LEGO vs K’NEX: Explore the best building toy for your kid

If you’re looking for an educational toy that helps kids develop skills, is safe, offers hours of fun, and lasts longer, – construction toys are your best bet!


Today, LEGO and K’NEX (purchased by Basic Fun in 2018) are the most popular construction toy brands. After decades they still remain highly recommended for children of all ages, as they deliver unique designs and engaging and fun ways that stimulate learning and development. From the endless options K’NEX and LEGO offer, choosing the right building toy for kids is a daunting task. With us, it doesn’t have to!


In this blog, we’ll compare LEGO and K’NEX, discover differences and similarities, and review everything you need to know about their advantages and disadvantages. So, you can easily decide which one to buy for your little builder.


At AllAboutK’NEX we have years of experience with both LEGO and K’NEX, tried many build toys out, and tested and reviewed them ourselves so that we have all the credentials to back it up. We both love K’NEX and LEGO equally. 


Discover the differences between Lego and K’NEX

LEGO and K’NEX hardly need an introduction. To skip the basics of big building toy companies, as already mentioned, Lego and K’NEX systems develop important skills in children and introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) subjects. 
How is it achieved exactly? With either K’NEX or Lego builds, blocks, rods, motors, gears, wings and numerous other accessories are used to accomplish this. Kids can play and create models, from simple to something different, the most complex and everything in between.

Despite sharing some similarities and being great for building complex models that aim for all years of age, they differ in their design and functionality.

Let’s explore the specific differences between LEGO and K’NEX:


Cost and Quality:

LEGO sets tend to be more expensive and more durable than K’NEX due to their high-quality construction, precise models, and long-lasting material. The cost often reflects the complexity and precision of the kits.

Whilst, K’NEX products are generally more affordable, focusing on creating high-quality toys at a lower price range. They prioritize sturdiness and connectivity while maintaining a cost-effective price point. 


Design & Building Style

The LEGO set consists of interlocking plastic bricks that link together, while the K’NEX features flexible and moveable rods and connectors.

LEGO Bricks and Parts

K’NEX toys are generally more complex and versatile than LEGO toys. This is because the pieces are made to connect with one another in various ways. K’NEX enables the creation of intricate and diverse models. Nonetheless, Most boxes come with multiple design possibilities. If your kid enjoys more complicated ideas, K’NEX may be a good choice for them. With LEGO toys, you can build different types of figures and precise structures using interlocking plastic bricks which can be used to make buildings and other things. 


Theme and Licensing

LEGO has a wide range of licensed sets based on popular franchises like Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter, and more. For kids who are fans of the franchise, Lego is catching up in this category. Adults who are fans of those franchises might also find this appealing. While K’NEX does have themed sets, from architecture, and kid K’NEX to versatile Ferris wheels and swing rides. However, they are less commonly associated with popular entertainment franchises.



Another key difference is the approach to the instructions that are tied to each building set. Lego’s building sets typically come with detailed, step-by-step instructions that guide users through the process of assembling the set. These instructions are usually included in the form of a booklet or a digital file.

Child plays with K'NEX Mega Motorcycle Building Set
Child plays with K'NEX Mega Motorcycle Building Set

On the other hand, while K’NEX sets do include instructions, creativity and exploration are often prioritized over specific, predetermined designs. K’NEX instructions enable users to have more freedom in creating their own structures and mechanisms.


Similarities that both brands exhibit

K’NEX and LEGO are well-known, winners of numerous awards toy companies that transcend the boundaries of play and stimulate imagination. While each of them has its own unique advantages, they both foster creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in children differently while still having endless fun playing.

Keep reading to review more similar features that make Lego and K’NEX fans happy. 



High-quality materials make both products durable and capable of enduring daily play.



Their toys can be used to construct a wide range of different projects: These toys provide endless opportunities for children and adults alike to engage in various forms of learning, such as logical thinking, spatial reasoning, and teamwork.

K'NEX Thrill Rides 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set
K'NEX Thrill Rides 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set


In order to make their toys safe for kids, LEGO and K’NEX use non-toxic materials. In that vein, both have collections that are designed for toddler niche; LEGO offers DUPLO, while K’NEX produces Kid K’NEX.



Children can apply the things they learn from Lego and K’NEX to the real world. Kids love such builds that appeal to their reality. Toys that connect with their own reality and make their playing experience more enjoyable. 


Lego or K’NEX: Pros & Cons

When it comes to any matter, narrowing something down into pros and cons makes the decision much easier. Particularly when you are choosing between two huge construction toy companies for your little budding builders. So, let’s jump into it. 


LEGO: Pros & Cons


  • Boost creativity
  • Possibility to reuse
  • High-quality products
  • Helps develop fine motor skills in kids
  • Collaborate with some of the biggest brands
  • Used for education
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Encourages following directions



  • More pricey
  • Pieces are somewhat limited
  • Bricks are easy to lose, especially the smaller ones
  • Choking Hazard

K’NEX: Pros & Cons


  • perfect for STEAM education
  • Encourages creativity
  • Fast to snap together
  • Flexibility in toy pattern
  • Easy to manipulate (even for small hands)
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Comes with own storage box


  • In comparison to LEGO, it is not quite as durable
  • Some pieces are too flexible and break
  • Smaller items are more likely to be lost than LEGO

Are K’NEX models Compatible with Lego building sets? 

Due to each brand’s specific but incredible building system, they are not quite compatible. However, K’NEX does produce bricks that fit the Lego ones. These sets often include Lego-compatible connectors and joints, allowing users to combine K’NEX and Lego toys in creative ways.

As a cherry on top, the help of Universal Construction Kit allows you to connect these two construction systems, build something with K’NEX, and play around with Lego vehicles.


Lego VS K’NEX: What’s the verdict? 

In the end, it comes down to your personal preference and the features you need. When choosing a building set for children as a gift, consider their age, interests, and skill level. With K’NEX, kids can create complex designs using their imagination, which is safe and won’t break the bank. Those who prefer simple, detailed constructions can use LEGOs to create intricate, realistic structures and objects. Whether you choose K’NEX or LEGO as your top choice, they will be valuable additions to any kid’s toy collection.

About Author


Liam is a dedicated and experienced toy enthusiast and is the beating heart of All About K’NEX. Born in 1990, he played with K’NEX in his early years. After moving, he encountered his K’NEX sets again and began to relive his youth. From this passion he started All About K’NEX and has not let go since then. Favorite K’NEX set: Giant Ferris Wheel K’NEX hot take: never too old to have fun

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