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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Riding High with K'NEX & Mario Kart Wii's Luigi!

01.22.2012 – For years LEGO® has been synonymous with construction or building toys and there were a lot of competition back then and some claimed to be copy cats with their inter-locking brick technology.

For those brief years you can’t even copy the exact patent and LEGO® took all of them to court with filed lawsuits left and right. Though I can’t assume if what I’ve read online was true but things change the past couple of years to the point LEGO® can’t barred some of them in using that same inter-locking design.

This would allow other competitors like Mega Bloks to create their own products which other companies followed eventually.

There’s also one other long time construction or building toy company which has been around who is celebrating 30 years. This company is known as K’Nex and they have their own construction toys until they also adapted what LEGO® had invented with the inter-locking bricks. K’Nex has been around the toy isle in the Philippines with their original but not their own version of LEGO® sets.

Early last year they indeed jump in and made their own sets which they combined with the racing themed sets that they had. But this time they got the license for Nintendo’s well loved characters with Mario and Luigi to bring the Mario Kart Wii into toy form.

Rarely would it be impossible that it might not be available outside North America due to restrictions that K’Nex is using the inter-locking brick that LEGO® invented during the 1950s.

We will never know for sure about that story but you are all would be curious about the K’Nex set about the Mario Kart Wii. Personally I’m a fan of Luigi (no pun for not liking Mario) but there’s something about this green colored plumber than meets the eye.

Take for instance this bike that Luigi has that comes with the set. Honestly I haven’t played Super Mario Kart Wii and the most recent game I’ve been trying to familiarize myself is the Super Mario Wii game, which I’m sure some of you had the opportunity to sit through it and finish the adventure. For the K’nex set this is such a cool building toy and it only contains 31 pieces including the mini figure of Luigi.

The unbuilt set comes with a sticker sheet and the instruction manual which any kid six & up can have a quick time putting the pieces together.

It took me less than 10 minutes to have Luigi get his bike ready and I decided not to apply the stickers. After having it built it didn’t looked like any motorcycle but something of a mean version of motocross with thick tires. Taking a closer look of the Luigi mini figure he certainly stands out not looking blocky like any LEGO® mini figure which is shorter than him.

You’d want Luigi, Mario, Bowser or Yoshi interacting with the LEGO® mini figure now. It’s one of the rare finds not available in Philippine retail stores and if someone courageous enough to import this product surely interest would fly off the shelf.

These days the most construction toys that dominate the toy isle is either LEGO® or Mega Bloks which has been competing visibly, and that’s putting you at limited choices on what other products aside from these two giants. K’Nex is a different product and they just added their own sets which are limited by the four characters from Nintendo.

Overall it’s definitely rated 4.5 out of 5 as one interesting set and the only minor part is the inter-locking pieces doesn’t much lock itself unlike LEGO® which pioneered the technology. But that’s basically a minor but for any fan of Mario and Luigi this is certainly a must have.

Special thanks to friends from The Bay Area for hooking this up as one of the Christmas presents that arrive last year.

I finally got to build it and most definitely was happy to have Luigi in my growing mini figure collection.

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