TYLER, TX (KLTV) - "Silly Bandz" are the hottest back-to-school item, spotted on students everywhere. From pre-school to college campuses, kids of all ages are hooked on the bracelets that look like colorful rubber bands. But when you take them off, they form shapes like super-heroes or animals.
But, some are worried this season's "must have" will be a distraction in the classroom.
Tiffany Whitten calls them the Beanie Babies of 2010.
"[People say,] 'Oh my gosh! You have these! I have looked for them everywhere. I can't find them anywhere,'" said Whitten, with the Potpourri House in Tyler. "People from out of state are like, 'Oh my gosh,' and they are buying six or seven bags at a time."
She says Silly Bandz, also known as Zany Bandz or Wild Bandz, are more than your average rubber band.
"When you take them off, you wouldn't think this is going to go back to the shape. But it absolutely does," said Whitten "You just untwist it...I have a perfect genie lamp."
"There's a glow in the dark pig that I have, and then a monkey," said Chelsie McAllister, with the Hallmark store in the mall.
"They are just like popcicles and ice cream and stuff," said Sydney McConnell, a third grader.
They are $5 for a package of 24 Bandz.
Whitten says East Texans are embracing the affordable fashion frenzy.
"I've known kids that have as many as 200...I've seen them wear them up to their elbows," said Whitten. "I've seen them on their ankles."
Even high school boys have jumped on the "Bandz" wagon.
"[It's a] cloud, but I got more at home," said Grant Fincher. "I got a bunch at home."
"I don't know. It's just one of those things I guess," said Alex Hammac, a sophomore.
It's "one of those things" that has some schools banning the Bandz, afraid they'll be a distraction in the classroom.
"Most boys in my grade, they just play with stuff, anything they can find, they just start playing with and don't pay attention to the teacher," said Sydney. "Most the time they get five minutes out of recess."
Silly or not, this is one serious fashion trend, gracing the arms of people of all ages.
Silly Bandz do "retire". This means the companies that make them stop producing the old shapes when they come out with new ones.
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