First there were loom bands and now get ready for the ‘Finger Loom’ – a travel-sized weaving kit to ensure the world’s most popular craze gets bigger and bigger.
Cheong Choon Ng, 45, invented loom bands after watching his teenage daughters struggling to make rubber band bracelets with their fingers.
So he made a small loom with pins stuck in a piece of wood so he could play along, too – and Hey! Presto! – the Rainbow Loom Band was born.
Ng’s Michigan-based company, called Choon’s Design, has since sold over 8 million units worldwide and 40 million packs of rubber bands, and is now worth more than £800 million ($130 million).
But despite his millions and a following which includes famous faces such as the Duchess of Cambridge, David Beckham, Miley Cyrus and even The Pope, it’s clear that Ng is an ambitious sort of guy. So he’s now come up with new products to keep loom bands at the top of the toy charts.
The first of these is a travel-size Finger Loom, which comes out this week. On the company’s website, the Finger Loom is described as, “The easy-to-use hands-on loom that goes everywhere you go.” It adds: “No hook needed.”
Ng is also fine-tuning the original and trying to drum up interest overseas with plans for expansion in Germany and Japan.
Anna Protherough, senior buyer for children at Hobbycraft said, “The loom bands are an absolute phenomenon. We began stocking the kits since they originally launched last year and since the Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing one, they have been flying off our shelves.”
Doctors have raised concerns about the safety of the bands after a number of children were harmed playing with them, including one boy who nearly lost two fingers after the bands wrapped tightly around them and another who was left blinded when one hit him in the eye.