Ohio Company Behind the Silly Bandz Craze

by

comment

She earned these during recess, Fight Club style.
  • She earned these during recess, Fight Club style.

It seems the ever faddy trend of faddy rubber band fashion accessories will not die. As Dick Feagler would say, back in the day kids didn't wear rubber bands. Back in the day kids just used rubber bands for things that needed rubber bands: bundling pens together, launching spitballs, building a homemade splint because there were no doctors in your town, etc.

Now, it's a whole 'nother ballgame. First there was the Livestrong bracelets, then a whole mess of cause-oriented rubber bands to wear. Today?

Time has the updates on the latest trend: Silly Bandz, which are essentially colorful, scrunchy rubberbands. And they have gotten out of control. Schools are now banning them, there are fights (seriously), and enough Silly Bandz are being sold that the BCP Imports, the company that makes them, has added 180 workers in under a year.

Witness the rubber madness:

The small business behind Silly Bandz — BCP Imports in Toledo, Ohio — has responded to the frenzy by upping its employees from 20 to 200 in the past year and in late May added 22 phone lines to keep up with inquiries. Each month it sells millions of the bands, which retail for about $5 per pack of 24. The company's president, Robert Croak, took my call after hanging up with Macy's, which is interested in creating a Silly Bandz float for its Thanksgiving Day parade.

Croak says he got inspired about three years ago at a product show in China, where a Japanese artist had devised a rubber band cute enough to escape the trash bin. Croak thinks part of the reason Silly Bandz began catching on last year in the U.S. — they became popular early on in Alabama, New Jersey and Tennessee and have now gained traction nationwide — is that they're so cost-conscious.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.