They're everywhere. Kids love them. Teens love them. Celebrities love them. So what are they?
They're Silly Bandz. First sold exclusively online in 2008, BCP Imports' Silly Bandz now occupy the shelves of 8,000 stores in the U.S. and are on Amazon's list of best selling toys and games. These inexpensive and colorful rubber bands can be found in a variety of shapes, from dollar signs to butterflies to guitars. They've swept across the U.S. and can be now found on the wrists of children everywhere.
I first came across them while volunteering in the Religious Education program at my church, where I worked with 2nd graders. The kids would come in with both arms covered halfway to their elbows with these rubber bands and trade them. Those who didn't have any marveled over their classmates. Not long after, my little sister came home with a few Silly Bandz of her own and pleaded that we buy some more.
I personally didn't find them of much entertainment or collecting value. The coolest part of them was the fact that you could stretch them out and they still retained their original shape. I have to admit, some are a little cute, like the elephant or dolphin. They're still not something I would spend my own money on. However, celebrities have been swept into the craze as well. Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Kate Olsen are a few of the more fashion-forward fans.
Just like Pokemon cards, Tamagotchis, and Neopets, Silly Bandz will probably fade away into just a childhood memory for most. But for now, they're a thriving and harmless trend.