K'Nex is a brand name of a construction toy system invented by Joel Glickman, designed and produced by Industries of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, USA. Currently Michael Araten is the president of the organization. The name is a phonetic variation of connects, and is pronounced the same way. The toy's building system consists of interlocking plastic rods and connectors, which can be pieced together to form a wide variety of models, machines, and architectural structures. K’Nex is a construction toy, and therefore in the same genre as LEGO, Fischertechnik and Meccano. It is similar to Tinkertoy.
Early years 
The concept behind K’Nex was originally conceived by Joel Glickman. While he was at a wedding, he started thinking of what he could do with his straw if he could connect it with other straws. He and his brother Bob Glickman discussed the idea and started the K’Nex company. The original building system kept very closely to the idea that Joel Glickman had: The K’Nex building system was simply Rods and Connectors which could be easily attached together to make different things. Other parts such as wheels and pulleys were also included to allow more flexibility in construction. The first K’Nex Box was launched in the U.S. market in 1993. Original models with moving parts had a handcrank to make things move, but soon, gears and motors allowed models to move on their own.
When K’Nex went to the big toy companies, such as Hasbro, and others, their idea was turned down, but they were referred to giant construction toy producer Lego. However, Lego was unwilling to consider producing their new toy. Instead, Glickman partnered with the Rodon Group, using their facilities to make his first set through a process called injection molding. K’Nex is now distributed in over 30 countries, including the U.S..
Until 2001, K’Nex did not make sets containing brand constructions (as Lego had with Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc.), but often based its sets around popular fads (such as mech warriors and RC cars). In 2001, K’Nex broke from this trend and introduced a line of toys using the BattleTech/MechWarrior  label, and later launched the OCC (Orange County Chopper) line of toys in 2006 and a line of Sesame Street building sets in 2008. In 2011, K'nex released a brand of Mario Kart Wii building sets with buildable karts and tracks as well as items and obstacles such as Mushrooms, Bullet Bills, Chain Chomps, Thwomps, Goombas, Shells and many more. This set came with Mario, Luigi, Bowser, and Yoshi as the racers.
K’Nex pieces 
For a more complete listing of pieces, see Main Article: K'Nex pieces.
Basic pieces 
The basic K’Nex pieces used to make models are Rods and Connectors. When both of these are used together, they can create countless 3D objects and contraptions. All K’Nex Connectors and Rods are color-coded.
- K’Nex Rods come in a range of lengths, each length having a distinct color. When the additional length of connections is taken into account, the ratio between successive lengths of rods is √2/2. This simplifies the construction of right-angle isosceles triangles, and these triangles provide structural strength in models. Most types of K’Nex rods are only very slightly flexible, but there are extra rigid and very flexible versions of some of the longer rods.
- K’Nex Connectors also come in a range of types, each having a different number of slots. They can link the rods together in different ways. The first way is to insert the end of a rod into a slot on the connector, where it snaps firmly into place. Rods connect at angles which are multiples of 45 degrees. The second method is to snap the rod into one of the connector slots perpendicular to first method. The rods cannot rotate and will not move without deliberate force. The third way is to slip the rod through a round hole in the connector. The rod can slide and rotate freely while in the hole.
Other pieces 
There are several other K'Nex pieces, such as Wheels, Pulleys, Panels, Spacers, Gears, Bricks, Roller Coaster Pieces, (SS and Micro Pieces) and "Flexi-Rods" to name some. These give greater variety to what can be realized when being creative with K’Nex. There are various Motors that can make the models move. New K’Nex bricks were added into the K’Nex matrix in 2008 as part of K’Nex's 15th Anniversary celebration.
K'nex can be used to construct innumerable creations because many different pieces can interlock at different angles and directions. From miniature cows to complete table sets to roller coasters, many objects and contraptions various sizes can be constructed. Because K'Nex pieces are made of a strong plastic and interlock, these constructs are usually quite sturdy.
Many hobbyists have included low-power servo motors and wheels other than K'Nex in their constructions. Even real bikes (complete with bicycle wheels) have been constructed with K'Nex.
Educational Products 
The K'NEX company also carries a line of products that can be used for educational purposes. This includes kits for building DNA models, simple machines, life cycle models ("life cycles kit"), and geometry tools, among many other items. These sets are presumably designed for preschool to high school -aged students.
Price Range 
New K'Nex sets can be found in many toy stores as well as online, with prices ranging from under $10 for basic packages  to nearly $1,000 ($999.99) for a kit to build a full-sized grandfather clock.
All K'NEX products conform to ASTM F963-03, a voluntary standard for toy safety set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. This ensures that K'Nex sets do not incorporate designs or materials that may be of harm to children.
Display models and exhibits 
Computer game 
See also 
- K’Nex Book of 120+ Building Ideas (2001) inside cover.
- "History of K’Nex". Knex.com. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "K’Nex signs MechWarrior Toy License". Knex.com. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "Orange County Chopper News Release". Knex.com. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- "K’Nex | About K’Nex | News | Sesame". Knex.com. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- This holds true when measured from the center of a symmetric connector on either end of the rod. For non-symmetric connectors, measure from the hole on both ends.
- "Concordia’s Women in Engineering chapter construct massive K’nex shuttle". The Concordian. 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2012-06-03.