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Rainbow Loom suit, bought for charity, impractical to wear, inventor says

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 9:58 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at 6:09 a.m.

Photos

Choon Ng won’t wear his new $40,000 suit much. Maybe only once more.

The Rainbow Loom inventor bought talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s pricy Rainbow Loom suit to help children with cancer. But now that he has it, he knows that while a suit made entirely of rubber bands is colorful, it’s not practical.

Ng invented the Rainbow Loom, the toy that children use to make bracelets out of rubber bands.

Kimmel last month walked onstage during “Jimmy Kimmel Live” wearing a suit made by fans crafting together Rainbow Loom bracelets. After that, Kimmel put it up for auction on eBay to raise money for cancer. And after that, Choon and Fen Ng bought it, for $40,000, Fen said in an e-mail Wednesday.

“We bought the suit because it is a donation for MaxLove project, a nonprofit organization helping children with cancer,” she wrote.

But …

“The suit is not very practical to wear … everywhere because it is very fragile and heavy,” she wrote. A photo was taken of Choon Ng wearing the suit jacket and Fen the pants.

But on Sunday, according to a Chicago Wolves ice hockey team website, there is a Rainbow Loom expo in that city.

“We are taking the loom suit to Chicago Wolves for Inauguration Rainbow Loom Expo event,” Fen Ng wrote. “After that it will be (put on a mannequin) for display at our warehouse.”

Choon Ng is a mechanical engineer who graduated from Wichita State University. He invented Rainbow Loom after he came home from work one night and found his daughters trying to weave rubber bands into designs.

Ng designed the toy, first at home using wood and rubber bands, and then with three-dimensional designs that his Wichita brother Yeow Ng took to 3-D printers in Wichita at the National Institute for Aviation Research. The printers developed physical prototypes from Choon’s designs.

The Toy Industry Association in February named Rainbow Loom the Toy of the Year.

Reach Roy Wenzl at 316-268-6219 or rwenzl@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @roywenzl.

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