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8 Cool Facts About Silly Bandz Bracelets History

Updated on October 10, 2013

Fascinating Facts About Silly Bandz

Silly Bandz are everywhere.These funky animal shaped bracelets are stacked high on kids' arms. This fashion fad can be found on the arms of kids everywhere; these silly bracelets come in shapes like dinosaurs, princess themes, cars, sports, sea creatures, and many other themes. But did you know they were invented to save the environment? That's right. Silly Bandz, Stretchy Shapes, and Zanybandz are not just a fashion fad; they were designed by a Japanese artist, Robert Croak. He didn't realize that Silly Bandz silicone bands would become a huge success, and that children would be frantically searching stores for the next bracelet to add to their collection. So, let me tell you about the Silly Bandz trend and its history.

1. The Inventor of Silly Bandz Has a Criminal Record

The inventor of Silly Bandz has a small blip on his record. According to Business Week, Robert Croak has a forgery conviction on his record. He claims it was a technicality since it was a minor mistake during his regular business activities, and he was never sentenced to jail. The judge granted him probation, and is required to pay fines.

8 Things You Didn't Know About Silly Bandz

2. With Silly Bandz, You Won't Know What Hit You

For the rest of your life, you will remember the moment that you saw your first shaped silicone bracelets. Your child will leave a few Zany Bandz and wonder "What the heck is this?" You really won't pay attention.

Before long, she will excitedly show you her silicone bracelet and tell her how her friend gave it to her "for free." She will beg you to buy a box. And then the chaos will begin! You will remember that you saw a blurb on "Good Morning America." You will ask yourself where to buy Silly Bandz, and you will visit more stores in one day than you've visited in your entire life. Once you have them, you will spend hours watching her sort through her collection, and watch pictures appear on Facebook, showing off armloads of Zanybandz. Your life will be changed for good.

3. Silly Bandz Were Supposed to Help the Environment

Before Silly Bandz bracelets were the latest fashion fad, they were just nameless rubber bands. They were designed in Japan by a man who wanted to stop people from throwing out rubber bands. He created the environmentally friendly animal designs hoping that people would recycle the rubberbands instead of tossing them in the trash. Before long, these creative new products were discovered by Robert Croak and he had them turned into Silly Bandz.

4. They Do Tricks!

It's not just any rubber band---it can do tricks. The most skilled animal bracelet owners know how to perform as well. Watch with amazment as they spin them around their fingers using one hand. You can even learn how to make a Silly Bandz necklace. Or magically turn the bracelet into a mobile, which really looks more like Jacob's Ladder. Or, they can pull a Houdini and use one hand to tie a knot in the shaped wristband. The possibilities are endless!

Now that our kids are so technically savvy, you can find out how to do tricks right on YouTube. Just visit their site, and do a search on tricks. You'll be shocked at how skilled some of these kids are. Hey, we all want a low-tech toy that boosts our children's creativity. Who could ask for anything more?

5. The Kids Started the Trend on Facebook

Marketing directors pay attention: Silly Bandz are destined to go down in history as the first huge fad to be advertised primarily through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube, as well as email. There was no paid advertising involved!

In this case, the company didn't sell their product, their customers did. By tweeting on Twitter, posting pictures on Facebook, and creating videos on YouTube, the kids have taken the world by storm and created a viral marketing strategy. By simply showing off their collection, these kids have achieved more success than most advertising agencies will ever see.

6. They Used to Be Impossible to Find

Luckily, Silly Bandz are no longer impossible to find (unless you are looking for one of the rare ones, like the Emergency 911 set). For almost a year, finding a package of these stretchy silicone wristbands was nearly impossible. I visited numerous stores, including specialized gift stores, Hallmark, Office Depot, Learning Express, AC Moore, and everywhere that they each recommended. Finally, I found them at Walgreens and Amazon.

Thank goodnesss, these silicone bracelets are much easier to find now. However, if you are looking for a rare set, you may want to buy the package of Silly Bandz right away. You may not get another chance to see the rare ones.

This trend is much like the Beanie Babies craze in the past. But the harder they are to find, the more excited people become about them.

Do You Believe in the Silly Bandz Ban?

Do you think Silly Bandz should be banned from school?

See results

7. Silly Bandz are Banned

Many schools across the country have implemente a Silly Bandz ban. If you live in Florida, Massachussetts, New York, North Carolina, or Texas, you may be surprised. Teachers and administrators claim that they are distracting students from their studies, and even causing arguments and fights at school. They seem to think that kids are playing with their animal bracelets instead of doing their work. Some schools are worried about the toys cutting off the circulation in children's arms---Okay, I'll give them that one!

However, I think this ban is ridiculous! (Well, except for the cutting off circulation reason.) We finally have a low cost, technology free activity for kids to enjoy, and they are loving it. Let's face it, these same kids would be fighting over tennis shoes or texting on their cell phones if they didn't have their animal rubber bands. It's crazy to have the Silly Bandz banned from school.

8. These Animal Bracelets are a Bargain

When your child comes home pleading for a set of Silly Bandz, it will be impossible to say no. "They only cost about $5," she will say. And that will sound perfectly reasonable to you, since you probably just spent $50 for a pair of jeans.

The best part is that name brands don't matter. The kids aren't looking to fit into the same expensive formula that is usually required by the fashion police. Different is better. And very different is a whole lot better, because the more rare the animal bracelets, the more valuable the trade. So go ahead and buy a different brand. Zanybandz, Stretchy Shapes, and Goofy Bands are equally valuable.

To make the most out of their silicone bracelet collection, your children will start scouring the stores for various packs. The packs are divided into categories based on themes. For example, you can buy a basic pack or packs focusing different shapes, like the zoo, baseball, spring pack, sports, bugs, bees, the rainforest, pets, the beach, dinosaurs, cars, western items / old west, Noahs Ark, Hollywood, mystical dragons, jungle pack, Christian, Christmas, pirates, camp items, rock bands, the alphabet, dogs, sea creatures, and princess items.

The newer bands feature special qualities, such as the ability to change colors or glow in the dark. The glitter wristbands are also very popular.

Five dollars, huh? Sounds like a deal to me!

Where to Buy Silly Bandz

As I mentioned before, there is a good chance that the Silly Bandz and Zany Bandz will be sold out, but you should give it a try. It's a cheap way to entertain your kids!

When shopping, remember that you'll want to visit several different stores. Even if the store has several packages of the animal bracelets, variety is the key to this trend. Purchasing several different packs will increase the change of finding a rare rubber band.

Here are some stores that are known to carry Silly Bandz, or another brand of the animal rubber bands:

  • Many online retailers
  • AC Moore
  • As Seen on TV stores
  • Amazon (I've been told this has bigger lots)
  • Big Lots
  • Build a Bear
  • Claire's
  • CVS
  • Dollar General
  • Dollar Tree
  • FYE
  • Hallmark
  • Justice
  • Learning Express
  • Shop Rite
  • Sporting Goods stores (Dick's, The Sports Authority, etc.)
  • Target (I have not seen them here personally)
  • Walmart
  • Walgreens


Safety Tips

It may surprise you to know that Silly Bandz can be dangerous with misuse. Of course, these bracelets are not designed for children three years of age or younger, as these kids could potentially choke.

However, there is another concern with Silly Bandz. In some places, the Silly Bandz are banned because of injuries. Some children are wearing bracelets that are too small, or they are wearing too many bracelets on one arm. When the Silly Bandz stack up on your wrist, they may cut off circulation, causing injuries to the viens in your hands.

Make sure that your children's bracelets are not too tight. Also, make sure that they take them off before going to bed, to lessen the danger during sleep. Be very careful if your child's hand falls asleep, or if it seems to have poor circulation. If you experience any of these symptoms, remove the bracelets immediately. Contact a doctor if necessary.


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    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Like all fashions, Silly Bandz may have run its course. I haven't seen any around lately. Do your kids still wear them?

    • profile image

      kayla420 6 years ago


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      Luke 7 years ago

      i think this fad is going to last long

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      Tiffany Norris 7 years ago

      They haven't banded them from our South Columbus High in North Carolina and i have like a thousand they are so cool. I LOVE THEM!!

    • profile image

      taylor  7 years ago

      watch in 2-3 years no one will like silly bandz... do i get payed for getting this right in 2 years

    • profile image

      sukie2664 7 years ago

      You know, silly bandz are on sale on Buck Or Two today i bought a Glow In Dark silly bandz

    • profile image

      *jenna* ! 7 years ago


    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "Also, make sure that they take them off before going to bed, to lessen the danger during sleep."

      Taking them off before going to bed pretty much eliminates the danger altogether. ;)

    • dobo700 profile image

      dobo700 7 years ago from Australia

      They are big in Australia

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Lilly: You're not alone! Kids all over the country love Silly Bandz. These silicone bracelets are fun and inexpensive. And they are coming out in all sorts of new logos and designs.

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      megan1014 7 years ago

      i have slot of them some i just hace to trade and give away. i love them, anyone from 6to 60 can wear them and have fun picking out the ones they want

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      kmj 7 years ago

      At first when i saw them i thought to myself those are stupid. why would anyone want to buy them? but when I found some on the playground I started to like them alot! I currently have36. l

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      Popra 7 years ago

      This is so stupid! I voted for the ban! I mean, last year some kids were flinging them across the classroom, so the teacher couldn't teach. She confiscated them and wore them herself. Well, back to my roll of bubblewrap, which should be a better fad then stupid rubberbands. Yes, I reuse them. Only our doorknobs wear them, though. So,

    • profile image

      GetCustomWristbands 7 years ago

      Thanks for the informative post!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      Good hub, great info, Polly

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      bob 7 years ago

      at walmart they have 12 packs for a dollar. go to its my website about them and many other brands.

    • profile image

      Aritagal25 7 years ago

      They r coming out with Justin beiber silly bandz just to get everyone ready to hit the stores!!!!

    • charmstotreasure profile image

      charmstotreasure 7 years ago

      Just saw these this weekend at a neighborhood block party. Kids had a trading table set up under a tent and a 6-year old filled me in. Neat!

    • profile image

      KenyaT 7 years ago

      Can you get silly bands personalized?

    • profile image

      Lizee 7 years ago

      I?Sillybandz! they r all the rad at my school, and really popular. i agree with the 'no banning' because we only trade during recess and occasionally free time! I am SO glad my district hasn't banned them! also, i shop at walmart cuz they got cool 'multicolored' 'smelly' 'glow-in-the-dark'... all kindsa stuff for ONE DOLLAR!!!!!!!! i save up all my money, and i also ? amazon because u can find em for a penny!

    • profile image

      GetCustomWristbands 7 years ago

      This was a good read, I will check back more often for updates.

    • profile image

      ashley 7 years ago


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      lj 7 years ago

      dont wear silly bandz! they have a poison mercury in them

    • profile image

      tanya 7 years ago

      these cool bracelets r sold n almost everywhere

    • profile image

      Beth 7 years ago

      The best place to buy them is Big Lots... they are $3 for a bag, instead of $5 at most stores.

    • Bandz Wiki profile image

      Bandz Wiki 7 years ago

      This is a superb article. I might even go as far as to say it's the best thing on Hub Pages about Silly Bandz. There's really enough here for two or three articles!

    • profile image

      Mom 7 years ago

      only one thing my daughter fell asleep with them on last night and woke up this morning and her arm was sore and her hand also where they actually cut off circulation :( she still loves them we just now know not to fall asleep with them on

    • profile image

      GetCustomWristbands 7 years ago

      I loved this post it’s exactly what I was looking for.

    • profile image

      jessca 7 years ago

      i live in louisvlle ky and you can find sily bandz in almost any gas station you wlk int. tey alsohave silly bandz in the shape of Dora the Explorer and Spongebob.

    • profile image

      frank 7 years ago

      you forgot shoprite,and most sporting goods stores (u can get logo banz)

    • profile image

      frank 7 years ago

      these things are banned in my school im so glad

    • profile image

      cassie 7 years ago

      If you live near a burkes outlet you can get them too! sometimes the discontinued ones, as it's an outlet store

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      karen 7 years ago

      i have about 159 i love them if i find some at a store i buy them!

    • profile image

      jewellery channel 7 years ago

      these colorful bands add vibrancy to kids look...

    • profile image

      7 years ago

      you can also find them at bed bath and beyond, and cost plus. (this is in northern california where i found mine)

    • profile image

      Tuna 7 years ago

      Is anyone concerned about all that silicone? Isn't this an environmental nightmare waiting to happen?

    • profile image

      Linda 7 years ago

      I'm one of those teachers who banned them in my classroom. They were very distracting to students who would play with them instead of paying attention to the lesson. Try restricting them to their backpacks and the kids would slip them into their desks! Don't get me wrong, I think they are great. This low cost, technology free toy is interesting and fun but belongs at home.

    • profile image

      julie 7 years ago

      when they first hit yes they were next to impossible to find...since I am selling them in my store that's good. Now the manufacturers are mass producing and mass selling which is not so good for retailers and the fad. They are EVERYWHERE now. I mean everywhere. I was selling close to 50-100 packs a day now I can hardly give them away. My opinion they the BANDS COMPANIES are going to kill the fad. small retailers can't compete with big box retailers. The more you buy the cheaper you get them, no one can compete with Walmart and the big stores are fine by pricing them just above wholesale to get the customers they will buy other items. I have about 1500 packs I can't seem to get rid of.

    • profile image

      lilly 7 years ago

      I love them

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you! I never would have thought to look for Silly Bandz at Build a Bear stores!

    • profile image

      Codigirl 7 years ago

      They are available in all Build A Bear stores as well!

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, Andrea. I'm glad to see that you can find them in New Hampshire!

    • profile image

      Andrea 7 years ago

      Actually up here in New Hampshire you can buy them just about anywhere. FYE, a stand at the mall, walmart, walgreens, target, etc.

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, Sally, do you mind if I include that in my article? My daughter has also told me about the rare ones, too; apparently one of the monkeys is rare, but the other is not!

    • profile image

      Sally White 7 years ago

      The rarest and most unusual shapes are from Stretchy Shapes, according to my daughter, who has hundreds of them. Sher now swears that those are the only ones she'll wear.

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, Carol, I'm glad to share! Kids are crazy for silly bandz. It is funny how trends come and go. So many things from my teen years are coming back into fashion again.

    • CarolRucker profile image

      Carol Rucker 7 years ago from Cincinnati

      Thank you for everything I ever wanted to know about Silly Bands. My kids are grown, so I just heard about them from my niece over the weekend. They remind me of the colorful jelly bracelets that were popular about 25 years ago. They were also inexpensive and fun.

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 7 years ago from North Carolina

      The kids do love these bracelets! Aren't you glad your daughter chose an inexpensive new fad? I'm relieved that my daughter did! Around here, I wasn't able to find them at Target or Walmart. I'm glad that they got on the Silly Bandz bandwagon.

    • jennshealthstore profile image

      Jenn 7 years ago from Florida

      My daughter loves these things. She has like 200. You can actually find them at Walmart to.