The Lini Story
“What is it going to be?” my mom said in a rather impatient voice. “The teddy bear or the building blocks?”
We were only minutes away from leaving our cosy home in Germany. "We won’t come back," my mom explained earlier. The country far away, where people live in houses made out of mud sounded like an adventure. Leaving all my toys behind except one, on the other hand, was a tough call. Being a missionary child wasn’t always easy. I wanted to make a smart choice. It had to be a toy I could enjoy for a long time. The choice fell on a small set of building blocks.
Being able to have one toy became a luxury.
This experience was the key inspiration in creating the Lini cube. I asked myself the following questions:
How would you design a building block if it’s the only toy you could have and what would it look like if there could only be one kind of block, meaning all of them had to be the same?
A little later Lini® cube was born. A high quality building block Made in Germany.
Sunny Hills is a Berlin based company.
With Lini® cube we created a revolutionary product. Something that seemed impossible for generations and with such creating a new standard.
The jury of the German Design Council describes Lini® cube this way:
The Lini cube is a new concept in toy building blocks: as there is only one type of building block, it goes back to the roots the old-fashioned way. Not only does this encourage imagination and creativity, but it also opens up a countless number of design possibilities.
(Designer of the Lini® cube)
2014, April 09 - Idea
The idea together with a certain determination was born out of frustration over the toy industry's lack of innovation.
2014, May - First Prototype
First prototype with round plugs.
2014, June - Second Prototype
Second prototype with “sinus” plugs.
2014, September - Third Prototype
Various colours and better quality.
2014, Dezember - Patents Filing
3 utility patents
2015, January - Building Testings
Over a hundred prototypes were made to test various models in real life conditions. Up to this point it was only possible to build something using 3D software on the computer, due to the small quantity of the prototypes. Now we could make sure that models made in 3D renderings could actually be built.
2015, August - Sample Mold
The mold was a challenge. However, the cube came out surprisingly well with still some tweaks to be done.
2015, October - Design Patent
10 Designs registered
2015, October - Support
1st Support from the German Economics Ministry (German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy).
2015, November - Production Mold
The results from the production molds were great. Ready for production!
2015, November - Support
2nd Support from the German Economics Ministry.
2015, December - 1st Kickstarter Launch
Launch of the first public Lini cubes: The Limited Edition Red.
2016, January - Toy Fair Nuremberg
Exhibitor on the joint stand "Innovation Made in Germany" from the German Economics Ministry
2016, February - Market Strategy
Decision was made to place Lini cube in the exclusive / luxury market rather than mass market.
2016, March - Red Dot Award
Lini cube wins the Red Dot Product Design Award 2016
2016, June - 2nd Kickstarter Launch
Introduced our color concept Shades.
2017, February - German Design Award
Lini cube wins the German Design Award 2017
- 2017, April - 1 Million Views on YouTube
- 2017, October - Exhibition Brands & Signs
- 2017, November - Toy Fair Dresden
* Lini is a trademark of Sunny Hills