This Silly Bandz thing has taken the world by storm. Normally I don’t hear about the latest kid trends because I don’t really keep my ear to the tire swing if you know what I mean? But the second I start seeing these mutated rubber bands on my own friends thats when I start to pay attention.
Unless you’ve been living in Mel Gibson’s basement for the last couple of months are sure you are all familiar with this latest craze. My question is though where did it come from? And how the hell did it become acceptable for grown men to be wearing these things?
In order to get to the bottom of this I did what any educated man does and checked wikipedia (The source for any information accurate or inaccurate). According to the almighty source of wisdom: “Silly Bandz are a brand of silicone rubber bands formed into shapes including animals, objects, and letters. They are distributed by BCP Imports and are normally worn as bracelets.” Good luck keeping the IP of that product intact. I saw some guy on Boylston set up Silly Bandz stand with some markers and a bag of rubber bands.
The story goes that this Japanese design team was looking for a more environmentally friendly rubber band. Then Robert Croak, the owner of BCP Imports (distributor of livestrong wristbands), saw the bands on a business trip and decided to repackage them as a kids fashion item.
Things like this are just supposed to sit in kids corner of the local 7-11 and collect dust, so how did it catch on? Well for one celebrities help the cause, but that can’t be the only reason. I caught my older brother wearing some Silly Bandz and asked him why. He made up some story about his girlfriend’s niece giving them to him as a gift and not wanting to upset her. Well we all know that wasn’t true.
Now the bands are being banned by elementary school’s all over the country. Reminds me of the Slap Bracelet Conspiracy back in ’91. Remember that? Those were the coolest thing since bagged milk. That was until someone supposedly got slap braceleted to death. That only brought the scene underground though. Kids were making lunch money for days selling bootlegged Slap Bracelets under the monkey bars.
And remember Pogs? Who could forget that madness? I guess I’m not surprised that Silly Bandz have caught on I just don’t understand how it caught on with the adults. I mean I don’t think you’d see Tom Cruise playing Pogs in the 90’s or Whitney Houston wearing a Slap Bracelet, but who knows?
The one thing I do know is, while Robert Croak has a 10 year plan for Silly Bandz, he might want to ease off the production a little bit. Kids get bored quick and those Silly Bandz will end up as mom’s hair ties faster than you can say Beanie Baby.