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Fidget Spinners: What’s All The Fuss?

Fidget Spinners: What’s All The Fuss?

Back in 1993, Catherine Hettinger invented what’s now evolved into a fidget spinner. A toy? Yes, but with a specific purpose. She couldn’t seem to interact with her daughter and thought this would be a good therapeutic tool. She obtained a patent then, but it expired in 2005. Other manufacturers decided to market a variation of fidget spinners for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Marketing continued for children with anxiety issues or autism to help them relieve stress. While I was at a convenience mart, I noticed a bunch of these spinners for sale. After finding out what they were, I had no idea they were such a phenomenon among children these days. I had never even heard of them. A day later, my daughter came home with one. How’s that for timing? Most of these spinners are three-pronged made of plastic or metal. Ball bearings allow them to spin between the fingertips. Some of them light up as they spin for a more appealing visual look. So, I tried it myself but couldn’t figure why it was so popular.

Flash forward to September of 2016, manufacturers and entrepreneurs began to take notice and created their own variations. They started to realize that these little toys could really make a dent in the stress relief business. Two brothers from Denver went on a mission to raise $15,000 for their “Fidget Cube.” What eventually happened was a rarity indeed. They succeeded in raising more than $6 million. “We checked out what tools were available for fidgeting,” the founders told Adweek, “and we couldn’t find any that we’d feel truly comfortable using in a professional setting.” Just in time for Christmas 2016, Forbes declares fidget spinners “the must-have office toy for 2017.” Executives and high-powered employees needed something for stress relief besides nail biting and stress balls. Fidget Spinners such as MD Engineering’s Torq bars, were being sold for $129.99 to $259.99, and then began selling on eBay for $400 due to limited availability. Videos on fidget-spinner began to crop up everywhere. David King, an Australian tech blogger, says in his video, “Fidget spinning is a lifestyle.” He goes on to say that the video “Fidget Spinner Tricks With a Professional Fidgeter” has had more than 3 million views. The fidget spinner is not considered a child’s toy for grown-ups. While children do love them, they’ve become a huge trend. More and more children bought them and were seen everywhere with them. Fidget Spinners actually began to show up in the hands of celebrities’ children. School districts started to ban these stress relief and focus tools for being distracting. Teachers all over the country actually abhor these spinners. The retaliation has become full blown resentment. Doctors in the field of children’s behavior and learning have denounced the spinner as nothing more than a distraction. They do not agree that it helps children with ADHD focus. Regardless of this resistance, spinners remain to be one of Amazon’s best-selling toys. Unfortunately, the original inventor from 1993 has not profited from any of it. Her current plans are to create a Kickstarter campaign to sell her “classic” spinner. It doesn’t seem that fidget spinners will be going away anytime soon, but that could change in a day. Remember Pokeman Go?
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