Tiny neon-coloured rubber bands; 'looms' are a little girls' ultimate delight. Worn as bracelets, key rings, charms or necklaces they're available in a range of eye-watering neon colours and are like, totally accessible with your outfit of the day.
They're also a real problem. I can't seem to go anywhere without spotting at least one in three people, not just kids, wearing one, or five, stacked on their wrist (this is my own statistic).
Alarmingly, this playground phenomenon has even affected adults too. Yes, I'm afraid to say that 'looms' have become the people's crack.
Invented in 2011 by a Malaysian man named Cheong Choon Ng, loom bands retail at a starting price of just £1.99. At the beginning, Ng invested $10,000 in his idea, which came from watching his daughter wrapping elastic bands around her finger. I can only assume that he was jealous of her craft making.
Here's the shocking part; Mr Ng is now worth an estimated £80 million. Yep, take a moment to digest that shocking figure. If that isn't ridiculous then I don't know what is.
Revelling in sucking the joy out of childhood, I'm surprised that schools haven't banned them yet due to health and safety regulations.
Jut to put it into perspective; according to Amazon, all thirty of the top selling toys right now are looms or loom-related. Currently, over nine million units of these little colourful bands have been sold worldwide. David Beckham, Kate Middleton and Harry Styles have all been spotted wearing them. As I type this, I'm watching This Morning as Eamonn and Ruth discuss their fondness of the rubbery suckers. The world has gone crazy! Imagine if we were to run out of stock of looms, whatever would we do? Imagine if the factory blew up, or we ran out of materials; it's not worth thinking about.
I've learnt something quite important here - when I have children, I'll be sure to tell them that they need not study to become Nobel Peace Prize winners, or brain surgeons, or Oprah, or lawyers. I'll tell them to think of the most stupidest and pointless idea they possible can, and I'll make sure it's patented as soon as possible.
If I can make sense of one thing amongst all this neon-coloured hysteria, it's the thought that kids are at home making crafts, rather than staring at computer screens. That, most definitely is a great thing. I was starting to worry that children's minds had turned to goo and their eyeballs had morphed into the shape of an iPhone screen. Another thing; I feel very content for parents right now who must be saving a hell of a lot of money due to their kids' new obsession. It seems that loom bands are on every child's Christmas list, and it's still only July.
Who would've thought that the world would go so insane over rubber bands?
Cheong Choon Ng obviously did, the prophesying genius.