Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pokemon Cards, Beanie Babies, Webkinz, every few years a new fad emerges within the toy industry causing an instant demand from consumers eager to have the latest, coolest, trendy item. In 2008 Silly Bandz arrived.
Silly Bandz have proliferated the market with multi-colored, themed rubber-bands. BCP Imports is the company who introduced Silly Bandz to the world last year. At that time they had just 40 employees and sold 100 packs of Silly Bandz per week. Today they have over 3,400 employees and sell over a million packs per week.
Silly Bandz come in a package of 24 and retail for approximately $4.95 per pack. Silly Bandz alone is pumping out 100 Million Dollars in sales annually. And that does not include sales from imitators and competitors such as Crazy Bandz, or Zanybandz and countless others.
Silly Bandz or an imitation thereof are being sold everywhere, from craft stores, gas stations grocery stores, and in just about every retail venue. New genres of Silly bands continue to emerge such as New York Yankees Silly Bandz, Halloween Silly bandz, even x-rated bandz are offered at Spencer’s Gifts.
Even while the popularity of Silly Bandz continues to rise, I can’t help but suggest the stupidity of the excitement. It is just a rubber band! Five bucks for 24 rubber bands! I know people who scoff at the idea of spending five dollars on a pack of baseball cards, but will not hesitate to spend the same amount on these stupid bandz. At least the piece of cardboard shows a picture and information of value. However, at first glance, if someone is actually wearing the Silly Band it is impossible to even depict what shape or subject it holds unless it’s not being worn. Only when it is removed from the arm, can it be read. So I have to ask, what is the point of it then?
In addition to stupidity, there is growing concern of potential danger of children wearing too many bandz for too long. Rubber bands were designed to band items together. It is not uncommon to see a child wearing an excess of 100+ bandz at the same time on one arm. This could lead to the blood circulation being cut off which could lead to serious problems.
“Whether it’s tight bracelets or a ring on your finger, anything that is constricting could cause vascular insufficiency-meaning the blood flow is being altered by some external force. In this case, it’s the new, hip rubber bracelets,” Dr. Gregory Simonian said.
“Veins leaving the hand are low pressure, so it wouldn’t take much, especially on a child, to constrict the flow. These bands could cause what we call a tourniquet effect that can cause your veins to get congested. The bracelets could cause blood clots to form in some of the veins, giving someone a phlebitis, which is an inflammation and clotting of the vein. If left on for a really long time, and the bands were tight enough, it could begin to compromise the arterial blood supply going into the limb, but that would be extreme and very unlikely with these little rubber bracelets,” Simonian said.
Dangerous or not Stupid Bandz continue to cash in from consumers young and old. Maybe I’ll invent Silly clips, paperclip shaped animals and make my own 100 million dollars. Any investors?
USA Today Newspaper, July 1, 2010, Cover Story, Bruce Horovitz