Rainbow Loom has reportedly sold 3.5 million rubber band weaving kits, but it’s not enough. There’s never enough of the hot toy of the year. That’s why we were surprised–but not all that surprised–to learn that there’s a brisk trade in counterfeit Rainbow Looms out there.
If you don’t happen to know any kids under age 12 or so, the Rainbow Loom is the new hotness in the craft and toy world. Rather than the cotton potholders you might have loomed as a kid, the kit uses small rubber bands and a crochet-like hook to create designs that range from simple band bracelets to elaborate 3D sculptures and even accessories like cell phone cases and hats. All out of rubber bands.
One product that looks like a knockoff, Walmart’s Wonder Loom, really does come from the company. Others? Well, apparently they’ve proliferated so much that there’s a twelve-page PDF document on the Rainbow Loom web site that outline how to identify fakes. Consumers may not be able to tell the difference until they open up the kit…and maybe not even then.
One Consumerist reader reports buying what turned out to be a counterfeit Rainbow Loom at a mall kiosk, and learned that no one particularly cared. The patent holder is overwhelmed, and the mall management was indifferent. The kiosk did take the loom back for a refund, though. That was nice.
Rainbow Loom’s creator weaves success from playtime inspiration [Crain’s Detroit Business]
Danger of counterfeits and how to spot them [Rainbow Loom]