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Do you ever look at a product and think, “I could’ve thought of that!” A product so simple – and let’s face it, so useless – that its popularity defies all logic… Unless you’re a kid, I guess. And, of course, unless you’re the product’s maker (in which case, you’re a gazillionaire at this point.)

What am I talking about? Silly Bandz.

I think they’ve been a staple in our household for a couple of months, now. And if you haven’t heard about them yet, give it time. The Silly Bandz fad is certain to be on it’s way to a drug store near you.

So what are Silly Bandz (also sold under the names of Goofy bands and Zany bands)? They’re small silicone bracelets that look like a thin hair band on the wearer’s wrist. Ah, but once you take the Silly band off, the material takes the shape of a host of animals, people or things.

Silly bands are typically sold in packages of 24 – four each of six different shapes per package- and bundled according to theme. There’s a zoo theme, and a car theme, a military theme and a princess theme, themes of faith and love and hope – and the list goes on and on.

To give you an idea of just how popular these things are around here, the stores sell out as quickly as they restock. In fact, one store received a shipment on a Wednesday morning. The shipment hadn’t even been put away. A customer came in looking for them, and bought the entire shipment on the spot. (Thanks for blowing it for the rest of us, mister.)

The price is hard to beat – relatively speaking. For about $3, 24 bracelets go a long way – especially for school kids, who’ve quickly mastered the art of trading. Even my high school senior has been known to barter with her younger brother in order to snag some Silly Bandz of her own.

When their popularity initially began to rise here, Colton would head to school every day with a wrist full of bands. But it wasn’t long until their appeal led to unfinished homework and excessive noise in the classroom. Needless to say, his teacher has banned them from class. The bands are banned at my nephew’s entire school – a sure sign that this fad is now a craze.

Here’s the strangest thing (in my opinion): apparently large canisters of these bands used to be available at office supply stores, where one could probably get about 500 for 8 or 10 bucks. As in they sat on the shelves for at least a couple of years. Dormant. No more.

I have to wonder the outcome, had I stumbled – and acted – on these silicone gold mines a year and a half ago. Sure I wouldn’t have made a million. But I would be the envy of every child in the neighborhood. I could’ve talked them into pulling weeds, doing dishes and washing the car – all in exchange for a thin wrist band…

Hmm… I think I’ll wrap things up for now. If I can beat the kids to the store, my plan could still work. Here I come, Silly Bandz!

-Liz

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