Tags: rainbow loom | kit | toy

Rainbow Loom Kit Creator to Debut Travel-Size Toy This Week

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 11:56 AM

Rainbow Loom kits used for making colorful bracelets worn by everyone from the Pope to Ellen DeGeneres have become one of the world's hottest toys in recent years, and its creator, Cheong Choon Ng, is set to release a travel-sized version on Wednesday.

According to The Daily Mail, the Rainbow Loom has sold more than 8 million units worldwide and 40 million packs of colorful rubber bands to go with them — setting the valuation of Choon's Design, Ng's company, at $130 million. 

Ng, a Malaysian-born mechanical engineer working in Detroit, invented it after seeing his daughters try unsuccessfully to make bracelets from rubberbands.

"I sat down and showed them how to link the rubber bands together, using the same technique we had used to make jumping ropes back in Malaysia," Ng explained in an article he wrote for The Guardian U.K. last week.

"But the bracelets kept falling apart. I went down to my basement, grabbed a scrapboard and stuck multiple rows of pushpins into it. Then I started linking the bands in a zigzag, like a diamond shape, and it worked really well. The next day, my daughters took a bunch of colorful bracelets to school. I became a neighborhood hero overnight."

Eventually, at his daughter Teresa's behest and with his wife's approval, Ng spent his family's savings, $10,000, to bulk order the loom parts from China, which the family then assembled in their garage.

The girls made YouTube videos to explain how to use the loom, but sales chugged along at a slow clip for a while. Then, in the summer of 2012, they received an order from a toy store in Georgia for 12 kits. After they quickly sold out, the store placed an order for $10,000.

"When my wife and I saw it, our jaws dropped. We thought it was a mistake," he explained.

"The store owners told us they had never seen anything like it. After that, our sales climbed every month until, in December 2012, we reached $200,000 wholesale sales a month. I took a three-month sabbatical from Nissan, but never returned to my old job."

Since then, the Rainbow Loom has really taken off, and its creations have been shown off by big celebrities like the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel even crowd-sourced an entire "Loom Suit" for his show in February.



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Rainbow Loom kits used for making colorful bracelets worn by everyone from the Pope to Ellen DeGeneres have become one of the world's hottest toys in recent years, and its creator, Cheong Choon Ng, is set to release a travel-sized version on Wednesday.
rainbow loom, kit, toy
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2014-56-30
Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 11:56 AM
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