Children love silicone bracelets, and Chad Anger's three daughters are no exception. The problem with bracelets on the market, however, came into view when Anger found them discarded in a drawer after hardly being worn. When Anger, now Mungi Bands president, developed his bracelets, his children were instantly drawn to the silicone designs with magnetic closures, and were pleading for more. Mungi Bands wristbands are made in the shape of sharks, mustaches or ballet shoes. More than decoration, the product allows children to express their creativity. "My daughters started connecting the magnets at each end of the bracelets and making longer strands to wear as necklaces," Anger recalls. "Now, they use the bands as a vehicle for social interaction. Trading and collecting bands gets them off the couch."
The concept was in development last year and received a Best in Show award at the 2011 ASD show in Las Vegas, NV. One year later, Anger adjusted the product in a few key ways to prepare it for the 2013 Toy Fair in New York City. "The first major change we made was to strengthen the magnetic connection," he points out. "We have found the happy medium now where the magnets are not so strong that they can pinch the skin, but they are strong enough to stay on your neck or wrist." He also changed the designs to appeal to a slightly older crowd, including kids eight and up age bracket, in addition to the five to eight year old crowd. "The designs are really the key, though. That is what catches a child's eye and makes him or her want to wear the product. Then when they play with the magnetic clasp, the lights go on in their eyes and you can see how much they love their Mungi Bands." For design ideas, Anger visits area schools with mockups to learn what styles receive the most enthusiastic feedback. The ones kids go crazy over are the ones that sell.
Going forward, Anger plans to use social media to collect feedback on designs, and is considering a series release format for new bands. "We will introduce them in limited quantities beginning in 2013 for a few months, then we will bring out a new series and so on," he reveals. "Tightening the availability time for each series instills the collector's attitude that we are going for, while enabling us to continue to put out new designs." Mungi Bands may also have some licensed designs coming out, but buyers will have to wait for the February 2013 Toy Fair to find out more.
Mungi bands come in two sizes and are sold in packs of three. The product retails for $6.99 and all orders ship for $2.99. A minimum order is 50 units, comprising four small and one large package of each of the ten available designs, along with the available counter display. Interested buyers can fill out a wholesale customer application on the Mungi Bands website or contact Anger for wholesale pricing.
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