Want to spend more quality time with your kids, away from screens and devices? Or simply looking to indulge in some play time yourself? Look no further than Nimuno Loops, which is well on its way to becoming 2017’s best invention. We reached out to South African designer Anine Kirsten to find out more about they story of this tape that’s turning toy play upside down.
Created by Anine Kirsten and Max Basler, Nimuno Loops is often referred to as Lego Compatible Tape because it is a kind of tape that can be used with toy blocks, like Lego. It’s designed to allow flexibility in play by being bendable and cuttable, opening a world of opportunities for fans to create tangible fictional worlds with adhesive toy bricks.
Kirsten first dreamed up the idea of the Nimuno Loops after visiting the New York Toy Fair last year.
Tell us about yourself and the team behind Nimuno Loops. What led you to create Toy Blocks Compatible Tape?
Chrome Cherry Design Studio (CCDS) specializes in bringing innovative products to market from concept through to production. Most notable are the much-loved Ybike range of ride-on toys which are renowned for their quality and design. At CCDS, we are always looking for great new ways to improve the way in which humans interact with the world around them.
For the concept of the product, we got the idea when we were visiting the New York Toy Fair in 2016, which was a very inspiring environment. Having not seen anything like [the tape], and thinking it could be a great product, we expanded the idea during our occasional mad hatter days at the studio where anything goes. Max Basler, Jaco Kruger and myself then spent the rest of the year bringing it to life in Cape Town.
How does it work? How many colors is the tape available in?
It’s as simple as peeling off the release liner from the adhesive, sticking it down, and building on top of it. We began with offering it in red and blue, but upon reaching our funding and stretch goals [on the Indiegogo campaign in April], we added additional colors, including purple, green, black, gray, orange and white.
How strong is the adhesive backing? What type of surfaces can it be stuck on?
The adhesive is excellent quality. It is strong enough to adhere to a variety of different surfaces and support a multitude of blocks, while remaining easy to remove and reposition.
What are the challenges you’ve encountered along the way? And how have you overcome them?
Identifying the right materials and characteristics that give the product its unique character was quite challenging. It was also challenging figuring out how to communicate the friendliness and comfort we wanted people to experience when meeting the brand. In order to overcome challenges, you have to keep working at it until you are happy with the result.
What’s your design studio like in Cape Town?
It’s a lovely open-plan space that we share with the genius start-up Lumkani. It gets a lot of natural light and has a wonderful creatively messy aura to it, which I love! It is very commonplace to find electronics hanging out with scooter wheels and toy blocks.
What are you hoping to do with the Nimuno Loops next? What’s the long term plan?
We’re planning to turn this into a range of products and expand the capabilities of Nimuno Loops and toy blocks even further.
Who is the tape for?
It’s really for anyone who has ever loved building with toy blocks, no matter their age.
What’s your personal style in home design?
My partner and I are always evolving the space we live in.We have recently purchased a beautiful small Victorian house in Cape Town. We love art, patterns and colors, so the house is full of eye candy. To create balance, we have simple oak, leather, and black steel furniture pieces.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to create their own products?
Try and stay organized and focused. Setting goals and prioritizing will help you drive the project forward when it gets overwhelming and complicated. New projects can be daunting as there is a lot of unfamiliarity but if you pursue it with confidence and take it one step at a time, you can overcome the challenges as they arrive.
For more information on Nimuno Loops, visit https://nimuno.com/.
*This interview has been edited for clarity and length.