’80s Coil Bracelets – Remember These?

Coil bracelets have returned thanks to retailers like Target.

At a recent Easter party, I became giddy like my students when a plastic egg opened and a neon spring emerged. But this wasn’t your ordinary coil… It was a coil bracelet, or a “springy bracelet,” as I used to call them when collecting enough to shamelessly cover my arms as a child in the ’80s.

So what is it about these Slinky-like accessories that grabs our attention? Their bright color, energetic playfulness and perfectly coiled, shiny presence give them a candy-like appeal, as shown below. Boy, was it great to be a kid in the ’80s! The world was your candy store:

'80s coil bracelets

'80s coil bracelets in bright hues

In fact, in their return, the bracelets have mainly manifested themselves as neon-hued trinkets, but I remember when collecting these plastic treasures was so popular, companies presented them in an array of tones, including “off colors” like brick red.

One drawback is their tendency to tangle, but that’s extra incentive to treat them like true accessories rather than toys. Then again, half the fun is treating them like true toys rather than accessories. The bottom line: while cheap (often a few bucks a pack), the bracelets are easy to replace if stretched beyond repair in a moment of childlike whimsy!

As a kid, my favorite color was neon salmon, as shown in the bottom right photo from the montage above.

If you were once a collector or have recently come on board, which color is your favorite?


  1. Jan Griffiths says

    These bracelets are still cool!! I still have some from back in the day. My favorite colors are blue, green, and I even found a hot pink and a chartreuse bracelet. I’m glad they have survived without tangling up or stretching out.

    • says

      Jan, I’m impressed that you were able to keep your original coil bracelets in excellent shape. That’s quite an accomplishment! You must take good care of your things : – )

  2. Jan Griffiths says

    Yes, I do. I don’t see the sense of investing hard-earned money into cool things, and either messing them up, or disposing them when they go out of style, because one day they may come back. Also, some of these things make great conversation pieces when worn.

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