Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions Review – Build LEGO

Klutz Crazy Action ContraptionsIn this Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions Review, I explore this LEGO book and have fun making the crazy contraptions with the 100+ pieces that are included with the book.

Yes, you get real LEGO pieces to make all the contraptions, which is kinda’ neat and will save you a heap of time.

Most LEGO contraptions have only a few pages of instructions and some of the simpler ones only have a few LEGO pieces and yet are very cool contraptions.

The book starts with a parts list so you know what the LEGO pieces are called and I like that the parts selected are differently coloured so as part selection is made easier.

Next, Klutz dedicates a few pages to LEGO building Tips and Tricks, which they refer to when a contraption needs a special trick to put it together.

Klutz then move quickly onto the LEGO Contraptions. So let’s get started…

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Beaker Blender 3000

This was an interesting LEGO contraption to start with, as there were a number of parts needed and it took a little building. Which is no sweat for an experienced LEGO builder or AFOL, but for someone new to the system, perhaps an easier choice could have been made for the lead contraption.

That said I had a lot of fun with the Beaker Blender 3000 as you can see in this Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions review video…

In fact, I was having a little too much fun as I didn’t realise you couldn’t see the actual contraption in the video until I went to edit it. lol

Never mind I gave the blender another spin in the next video.

Overall, this contraption was very well thought out and introduces the builders to gears and gear ratios.

Q. How do you make the blender spin so fast?

A. Use a big gear to turn a little gear.

I added washing liquid into the water to create a lot of bubbles quickly, and I bet the Beaker Blender 3000 would even be fun in the bath.

Thumbs up.

Improvements

The turning handle was a little small for clumsy hands, but hey this book is for kids right?

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Annoy-O-Matic

Adult Warning – Get out now!

This Klutz contraption certainly lives up to its name. It’s really annoying! 🙂

It’s based on an old toy that people used at sporting events to make lots of noise, and uses only a few parts. In fact, you’ll have enough parts to make two, if one just isn’t annoying enough.

Let’s take a look at this video for the Annoy-O-Matic…

As you can see it’s a really easy build and I was so excited to play with it, although I forgot to add a locking bush. Hehe!

But don’t play with this toy for long as you’ll risk wearing away your gears. lol

After seeing my review video, my girls went hysterical and had to build one for themselves. Then proceeded to ANNOY me.

Jokes on me. 😉

Thumbs up.

Improvements

Nope, Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) principle applies here.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – SqueezeClaw Grabber

I couldn’t wait to build the SqueezeClaw Grabber, because I had dreams of sitting in my chair while being able to move things around the room without having to get up. In reality, it was much too frustrating trying to manoeuvre the claw part and it was easier to just get up and do it with my real claw/hand

However, it’s a fun contraption to build and I liked the potential of making this contraption even bigger with a few extra parts.

Let’s take a look at my review build of the SqueezeClaw Grabber…

Maybe next time I can make the pooping Reindeer actually poop, for a lot more visual effect.

Thumbs Up.

Improvements?

The grabber part was a little clumsy. Given there are a few rubber bands in the kit, one could easily wrap these around a few times to on the grabber teeth to get a much better grip.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – No Donkey Donkey Cart

The No Donkey Donkey cart was an easy build and once you wind it up, it has a mind of its own. It just goes and goes until the rubber band unwinds.

Let’s take a look at my review build of the No Donkey Donkey Cart…

As you’ll see it introduces the concept of stored energy in the rubber band, which is a concept used many more times with later projects.

And it was a little hard threading the rubber band through, so it’s best to use a toothpick to push it through.

Improvements?

This Klutz Crazy Contraption did really serve any purpose and could have been improved with a place to put a minifig, so it actually looks like a cart.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Art-A-Maton

My kids were really excited to see this build and I guess they imagined it would produce some extraordinary artwork.  Once made it was hard to set the pen up so little ones might need a hand with this.

Also when the pen goes off the paper it (which happens a lot) it kinda makes more art on your desk or table. Grrr!

Let’s take a look at the review build of the Art-A-Maton…

It’s quite a creative design, and I’m sure if I persisted with the drawing it might have developed into something more resembling art. Perhaps I should have switch pens, or used a chisel point texta for a more dramatic effect.

Improvements?

This Crazy Contraption could certainly do with an extra brick for the pen holder and perhaps a couple of end stops to ensure the pen doesn’t flick too far back.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – LEGO Launcher

The Klutz Crazy Action Contraption LEGO Launcher is one of the easiest builds and yet, it really works. It’s the quickest way to lose your 1×4 plates because they move randomly through the air and are small enough to slip into any gap.

But don’t let that stop you because they are the perfect weapon to launch into your droid army. Obliterating their rigid formations.

Or perhaps you want to play a simple game of knock down the LEGO Brick Castle.

Let’s take a look at the review build of the LEGO Launcher…

As you can see it’s easy to build and a lot of fun.

But how far can you launch your 1×4 plate?

Improvements?

None.

Well, actually we could do with a few more 1×4 plates in the kit as I seem to have lost a few 😉

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Wall Rocket Racer

The Wall Rocker Racer is an interesting use of rubber band power and as long as you have a wall to launch from this LEGO contraption is great.

Ideally, you’ll want to buy two of these Klutz craft kits so you can race them side by side down a long corridor. And given a similar build will they travel exactly the same distance?

If not, why?

Anyway, let’s take a look at the build review video…

As you can see there is a bit of work that goes into this Klutz Crazy Contraption but it’s far from the most complex build and as mentioned you really need two to extract the maximum fun.

It is a racer, after all, so you’ll want to race them. Go buy two books.

Improvements?

No real improvements needed for this LEGO Contraption, although you really need to build two, of the gameplay, is limited.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Supercharged Speedster

Now this name really hypes this Klutz Crazy Contraption and although it’s a very creative build, it’s hardly supercharged. At best it’s a bit like a wind-up toy, so perhaps a better name would have been the ‘Windup Speedster’.

It’s one of the most complex builds and uses quite a few parts, so if you are just starting out with LEGO then perhaps choose an easy contraption.

So let’s take a look at the review video…

I haven’t really pushed this Speedster to its limits because I didn’t want to break the rubber bands, but I’m sure you can get it to travel a long way on just one wind.

How far does yours travel?

If you want the Speedster to go faster then try putting the small wheels at the back and the larger wheels at the front. This should make it travel faster but not further.

Improvements?

We need more rubber bands in this craft kit so we can push the limits of this LEGO contraptions.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Battle Top Spinner

Now this is what I call a fun LEGO Contraption. The Battle Top Spinner is a great toy that’ll keep you amused for hours. Who doesn’t like spinning tops and these really spin for a long time if launched correctly.

It’s a medium difficulty build and it might take a few attempts to get it spinning, but once you understand how it works it’s really easy to play with.

Take a look at review video if you are having troubles launching your Battle Top Spinner.

As you can imagine, this battle top spinner is just perfect for a battle arena. Spinning top vs Spinning top

Battle Top Spinner vs Battle Top Spinner – Who will last the longest?

Improvements?

None. It’s a great build and there is plenty of gameplay with this contraption.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Bored Games

Now how are you possibly going to get bored with all these Crazy Contraptions, well that’s what I thought when I read the title but soon realised it was just a play on words.

Bored – Board, get it?

Anyway I found these games easy to build but the gameplay is really difficult because LEGO makes LEGO fit too well. It was hard for my clumsy fingers to pull out the pegs, especially during Connector Peg Solitaire.

Let’s have a look at the review build…

The Brick Tac Toe was easy to play with and would be great on a road trip, as you shouldn’t loose the pieces. And the LEGO Dice was a little less impressive.

Initially, I thought each side of the LEGO dice would have a different number of holes on it, but was surprised to learn it contained pegs. Seriously, I never rolled a 5 or 6 during my test, so it’s not really a fair dice.

Improvements?

Just make the LEGO dice more traditional in design as the pegs falling out, just wasn’t useful.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Zipline Runners

WooHoo! Finally, some crazy contraption fun that didn’t need a level playing surface.

You see these Zipline Runners float through the air on zipline. I found builders string to work best for the zipline as it’s smooth and can be stretched to make the line really tight over long distances.

 

Let’s take a look at them in action…

The Hook Line Zipper is an introduction to a Zipline Runner as it uses very few parts and was really fast.

The Travel-Size Gondola was a fail IMHO as it just wouldn’t stay on the zipline.

And finally, the Zipline Cargo Runner had the best gameplay because the cargo area was just the right size for ferrying LEGO mini-figs across the room. YeeHaaa!

NB: If you substitute a few pieces, you should be able to make all the zipline runners from the one Klutz craft kit.

Improvements?

The Travel-Size Gondola needs adjustment to balance it out correctly. It could certainly do with another arm on the other side of the runner wheel.

Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions – Tennessee Time-Killer

Finally, we reach the main attraction and I wouldn’t be surprised if you actually started with this crazy action contraption. It’s complex in design but the concepts or a swinging pendulum have been around for a long time.

It’s fun to build and you just need one extra part, which isn’t included in the craft kit – a piece of floss. The floss works well because it is really light and yet really strong.

Let’s take a look at the build review…

As you can see this is a really cool design and will keep you mesmerised for long periods of time. You could almost fool someone into thinking is was a perpetual motion machine. Well at least until the rubber band unwound. Hehe!

This is a Great LEGO Contraption Klutz, well done.

Improvements?

Nothing to improve here. It’s a great design.

Troubleshooting

Yep, Klutz have thought of everything and even include a quick troubleshooting guide for each of the projects. Although I didn’tt discover this until the end. Perhaps a few words at the end each project like ‘Having Trouble?’ directing the builders to the relevant troubleshooting page.

Finally, there are a few pages dedicated to Imaging, Planing and Building your own LEGO contraptions. And some some tips on LEGO Geometry which is a nice way to finish the book.

Final Verdict

The Klutz Crazy Action Contraptions book gets a big thumbs up from me and my two pre-teen daughters. It was quite a lot of fun building and playing with these contraptions. The contraptions are easy to put together and lend themselves to further gameplay because of the flexibility of the LEGO play system.

Here are all the Klutz Crazy Contraptions in one video…

Klutz Crazy Action ContraptionsOne downside is the parts need to be re-used for each project which was a bit of a downer as you want to build the next project, and want to keep the existing contraption. Of course, this is what LEGO is all about, unless you are building kits which really only have one function.

My advice is to buy two Klutz Crazy Action Books, because not only will you use the LEGO pieces, it’s much more fun playing with someone else. And at least half of the contraptions lend themselves 1 vs 1 scenario.

If you tried to buy all the parts individually, you’d end up paying much more than the cost of this book, so it’s worth buying for just the parts alone.