Fidget Spinners – Craze or Crazy?

fidgit spinnerThe craze, the fad, the mystery, the money – it’s Fidget Spinners for 2017. If you have kids you know about Fidget Spinners. Or if you act like a kid in my case. Fidget Spinners are the latest craze, so hop on the train while it’s hot. Here’s the scoop in this cool gadget.

Fidget spinners are getting a lot of bad press lately – bursting into flames, causing fights and danger to young kids. While I don’t dispute there are some concerns, like any other toy, if handled properly, it is just simple stupid fun. And that’s all it is. Believe me in 3 months the hype will be over and nobody will remember. With that said, I find them irresistible and when Im sitting in front of the computer or TV it is just mindless finger exercises.

So what exactly is the infatuation? How long have they been around? Are there any positive things to say about spinners? There are a couple. They are said to:

  • Be stress relievers
  • Relieve nervous energy and psychological stress
  • And supposedly used in the treatment of autism and ADHD (I doubt this one is true)

“Using a spinner-like gadget is more likely to serve as a distraction than a benefit for individuals with ADHD,” said Mark Rapport, a clinical psychologist.

Zen Fidget Spinner

What is a Fidget Spinner?

fidget spinner is a toy that consists of a bearing in the center of a multi-lobed flat structure made from metal or plastic designed to spin along its axis with little effort.

Inside of a spinner are bearings

Fidget spinners became popular toys in 2017, although similar devices had already been invented in 1993. The toy became popular among schoolchildren. Some schools banned the spinners for being a distraction, while other schools allowed the toy to be used discreetly.


popularity map

The popularity of Fidgit Spinners in the US

Where did Fidget Spinners originate?

Catherine Hettinger, a chemical engineer by training, was initially credited by some news stories to have been the inventor of the fidget spinner, including by media outlets such as The Guardian, The New York Times, and the New York PostHettinger filed a patent application for a “spinning toy” in 1993 and a patent was issued, but Hettinger allowed the patent to lapse in 2005 after she could not find a commercial partner. A May 2017 Bloomberg News article showed that Hettinger was not the inventor of the fidget spinner, and Hettinger agreed. In an interview appearing on May 4, 2017 on NPR, Scott McCoskery described how he invented a metal spinning device in 2014 to cope with his own fidgeting in IT meetings and conference calls. And the rest is history.

fidget spinner bluetoothBluetooth enabled Fidget Spinners

If that wasn’t enough, now you can buy fidget spinners that are bluetooth enabled and connect to your phone and play music. A company called BlueSpin is about to launch a spinner that connects to an app on your phone that gamifies the fidget spinner experience, allowing you to complete trick challenges, share your scores, and chat with your friends about how much you love fidget spinning.


The spinner includes touch sensitive buttons on each side, and an accelerometer to track motion. It can track your speed and number of spins (thanks, magnets), and tell you how cool you are whenever you manage to transfer the spinner from hand to hand, or balance it on a single finger. The tiny built-in battery is replaceable, and supposed to last for an entire year on a single charge.

How many Fidget Spinners have sold?

Right now, the market is flooded with cratefuls of imitations, most from China. Some version of fidget spinners currently occupies all of Amazon’s Top 20 best-selling toys and games.

Allen Ashkenazie is executive vice president of Almar Sales in New York City, a supplier of toys to such retailers as Wal-Mart and Toys ‘R’ Us, said that by the end of May his company will have shipped out 45 million fidget spinners that retail from $5 to $25 each.

Types of Fidget Spinners [Pics]

In the news

Tricks with your Fidget Spinner



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