Silly Bandz aren’t so silly

Despite their name, there’s nothing silly about the enormous popularity of Silly Bandz. Since late 2009, the bracelets, along with various copycat brands such as Zanybandz and Crazy Bands, have stretched their way into the hearts of millions of children (and adults) across the country. Silly Bandz and imitation brands were reported by USA Today to have a $200 million market nationwide. Over 8,000 retailers sell the low-tech and low-fashion item. Schools in Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, and New York have banned the toys because they are seen as a distraction to learning. But how did these cheap (about $5 for a pack of 24) silicon bracelets become the latest Ames High fashion accessory? Junior Katie Scott, whose hobbies include adorning her backpack with horse-shaped Bandz, offered insight. “Silly Bandz are the bomb, yo,” Scott said. “I love them because they make pretty pictures.” Junior Erol Unal, who originally claimed to find the bracelets “pointless,” confessed, “The ‘Harry Potter’ ones are kind of cool.” Even with their fun shapes and extreme “tradability,” Silly Bandz have not received unconditional love from the student body. “I think they’re really stupid and a waste of money,” junior Peri Jacobsen said. “They’re probably popular because people are easily entertained.” Experts have compared the enormous popularity of Silly Bandz with other fads, notably to the Beanie Babies trend of the ’90s. The Huffington Post (an online news site) attributed their popularity in a May 2010 article to being “low-tech items in a very high-tech society.” No matter what the reason, Silly Bandz remain a permanent fixture on wrists across Ames High, and across the country. Love them or hate them, Silly Bandz are here to stay. At least until something else comes along.