Remember that useless collection of objects that decided your status in grade school? Tell Beanie Babies to slide down the bench, because the new generation is hooked on Silly Bandz.
With Sales Like This, They’re Not So Silly
Available in any color, Silly Bandz are silicon-based rubber bands that kids can wear as bracelets and necklaces. The real selling point: when not stretched out, Silly Bandz are molded into funky shapes and letters. There are animal sets, rock band themed sets (dubbed “Rock Bandz”), and even princess themed sets. Like all standard rubber bands, Silly Bandz retain their shape when not stretched.
Kids enjoy trading them and showing off their collections by wearing them all like sleeves. Packs of 24 cost anywhere from five to eight dollars on Amazon, and Silly Bandz hold eight of the top ten bestseller slots in the Toys and Games category as I write this. Impressive. Most impressive.
Apparently, Silly Bandz have been causing a little ruckus in some schools, and have been banned due to distraction. Parents, don’t let this worry you. Every classroom has opportunities for distraction, and kids will make a toy out of anything. In fact, the banning has only made the craze more outrageous, just as it does for every tradable contraband item in schools.
Also, according to an April 17 article in the New York Times, there is a Silly Bandz page on Facebook with over 83,000 fans…and counting.
Well, what can I say about these little buggers? They look like fun. It is so uplifting to see that the biggest craze in elementary classrooms isn’t technology-based. When you think about it, rubber bands have been around for so long, and kids have always been fascinated with the pliability of rubber. This product takes that basic childhood interest in an existing product and takes it in the next logical step (speaking of which, I vaguely remember the birth of duct tape wallets in school).
At first, I mused that Silly Bandz were a little expensive, especially considering the amount of labor and materials that goes into their creation. Then I remembered that video games are $60, and action figures are $10. Silly Bandz would certainly be a welcome alternative for parents and checkbooks alike. Keep in mind before buying them, they tend to break after a while, and naturally they are easily lost.
If there is one thing that really impresses me about Silly Bandz, it is the ability to wear a whole collection. When I was a kid, and yo-yos suddenly became the coolest thing ever (it was 1996, go figure), it wasn’t like you could bring thirty Duncan brand yo-yos to school. The Beanie Babies that every girl in my class collected were too cumbersome as well. Even a full deck of Pokemon cards required a large cargo pocket, coincidentally at the same time cargo pants were in vogue. But Silly Bandz don’t even need to be carried.
Grade school fads are mostly harmless, I think. Especially Silly Bandz, which prove to me that children still have imagination, and don’t require USB cords to have a good time.