Grade School Currency: Silly Bandz


I predict the next big craze will be paperclips with crazy plaid and animal print patterns.

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.

So simple, but hey, whatever works.

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.


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  1. I remember Garbage Pail Kids and slap bracelets being the get-you-detention toys when I was in grade school.

    I had my Garbage Pail Kids taken from me in 2nd grade. Teacher put them in a shoebox with all the other “evil” toys and told me I could get them in a week.

    Well, that week went by as did about 5 years before I remembered that my GPK cards were confiscated. So I went back to my 2nd grade teacher and asked if she still had them. To my shock, she did. They were in the shoebox with all the other toys kids forgot.

    Slap bracelets didn’t hit until 5th grade and those were a source of much fun and pain for everyone. That was until they started slicing open wrists.

    It’s funny that the simple/cheap toys that are huge hits end up being hazards. I bet these Silly Bandz will end up the same way. Some child will choke on one or will get caught on a hook and break a finger or something and that’s it for them.

    I’m smelling more retro toy features! 😉 Koosh balls, slap bracelets, Mad balls…

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