It’s just not grade school kids wearing the goofy accessory called “Bandz,” Celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Mary-Kate Olsen and Kelly Ripa (she hardly counts sinceÂ the few times I have seen her she appearsÂ to wear almost anything)Â have the newest silicone fad on their wrists. And, just in time for the football season, Bandz has moved into licensed products for colleges and professional teams. Fans can find any NFL team and the notable college teams including MSU.
Bandz are the newest fad-think colorful rubber bands in any shape imagineable. You put them on your wrist and when you take them off, with a little prompting, they will wiggle back into a shape you recognize.Â
Animals are especially popular. Hey, can I trade you one penguin for a retriever? Who would’ve thought?Â
Well, how about James Howard the president of a company that makes silicone kitchen items. In 2009, while in China on a buying trip, he noticed some bands and thought there was a better and more fun way to make them. He created the brand ZanyBandz.
The Learning Express chain kicked them off in Birmingha, Alabama, and the rest is fad history. They’ll soon be on their way to the fad hall of fame with other items like Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch Kids.
Bandz come in packs of a dozen for about $2.50 and a pack ofÂ 24 runs around $5. The MSU Logo pack I have contained 18 items and were $4.99 at Meijer. My Bandz selection include Sparty, a quarterback, a football, cleats and the “State” logo. The fad seems to have no end in sight, as licensed products line up to get their own Bandz.
The ZanyBandz president attributes some of the success to the bracelet being banned by some schools last spring. They immediately got tagged “contrabandz.”
There’s a variety of companies out there making the Bandz including a Toledo, Ohio company that markets under the name Silly Bandz. You also can have custom Bandz made for about 8 cents each.
I can easily see charities and social causes putting together their own packs to sell. Can’t wait ’til the Humane Society has a dog pound of Bandz. A week ago I saw a kid in the neighborhood withÂ a bunch of Bandz on HIS ankle. How about a line of “ankle biters.” Now there’s an idea.