Jimmy Kimmel’s so-called “Suit of the Loom” is home in Michigan where it all began.
Wixom-based Rainbow Loom by Choon’s Design put in the top $40,000 bid for the suit, which Kimmel wore on his Feb. 26 “Jimmy Kimmel Live” program and auctioned on eBay to raise money for the MaxLove Project, a non-profit inspired by a 7-year-old California youth who’s battling brain cancer, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Cheong Choon Ng borrowed the idea for Rainbow Loom from his daughters after seeing them sitting around their Novi home making bracelets from the rubber bands used to keep pony tails in place. A former crash safety engineer at NIssan Technical Center North America in Farmington, he put his entrepreneurial mind to work on improving the project – to prove “dads are cool, too,” Ng told the Free Press.
But he finally convinced his wife, Fen Chan, they should, ahem, stretch themselves and take $10,000 out of their savings account and see if they couldn’t create their own business.
That was in 2010. The Rainbow Loom craze is in full bloom now, with the private company bringing in annual revenues of about $50 million.
His invention was named the Toy of the Year – which is sort of like winning the best-picture award at the Oscars – at the 2013 International Toy Fair in New York. The company and its Rainbow Looms have been featured on talk shows, in magazines and, unlike other crazes, isn’t fading with time and has universal appeal with both girls and boys agcross a wide age span.
Creating with Rainbow Looms, which don’t require an app or any kind of technological gizmo, is a return to the basics, said Sharon DiMinico, CEO and founder of Learning Express Toys, a national franchiser of educational toy stores that bills itself “Rainbow Loom Headquarters.”
"This isn't a toy that lights up or requires an app; it goes back to basics," DiMinico said in a news release. "The Rainbow Loom encourages social interaction, builds fine motor skills, and inspires creativity. We've come to discover the play possibilities really are endless with this toy."
And it’s not just kids who have hopped on the Rainbow Loom train. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wore one his daughter made last summer, the Wall Street Journal said.
Now that the “Suit of the Loom” has been delivered to the Rainbow Loom offices in Wixom, it’s creators have some decisions about what to do with the 23-pound size 42R suit.“We gathered around a table for the ‘grand opening’ of the package,” Chan said. “I guess our first thoughts were about who would get to try wearing it.”
Related: Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Suit of the Loom’ Mostly Made in with Michigan Kids’ Contributions >>>