TikTok videos documenting the Stanley cup craze

Stanley Cups Cost a Fortune, but Are They Worth It?

The Stanley cup fad has been sweeping across the nation due to the power of TikTok and Utah mom bloggers. However, consumers should be aware that it’s definitely not cheap to take part in this particular fad.

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Stanley Quenchers, the modern tumbler style we most commonly associate with the brand, debuted in 2016 but didn’t initially take off. The company actually stopped restocking and marketing Quenchers at one point due to low sales. All it took, was one Utah influencer to get on board with the brand. Soon, more influencers and social media stars followed suit. The cup eventually made its way to TikTok, and the rest was history. Now, one can scarcely open the app without seeing a “Stanley cup girl” gushing about her collection of three dozen Stanleys or footage of brawls breaking out in Target over the new special edition Valentine’s Stanley Cup at Target.

Needless to say, Stanley cups have become a prime example of hyper-consumerism. Consumers are buying cups by the dozens that will serve no other purpose than gathering dust and will eventually be thrown away when the next fleeting fad hits. It’s especially shocking watching footage of Target customers with literal armfuls of Stanley cups because these things cost a fortune. Not everyone can afford a Stanley cup, and the hefty price is actually causing some problems. Several parents have gone viral on TikTok after sharing that their children were being bullied in school for not having a Stanley, while recently, a woman was arrested for stealing 65 Stanley cups, which were worth a staggering $2,500.

When you realize that these people are paying $45–$55 for a single cup or a whole month’s salary for 65, you’ll both wonder why people are spending their money on these things and why they’re so expensive in the first place.

Why are Stanley cups so expensive?

The primary reason Stanley cups are so expensive is because of their design. These cups were never meant to be collectibles, as they were originally created for blue-collar workers and outdoorspeople. These consumers wanted something durable and practical that would last them a long time. As a result, Stanley cups are made of durable stainless steel, which is a bit pricey to make and very desirable for its resistance to rust, discoloring, and corroding.

In addition to the stainless steel, Stanley cups also boast double-wall vacuum insulation, which is a fancy way of saying there’s a gap between the inner and outer walls of the cup that prevents air from getting in there and, thus, allows one’s drink to maintain its temperature for an extended amount of time. Another thing to remember is that these cups are enormous. These aren’t little 12-ounce bottles, but mammoth 30–40-ounce tumblers. These Quenchers are also offered in 14- and 20-ounce styles, but the larger styles are sweeping across TikTok right now.

So, it does make sense that a 40-ounce tumbler made up of stainless steel and boasting insulation features would be quite pricey. They’re so sturdy that one woman’s Stanley cup even made it out of a car fire unscathed. Additionally, since it’s meant to last a lifetime if properly cared for, it may actually be a cheaper option than buying an inexpensive reusable bottle that needs to be replaced every few months.

With that being said, Stanley is far from the only company to utilize the concept of a stainless steel insulated cup. There are plenty of other brands that offer bottles with similar features, in a wide variety of colors and styles. One common complaint about Stanley cups is that they have a basic appearance and come in very few colors. With all the hype, it wouldn’t be surprising if Stanleys were a bit overpriced. Ultimately, though, reviews differ on whether Stanleys are genuinely worth the price or if they function better than brands with similar products.

(featured image: danimarielettering/melissa_mariche/victoria_robino_26/TikTok)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.