“At K’NEX and Rodon, we’ve learned that manufacturing in America can actually be more cost effective than manufacturing overseas. Our nation was founded on an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to shape our own growth by inventing and making everything we use.”
-President and CEO of K’NEX and The Rodon Group, Michael Araten
As a K’NEX brand ambassador, I received several K’NEX kits back in November for my kids to play with and for me to review. Though K’NEX brand construction and building toys for children have quickly become a hit in my house, I have only reviewed here the 521 Amazing Value Tub Building Set. Here is why.
Back in 2oo9, K’NEX began bringing it’s manufacturing back to the USA to keep jobs at it’s factory in Hatfield, PA. At this facility, 100% of the rods, connectors, and bricks are made. These pieces are the main parts to every K’NEX kit, and are THE parts that separate K’NEX brand from the other construction and building toys.
Though 95% of all K’NEX parts are manufactured in the USA, not all of the kits carry the ‘Made in USA’ label. Why is this?
K’NEX only uses a “Made in USA” seal on it’s building kits that contain 90% or more parts, pieces and packaging that are made/packaged in the USA. Some K’NEX kits contain more parts made over seas than others, and some kits contain more parts packaged in other countries (like China or the Dominican Republic) than others.
K’NEX and Rodon Group are constantly looking to bring ALL of the production to the USA. The pieces in kits that are made in China are the ones that contain painted on decoration, as there is yet a company in the USA that does this. The packaging that is done overseas is done so because they feel there is not a place here that can do it affordably.
The fact that the other K’NEX kits don’t carry the ‘Made in USA’ logo is why I haven’t shared them here, until now.
I am greatly impressed with K’NEX’s and the Rodon Group’s efforts to reshore ALL of their production, and I am especially impressed with how open they are with their labeling.
At USA Love List we support any effort a company makes to bring manufacturing to the USA. I strongly believe that the more information a consumer has, the easier it is to make a purchase in support of American manufacturing. This is especially important over the holiday season when we are showing our support through the purchase of gift items.
K’NEX is very clear on its boxes what percent of the product is American made, and what percent is China made. Also, the first page of the building instruction manual shows images of which pieces are American made, and which ones are made in China- this even impressed my 7 year old!
The above image is of the directions manual to the KISS Rock Stage Big Rig Building Set. I have to admit, my 7 year old had no clue who or what KISS is. That didn’t bother him a bit, as he had fun putting together this building set. The KISS Rock Stage Big Rig Building Set is manufactured 64% in the United States, and 36% in China. For ages 7+.
If you have a kiddo in your house age 7 or up, then you know that Super Mario Bros. 2 items are popular (again) this holiday season! K’NEX has a whole series of Super Mario Bros 2 building sets that are sure to please the kiddos on your shopping list. The New Super Mario Bros. 2 Thwomps Building Set is a hit with both of my kiddos. This set is a great introduction to engineering set as there are pieces that actually move. After the set is built, more fun begins, as Mario and Luigi can run the course and avoid being Thwomped! The Mario Bros. 2 Two Thwomps Building Set is 81% made in the USA, and 19% made in China. For ages 8+.
Another great gift idea with the Super Mario theme is the Super Mario 3D Land Bowser’s Castle Building Set. In this set, a course is built for Mario to get through to save Princess Peach from Bowser. Add other K’NEX Mario themed sets for even bigger adventures! The Super Mario 3D Land Bower’s Castle Building Set is 68% made in the USA, 32% made in China. For ages 8+.
I will confess that the K’NEX Typhoon Frenzy Roller Coaster Building Set is my favorite of them all! This set includes over 640 K’NEX pieces to use to create an impressive roller coaster that actually works! My kiddos felt quite accomplished when we finished putting together this masterpiece! The K’NEX Typhoon Frenzy Roller Coaster Building Set is 68% made in the USA, 22% made in China, and 10% made in the Dominican Republic. For ages 9+.
All of the K’NEX products mention in this article are available exclusively at Toys”R” Us.
All product photos courtesy of Toys “R” Us
Disclosure: USA Love List received products in this post unconditionally for review purposes. Our opinions are always our own, and we aim to write fair and balanced reviews to promote only the very best of American-made products.
Have you visited our Made in USA Shopping District? It is the place to start your shopping when you want to find the best of American-made.