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Silly Bandz stretching all over Demopolis

The latest Christmas craze is just silly, and that’s exactly what children in Demopolis and around the country love about it.

Silly Bandz have successfully earned their place among the famed Christmas fads of yesteryear, a list that includes items like Furby and Tickle Me Elmo. Although, the bands themselves are more appropriately equated with by-gone items like slap bracelets.

“I bet everybody will some for Christmas and, maybe by the end of the year — unless they keep adding new shapes — (the craze) will probably diminish,” Amanda Hall of the Mustard Seed said. “I hope not, though.”

The items are little more than brightly colored rubber bands made to hold the shape of certain things.

Retailing at $8 per pack, they are available in a variety of shapes ranging from dinosaurs to pets to zoo animals to sea creatures to holiday designs. Recent incarnations of the products even include the alphabet, princess shapes and Western-themed bands.

“They’ve just come out with Alabama and Auburn,” Hall said. “We’re on a waiting list to get those.”

The Demopolis shop first learned of the craze through a conversation between store owner Suzanee Young and her sister, who owns Hue Studios in Montgomery.

The Montgomery-based store sold 7,000 bags of Silly Bandz in a month. Following suit, The Mustard Seed has successfully moved more than 350 bags since their Nov. 10 arrival.

“They’ve been very popular this Christmas season,” Ann Parsons said of the products.

In Hall’s estimation, part of the appeal of Silly Bandz is their ability to reach boys and girls. The variety of shapes are offer eye-catching forms for both genders.

“Theyy have dinosaur shapes and sea creatures and pet animals,” Hall said. “They’re for boys and girls.”

“I think they’re good for kids from three to 18,” added Mustard Seed employee Emily Yelverton.

As for exactly what children do with them, that’s anybody’s guess.

Many where the bands like bracelets. Some trade them.

Hall said the items have begun serving as other pieces of jewelry as well.

“I know some kids have started putting them on necklaces,” Hall said of the bands, which are marketed by Brainchild Products, a company based out of Toledo, Ohio.

Perhaps the best explanation of the bands broad appeal lies in their rumored origin.

“I was told that a 12-year-old little girl came up with the idea,” Parsons said. “But I’m not sure of that.”

While the Silly Bandz Web site offers no clarity as to the product’s origin, it does feature dozens of photos, letters and e-mails from customers across the country who have found the bands enjoyable.

How long they will stay around is anyone’s guess. But what is for certain is that Silly Bandz would make a great gift for any child this holiday season.