Introduction: K'nex Hungry, Hungry Hippos

About: Hello. I'm JonnyBGood! I'm a college student who now has a degree in Mechanical Engineer Technology. (MET) (excessively worded to mean a person who builds stuff).I enjoy building K'nex guns and many other thin…

Hello! I'm JonnyBGood and once again I come bringing another classic game completely built out of K'nex. This year I present a game out of my childhood, Hungry Hungry Hippos. The only difference being is that these four hippos have migrated away from the red pond to find more food and less competition for it. It also presents a more interesting playing style of free roaming, and feasting hippos. Also by removing the board it makes it customizable to the amount of players so it can be from two to infinite, just as long as you have the pieces to build all the hippos. So, let me show you how to build a Hungry Hungry Hippo so you can get playing!

I mainly use K'nex for this instructible, but I also used those small rubberbands used to make bracelets, and masking tape. So make sure to have those handy when building this.

Step 1: Body Mechanism

Alright starting off we are going to make the body mechanism! This will be the mechanism that makes the neck extend and retract like the original version of the game. I show how I attached the rubberband to the gray connector starting at picture 18. Picture 22 is the result of pulling the rubber band through while holding the gray connector ( which requires my hand I was holding the camera with ) If you do this successfully good job! You'll need to do this one more time in the next step so be ready. The only other tricky thing left in this step is to make sure the rubberband, which is tied to the gray connector, has the yellow rod with the hinge through it (as shown in the pictures). Other than that it should be easy. Test your product at the end of this step.The yellow rod with gray connector should come forward when you press the lever, and come back by itself due to the rubberband.

Step 2: The Mouth and Head

Now for the most important part of this forever starving hippo. The head! (kind of hard to eat without a head) Anyway this step starts with laying out all the parts you will need, and then continue to assemble those parts. Picture 25 shows the two gray connectors with y-clips attached to them with a bracelet band around them and picture 26 show them on the assembly. I attached them as you see in picture 26 by taking a gray connector assembly in both hands, stretching the rubberband until the gray connectors fit around the white rod, then letting them come back together on the white rod as you see in the picture. If you cant figure it out I'm always lurking on the site to answer your questions, or you can skip it because it's just detailing. Another interesting step here is when you add some masking tape to the green rods so the friction will prevent the spacers from coming off. You can also see in the pictures how I attached the spacers by using another connector to push them on. The last difficult step would be attaching the head to the body. Make sure the orange connectors line up with the spacers on the body and then it should slide underneath the spacers. When attaching the head mechanism to the body mechanism make sure to insert the white rod through the gray one slot connectors on the head! Use the small bracelet band to prevent the white rod from coming out by attaching it as you see in the pictures.

If you have done all the steps correctly so far, you should have a working Hungry Hippo! When you push down the lever now, the neck should extend with the mouth opening an shutting at the end of the extension. Releasing the lever will retract the neck with the mouth closed.

Now for the last couple of parts! You've survived the hardest parts!

Step 3: Finishing the Body

Now it time to add those last few detailing to make your Hippo appear well fed. There isn't really any complicated parts in this step, but if you get tripped up on something I'm always available with advice. Just leave me a comment and I'll help you to the best of my ability! Finish building all these parts and you're done!

Step 4: You're Done!

Congratulations! You have built your own Hungry Hungry Hippo! Now for your next one you can try some different colors to personalize them. I hope you enjoyed building them and as I have, and I hope you'll give me a vote in the K'nex contest! As always thanks for checking out and building my Hungry Hungry Hippos!


Game play

1. Set all hippos equally spaced around playing surface.

2. Have one player drop a hand full of gray connectors in the determined center. ( determined center is the center of the playing surface that all players agree on.)

3. As soon as connectors drop all hippos are free to move and eat as many gray connectors possible, whoever eats the most wins! ( for a twist add some of the purple gray connectors and make them worth more points)

Community Contest: Toy Rods and Connectors

Runner Up in the
Community Contest: Toy Rods and Connectors