A vibrant accessory trend once prevalent in the early 90s is making a comeback (and no- we’re not referring to Swatch® watches)… we are of course talking about silicone slap bracelets! Also called snap bracelets, the 9x1” flexible metal strips curled around the wrist when gently knocked or slapped to form a bracelet. Invented by fellow Wisconsinite Stuart Anders in 1983, the idea came to him after playing with a self-rolling tape measure. Upon seeing the steel coil around the wrist with a slight flick, Anders designed a bracelet model featuring a fabric cover for protection and comfort. Distributing the pieces under the name “Slap Wraps,” the New York Times described them as “a Venetian blind with an attitude.” Part toy, part fashion statement (as they came in an array of colors, prints, and patterns), the bracelets proved hugely popular, especially with kids and teens.
The fad faced its fair share of controversy, though. For starters, the original “Slap Wraps” had accidentally been leaked at a toy fair prior to the official launch, so competitors were able to get knockoffs onto store shelves first. Problem was, these imitations were often made with cheap, inferior materials; the sharp edges of the low-grade steel would rust and fray the flimsy fabric, causing the metal to become exposed, subsequently cutting/injuring many unsuspecting, snap-band-addicted kids. The bracelets were also viewed as extremely disruptive given their noisy “thwacking” sound and the learning distractions being caused in schools. Some educational institutions even went so far as to ban them!
But just like pogs, fidget spinners, and anything else that’s “all the rage,” slap bracelets and the craze that ensued quickly faded and fizzled. But even though you aren’t likely to see (or hear) these brightly-colored steel strips en masse anymore doesn’t mean they’re total relics of times past. Custom slap bracelets have gained favor in more recent years due to their more practical purposes. With their unlimited range of bracelet colors, ability to support complete custom imprinting, and relatively inexpensive cost, slap wristbands have found success in the advertising & promotional space. They allow businesses and organizations alike to endorse their products and services to potential customers by using the surface of the bracelet to include their company name, address, contact information, etc. And while the same result can be achieved with a simple business card, when someone slaps something onto your wrist, you tend to remember that!
And in a happier ending, schools have even embraced them again (well, sort of…)! Slap bracelet rulers are a dual-purpose item schools like to gift to students as both a learning tool and school spirit wear. They print a scale ruler on one side, with the school name on the other, and typically in the corresponding school colors. With no cumbersome clips or closures, these slap bracelets are perfect for wearers of all ages.
Our wrist slap bracelets are made with a sturdy metal core, thickly encased in comfortable, 100% silicone (lead and latex-free). The durable, high-quality, rubber-like material ensures the slap bracelets won’t crack, rip, or expose the metal center, thus eliminating skin irritation or injuries. To learn more about our vast offerings within slap bracelets, call us at 1-844-869-3173.