New trend … new distraction?
By Katie Chamberlain
Talon staff writer
Walking around the school hallway in a single day you see one student after another with rubber-band-filled wrists. Among these teenagers is freshman Kaitlyn Olson, showing off her color-coded array.
These rubber bands, called Silly Bandz, have become a popular trend this year with people of all ages. They are silicone bands, each one with its own unique shape. They can be collected, traded, or worn on your wrists to show off to friends.
BCP imports LLC, the distributor of this snazzy little bracelet, created this product with the intention to be a fun accessory that people could trade with one another, which is exactly what Silly Bandz fans are doing. The product was modeled after an office product made by a Japanese design team.
The shaped rubber bands were supposed to be an environmentally green office product, but failed because they were too costly. According to a May 2010 Time magazine article, BCP Imports has grown rapidly over the last year, hiring hundreds of more employees. The company sells millions of packs in a single month.
Silly Bandz come in all different colors, some even multi-colored and the shapes vary widely. Options include everything from holiday packs to animal shapes to the new iCarly and Justin Bieber shaped bracelets, which sell for about five dollars for a pack of 24 bands.
“I love that Silly Bandz are so diverse,” said Olson. “There are so many different colors, different shapes, and it’s always fun when I get new Silly Bandz.”
When seeing her walk down the hallways you might notice something interesting as to the way she displays her rubber band bracelets.
“I like to color code them,” said Olson, “It looks sweet! They look so gross with all the colors combined. I got my first set of Silly Bandz from my dad last May. I had never heard of them, but I have been obsessed with them ever since!”
“I don’t like them, they’re not part of my style” said sophomore Asher Larson.
Like Olson, freshman Alex Rocker is also silly for Silly Bandz.
“I am a fan of them,” said Rocker. “I find them fun to have on my wrists”
Some schools consider Silly Bandz a distraction. Schools in states such as Texas, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida have banned Silly Bandz for being a distraction to learning, and when used as a slingshot, for being dangerous.
“I think they are distracting to me because when I am bored in class I play with them,” said Olson. “I haven’t had a teacher take them away yet.”
BCP Imports, the parent company of Silly Bandz, has come out with new products, like the Silly Slapz watch and Rad Bandz, a thicker rubber bracelet with words like “Invincible” and “Respect” on them. They hope that these products will be as greatly successful as Silly Bandz have been.