The truth is that there is no real difference other than the colours that they are painted. The diameter and height of both is so similar I can't tell the difference just from looking at them.
This is great because they can be used with other products from both brands! I'll get to that soon but the first thing to think about is what colours you're wanting.
Now if you're wanting the colours of the peg people to match the colours of the Grimm's Rainbow perfectly I'd go for the Grimm's Friends as the 12 Friends match each arch of the rainbow exactly (pictured below).
The Grimm's friends also match perfectly with the Grimm's other products such as the Sorting Board, Building Boards, Semi Circles, Small Balls etc. Therefore if matching perfectly is up your alley they are the sure choice.
However the Grapat Nins (pictured above) are also rainbow coloured but they are different shades. We started our collection with the Grapat Carla Set and added Mates (little cups) and I have to say that they have been played with everyday, especially the rings and coins.
Another thing that people don't realise is that you can just buy half a Grapat Carla Set called the Nins, Rings and Coins. These are available in rainbow colours and warm colours and together both sets make a Grapat Carla Set. This is something that you can do if your budget doesn't allow for the full set up front.
As the Grapat Nins and Grimm's Friends are the same diameter you'll find that they fit inside opposite brands of products. Pictured above (left) is them both in the Grapat Mates.
A similar option that Grimm's sells is the 7 Friends in Bowls. We don't personally own it in our collection as we own the Grapat Carla set with Mates which as you can see is quite similar. With both the peg people fit loosely inside the bowl which is great for young children to place them in and out and stack the bowls up high.
Another comparison to show you is the Grapat rings (right) and coins and the Grimm's Buildings rings (left) which were added to the range in 2019.
The larger of the Grimm's building rings go around the middle of both the Nins (right) and Friends (left) and the smaller balances on their head.
The Grapat Rings fit all the way around both the Friends and Nins.
Another question we get a lot is if the Nins fit in the Grimm's Convertible Cars and of course the answer is again yes even though they do come with the friends.
We hope this answers all your questions about the differences between the Grapat Nins and the Grimm's Friends and helps you to make a decision between the two sets.
Pictured below is also to show the height and diameter of the two. Grimm's Friend (left) and Grapat Nin (right).
As always if you have any more questions never hesitate to contact us, we're always happy to help!