K'NEX allowed budding designers, architects, and engineers the chance to construct replica models of everything from bridges and cars to rollercoasters and Ferris wheels. The construction toy system was invented by American entrepreneur Joel Glickman. It consisted of a system of interconnecting blocks, rods, and wheels made of brightly colored plastic, which could be assembled to create many different models. Each K’NEX set would feature a certain quantity of each type of part, and the rest was up to you and your imagination. 

The fledgling K’NEX company pitched the idea to toy giants Hasbro, Lego, Tyco Toys, and Mattel. Still, all four companies turned the idea down. The toy was eventually produced and sold directly and retailed through Toys "R" Us. The first K'NEX Box was released in 1993 and included simple rods and connectors that could be easily attached to form basic shapes and objects. A hand crank powered early models to make the different parts move, but eventually, gears and motors were introduced into K'NEX sets so that pieces could move on their own. 

K'NEX is a popular learning toy, similar to Lincoln Logs and Legos. It fosters creativity and ingenuity, while giving children and teens the opportunity to learn basic principles of construction and engineering through play. It is also a natural stepping stone to more complex and technical engineering projects like robotic engineering. A larger format version called Kid K'NEX is designed for younger children. Until 2014, the Guinness Book of World Records award for "World's Largest K'NEX Sculpture" was held by The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Their record was broken by a team from the United Kingdom who created a 13.38-meter long K'NEX replica of a supersonic car.

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