Even better than the real thing! The first roller coaster you can build as a toy, and then ride in Virtual Reality.

The Client

Introduced in 1992, K'NEX provides creative building sets for kids to stimulate curiosity & imagination.

The Brief

Create a VR app to allow kids to build K’NEX rollercoasters through a cardboard headset and phone, to enhance the physical product and create a “wow” factor around a new product launch.

The Approach

Our creative team visited the K’NEX factory in Pennsylvania to understand the build and makeup of K’NEX products, and the key features of the new roller coaster line that K’NEX wanted to highlight in the VR product. After a design summit with all stakeholders, three prototypes were built and tested with kids of the target age group, to check which construction controls were most intuitive, and to “find the fun” in the roller coaster experience (with an eye on safety!). Creative and development teams then worked together to code and test environments that delighted kids in the PlayLab, and move towards a final product specification.

The Output

The Work

Kids build their K’NEX roller coaster in virtual reality using their phone and a cardboard viewer. When ready, the child is able to ride it in VR, with all the twists, turns and excitement of the real thing! But there’s more: kids and parents can design their very own VR K’NEX roller coaster in the app, using the “Workshop” mode, where the creation tool takes into account the physics and physical toy dimensions to produce a roller coaster that could be made from K’NEX. It’s a great “useful” application of VR that can lead to the designer buying the final creation.

K'NEX Thrill Bionic Blast Roller Coaster with 'Ride It' App was featured in Amazon's 'Top 100 Toys for Christmas 2018', and voted 'Innovative Toy of The Year' in the 2018 TOTY awards

The set has also been featured in Forbes: 'YouTube Is The Tail Wagging Dog Of The Toy Industry (And Startups Can Benefit)' article. Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun! - “Digital media has become a ripe source for innovative and diverse children’s entertainment, and we’re striving to work with the best of the best and create playthings that augment kids’ experiences with that content.”.


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