No toy has managed to unseat Lego from its building toy throne, but K’NEX probably came the closest. What it lacked in small, highly-detailed sets, it made up for with massive creations like the legendary Big Ball Factory that the company is now bringing out of retirement after 20 years.
The $300 set stands over four-feet tall when fully constructed, and you’ll need to set aside a few solid hours to assemble its 3,151 pieces. Few building toys come with as satisfying a sense of accomplishment as the Big Ball Factory does, and when you’re done you then get to send four plastic balls tumbling through one of five different paths from the top of the tower to its base.
The 2015 version of the K’NEX Big Ball Factory also comes with a motor so today’s kids don’t need to keep turning a manual crank by hand. Unless you want them to build some character, in that case just make sure to remove and hide the motor before your kids start building. [K’NEX]