Students silly for Silly Bandz

Brooke Lowin

Brooke LowinReporter

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a saxophone!

It’s actually just one of the incredible, stretchy bracelets known as Silly Bandz that have become a cultural phenomenon. What started out as a product for children has spread to the rest of the world, along with the SDSU campus.

Silly Bandz first gained popularity in 2008 and were sold exclusively online. Since then, they have branched out and are now available in roughly 8,000 stores across the United States. Retailers everywhere are following suit and Silly Bandz products are quickly popping up on shelves and selling out in a similar fashion.

They come in numerous shapes and colors (now even available in glow-in-the-dark and neon), and the elasticity allows them to snap back and forth between a form and a bracelet. Similarly older generations’ baseball cards, children are trading and upgrading Silly Bandz on the playground, while also viewing them as a must-have accessory.

Unlike Trix, these aren’t just for kids. At SDSU, an institution aimed at higher intellectual learning, students across campus now proudly wear assorted Silly Bandz on their wrists. What’s the appeal? What draws in the older crowd to a product marketed towards a younger audience? Perhaps in college, students are searching for a piece of their childhood, a token from that time when there were no cares about final exams or midterms.

“Silly Bandz bring back that freedom of expression and originality that comes with childhood,” freshman psychology major Abraham Knoff said.

The trend has been spotted across generations, showing its universal charm. The various themes are perhaps a factor that draw people in and allow them to express a part of their personality while showing off a younger, more youthful side of themselves.

“It interests me that they are a more diverse product, and in turn appeal to more people,” freshman graphic design major Samantha Berry said.

There are some though who think Silly Bandz, like the toys such as Tamagotchi and Furbies before them, are a passing trend.

“It”s a matter of perspective,” freshman math major Leanne Holdorf said. “We find value in something and it keeps that insignificant value until something else takes its place.”

In fact, Silly Bandz are now offered in packs with themes, such as Hello Kitty and Marvel comics. In tune with the times, there are even exclusive Justin Bieber-themed Silly Bandz.

“Bieber? I am disappointed. My faith in humanity is lost,” Knoff said.

On the other hand, using a famous celebrity is a tried and true marketing ploy.

“Justin Bieber is a fad alongside the Silly Bandz,” Holdorf said. “Right now he is an icon of sorts and it will help sell them.”

The official Silly Bandz website features a video called My Silly Bandz by Young Siege. Also, You Tube offers a plethora of videos devoted to the stretchy sensation, showing more than ever the dominant role new technology plays in the promotion of children’s products. They aren’t just Saturday morning commercials anymore.

So, are Silly Bandz here to stay? Only time will tell. Until then, wear them proudly, Jack Rabbits.

#1.1655744:4294511991.jpg:Silly Bandz have become very popular among kids and teens, including students here at SDSU. :Silly Bandz have become very popular among kids and teens, including students here at SDSU. :Collegian Photo by Mackenzie Clayton