Review: K'NEX Beasts Alive Robo-Jaws Building Set (34406)

  • September 9, 2016
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following is a review of K’NEX Beasts Alive Robo-Jaws Building Set, number 34406, provided to me as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Complicated instructions

The last K’NEX set I helped build was for a large rollercoaster, a handful of years ago, and when I was growing up I was more of a LEGO and Technic kid. So given that I was looking forward to building this set, since the rollercoaster was a lot of fun, and the pieces are generally fun to put together.

However, I was immediately disappointed by the instructions for the K’NEX Beasts Alive Robo-Jaws Building Set. Having done a number of three-in-one LEGO sets recently with a six-year-old I was expecting to find instructions on how to make all three of the sets. Unfortunately only one of the sets, the land shark thing that’s shown on the box as the main beast, is actually included in the instructions. The other two alternative versions can be viewed/downloaded online from the K’NEX site. While it’s nice that the instructions are available online (especially since you can search for the set number, 34406, on the site to preview the instructions), this also means that if you want a child to work on one of these alternatives you’ll either need to print them out or give them a device with Internet access.

Speaking of the instructiions, I actually found them to be more complex than I would have expected given the age range. More than once the pieces ended up being connected wrong, or it wasn’t clear how pieces connected together without skipping ahead. Other than that, there’s a mix of large and small pieces/connectors, with more of the larger pieces than the small.

Finally, the constructed main beast works fairly well. It didn’t move as well as I would have expected, especially in the front ‘mouth’ area. Someone who watched noted that she didn’t see what it was supposed to be right away, and would have liked for the eyes to be more realistic. Personally, I think it works well enough as it is.

With all that said I have to give the K’NEX Beasts Alive Robo-Jaws Building Set a neutral three star rating, mostly because of the instructions. I feel a few steps would have benefited from a slightly different view, or expansion. It also would have been nice to see instructions included for all three sets, given how few pages each set is.