K’NEX Awards Three Grand Prize Winners $10,000 Savings Bonds in 2011 K’NEXpert Search Building Contest Open to Kids Ages 5-12

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Seven Finalists Each Awarded $1,000 Savings Bonds

Melissa Epstein's Secret Apple Tree

The K'NEXpert contest is the highlight of our year

K’NEX Brands, America’s building toy company focused on building worlds kids love, has chosen the winners of its 2011 K’NEXpert Search. The nationwide search asks kids ages 5-12 to submit original designs made entirely out of K’NEX pieces.

This year, three Grand Prize winners and seven finalists were chosen from three age categories. As Grand Prize winners, Wesley from Ottawa, ON, Canada (5-6 year-old age group); William from Sadler, TX (7-8 year-old age group) and Melissa from Plano, TX (9-12 year-old age group) will each be awarded a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond to be used for their education. The seven finalists, who will be awarded $1,000 Savings Bonds, are: Andrew, age 6, from Glenmoore, PA; Eliah, age 6, from Nashville, TN; Josef, age 8, from Plano, TX, Connor, age 8, from Severna Park, MD; Christian, age 10, from Wichita, KS; Michael, age 12, from Wexford, PA; and Kyler, age 12, from Amarillo, TX.

The three Grand Prize winners will visit K’NEX headquarters in Hatfield, PA on December 2. As guests of K’NEX President Michael Araten the winners will receive their award checks, enjoy a lunch with K’NEX designers and take a private factory tour. Their award-winning models will be displayed at K’NEX headquarters.

“The K’NEXpert contest is the highlight of our year,” said Araten. “K’NEX fans consistently surpass our expectations with their creativity and innovation, building elaborate works of art that wow even our toy designers,” he said.

One of those works of art is the Secret Apple Tree built by 9-year-old Melissa Epstein. The realistic-looking tree includes roots, branches, a thick trunk, twigs, leaves and of course apples! Melissa designed a complex web of K’NEX pieces to support this colorful, larger-than-life K’NEX build.

The two other Grand Prize-winning builds are equally impressive. Six-year-old Wesley Foster built a small roller coaster with his brother and became inspired to create something bigger and better by himself. The result is The Amazing Turbo Twist, a working roller coaster using more than 1487 K’NEX pieces. William Watson, age 8, created the Golden K’NEX Bridge, modeled after the Golden Gate Bridge and made of more than 12,000 K’NEX pieces. At 16-feet long, the bridge is a K’NEX engineering marvel.

K’NEX is the world’s most innovative construction toy company. As the winner of more than 200 international awards, K’NEX encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.” The K’NEXpert Search is an annual contest that asks kids to design an ultra-creative, original model made entirely out of K’NEX parts.

About K’NEX Brands
Founded in 1992, K’NEX Brands was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children. Winner of over 200 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX seeks to build young minds with its exciting product line and critically acclaimed K’NEX Education program. For more information, please visit http://www.knex.com.

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Aimee Cirucci
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