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  • From hula hoops to clapping games, playground crazes have come and gone
  • From hula hoops to clapping games, playground crazes have come and gone
    Olivia Harmon (2012) ©
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What makes a Gen Z ‘craze’?

Generation Z has grown up with a smartphone in one hand and an iPad in the other. So how come a craze for weaving plastic bands has taken playgrounds by storm? Where yo-yos and football stickers have gone before, loom bands are the kids’ craze of 2014. What exactly makes a Gen Z craze?

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From hula hoops and Mr Potato Head in the 1950s, to pogs and yo-yos in the 1990s and Silly Bandz and loom bands in the 2010s, playground crazes have come and gone, often being banned by schools before disappearing just as quickly as they appeared. In fact their short lifecycle is what defines a craze and distinguishes it from a trend.

There are several ingredients that can make a toy irresistible to kids and increase its chances of taking off and becoming a craze. Items that are collectible, or allow kids to be creative and express themselves, ...

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