There are no shortage of websites describing LEGO sets and all the paraphernalia attached to them. And why shouldn't there be, really? Despite being historically overpriced and the brand devolved into licensed garbage (with way too many specialty pieces) and ultra-expensive 1000+ adult-oriented sets (these two not being mutually exclusive), it's high time to cover some of the B-listers of building sets, specifically K'NEX. Even though I had neither big LEGO sets nor big K'NEX sets, I kind of liked K'NEX. While none of the LEGO catalogs I owned survived over the years, my K'NEX stuff did...and that's what I have today.

It's a bonus because there's simply too few K'NEX sites out there today. I found the UK-based K'NEX User Group but even that doesn't cover older sets. I got stuff from the mid-1990s here.

First up, is the "catalog" circa 1995, which was basically a long fold-out on two sides.

I also subscribed to K'NEXions, their newsletter. I know I had another one at one time (showing a giant snowman made of white K'NEX pieces, among others) but that appears to be unfortunately MIA. Still, this is the complete Fall/Winter 1997 issue, which you can download here (four pages).

As you can see, it's an advertisement masquerading as an educational newsletter, in this case advertising the new solar-powered models.

The newsletter was in the days when you could still print the names, photos, ages, and cities of minors. (No one does this today; the practice quickly disappeared around the very early 2000s). Seeing as how all of these kids are at least 25 years older at this point, doing some snooping, no, the best I can find that this is not the Mark Aldridge that writes about Agatha Christie. However, some research into others seems to be correct. Sam Fladung is a robotics engineer (and the date of starting college lines up almost perfectly with his age from 1997) and Francis Switzer is an artist (the facts line up here, too).

Now, while I can do some research on what happened to the contest winners in the 25+ years since they won, I can't explain anything on the Carnahan family of Minnetonka. I assume their giant model has long since dismantled, but where are they now? Was there any other press about it?

If I ever find more information on that other newsletter, I'll scan it. For now, bye.
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