Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Next Fad

I do a little bit of work with the kids at my church. It's me mostly acting stupid and trying to get the other host to break character. The kids usually come up to me before and after the show and talk. A couple of weeks ago a kid named Owen showed me his arm and he had what appeared to be those gel bands that were popular in the 80s and then a few years ago started to have "meaning" and then schools band them.

I thought it was odd that a third grader had all these bands, but he explained that they were silly bandz. If you do not have kids or are not hip to the trends of middle schoolers, they are gel bands that have shapes. The first one Owen showed me was a baseball. I looked around the theater (I should let you know the church is in a movie theater) and two-thirds of the kids had a wrist full of these bands. I'm a nice guy so last week I was comic host again and so I thought I'd go to the local chain drug store and I ask for "those stupid bands the kids love." Before I finished the woman walked over with a container of these silly bandz. She told me they can't keep them on the selves and gets calls daily asking if they have them in. That should have been the first clue. I bought three packs of ten for about $9.

I walk into the theater before the show and the kids were wondering what's in the bag. I told a couple of the older kids and I was almost attacked and ripped limb for limb as the kids wanted these bands. I kept telling everyone that they were the prizes for the games and I heard 15 voices in unison shouting "pick me!" I give in a little and let some of the kids trade for the bands. After 15 minutes I had a completely different set of bandz than I walked in with. I finally break free and we start. We get to the game show part and by that time EVERY kid knew what I had and I almost had them rush the stage to be contestants. I pick my kids and others gave me "you said you pick me." After the show I still had a couple left and then I was attacked again. I had kids who were normally the good quite onces grasping at the bag. I felt like the kids were zombies and these bandz were human brains. I was finally out and still the kids were upset, I learned my lesson that day, why didn't I think of this idea!

It was probably a mistake, someone at the jelly wristband factory made a batch that was deformed and instead of throwing them all out the manager gave a few to his kid. One looked like a star or something and the other kids thought it was awesome. The kid comes home and asks for more. The manager parent gets the idea to sell them and try and make other shapes, and a fad is born. The company is making money hand over fist and then comes the competitors and all is great but like all fads by the time we hit September the fad will be over.

Look at all the stupid kid trends, Beanie Babies, pet rocks, mood rings, garbage pail kids, zhu-zhu pets and countless others. Why can't I get one of these ideas, sure it would be a firework type ride but at least I could make something off of it. Start the fad, sell to a larger company and see it fall to ruins. Isn't that the new American dream? Create something worthless that will make money? Now I just need that idea.

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