halloween, Christmas or Birthday gift for a tween or younger teen. It takes a while to build, but not too long and there's a huge wow factor. 

The 9-14 age rating seems about right. This coaster is really fast and not suitable for younger children. That's good in our opinion, there are tons of construction sets for younger kids but it's harder to find cool stuff for older kids. 

It's great that it's rechargeable so you don't need to provide an endless supply of batteries. 

I really like the mode in the tall mode as it's impressively big without taking up too much floor or surface space. It does still take up quite a bit of space though! There's an alternate build that extends play and of course, kids can build their own designs too. 

The glow in the dark feature means this is a great winter product. It would make a great Halloween centre piece and should keep tweens and young teens entertained over the holidays. 







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