10 Facts About Fidget Spinners You Probably Didn’t Know About

By now, you should have seen this somewhere—whether online or offline, because it seems like everyone is going crazy over it.

Image: idan gamliel / Shutterstock.com

Except, well, people in our office, who ALL surprisingly have seen it somewhere but have absolutely no idea what it is.

So, for the benefit of people like us who didn’t know what’s the fad about, here’re ten facts you should know about this toy so that the next time you see this thingy online, you’ll at least…know what the heck is going on.


What. The. Heck. Is. That?

I won’t blame you if you don’t know what it is despite it being mentioned everywhere. It’s basically a toy that spins as you press the middle of the device or toy or thingy or whatever you want to call it.

It’s called a fidget spinner, as it stops you from fidgeting since it takes your attention away. Sounds familiar? Well, read on because you’ll start to go “oOo…”


It’s one of the fidget toys that has rose in popularly

You’ll have seen this video in your Facebook feed before: a cube that, well, lets you fidget.

Known as fidget toys, this fidget cube is one of the highest funded Kickstarter projects, raising over SGD$9 million when their initial goal was SGD$21,000. This phenomenon would have started last year with this but there were some delays. Now, businesses know the fidget toy industry is one big untapped market, so the fidget spinner comes in to fill the gap.

In other words, yeah, it’s something that you’ve actually seen before—it just comes in a different form.


The fidget spinner reportedly relieves nervous energy or stress

Publications and online stores marketed the toy as a calming tool to stay focus, or something to relieve stress, but that is not clinically proven. It is reported that the toy has benefits for people with ADHD, autisum or anxiety issues, but responses from experts have been mixed.

But it’s almost a certainty that with this toy, I’ll break less pens because I tend to fidget by spinning my pen #justsaying


Its history goes all the way back to the 1990s

Think it’s new and that it’s just a copycat of the fidget cube? Well, you’re wrong. The first patent filed for such a spinning toy was applied in 1993. Unfortunately, the inventor, Catherine Hettinger, did not manage to sell the idea to major toy manufacturers, so she let the patent lapse in 2005.

But there has of course been controversies: does her patent apply to the fidget spinners? Is there anyone applying for a patent?

Now, if there has been Internet and 3D printers in the 90s, it might have created a larger fad, since people then did not have smartphones that occupy their time. Remember how Proyo took over the world?


A SGD$560 could have turned into millions of dollars

In order to hold on to a patent in the US, one would have to pay a renewal fee of SGD$560 periodically. Ms Hettinger decided not to renew the patent as she did not have the cash to do so in 2005, letting it lapse instead.

Who would have known that if she had renewed it twice, she could have been a millionaire within days.

Now, without a patent, she has started a Kickstarter campaign, hoping that the publicity she garnered would bring in some sales.

But to be perfectly honest, it will only shop in June 2017. With the Internet, and how fast trends come and die, June 2017 is like six hundred years later. Anyone remembers Pokémon GO?


Who then invents the current fidget spinner?

Try finding it and you won’t get any results. The patents for a “spinning toy” come to the thousands, and they can be one of them or none of them. In other words, you can say that there’s no inventor, so to speak.

Yeah, no one person gets rich from this fad.


It’s so popular, it’s banned in some schools

Ironically, the goal of the toy is to make people focus, but it somehow distracted them instead. Some schools all over the world, including those in Singapore and Malaysia, have banned students from bringing the toy to classes.

However, some of the main complaints that teachers have are the sounds of the toy—students have often played with it and dropped it, distracting not just the player but others around him.


Some people are not using it to relieve stress

Or I should say, many aren’t. The fad isn’t just about the toy itself, but the tricks it can do. There’re tons of YouTube videos that show you how to toss them like a boss. Check this out yourself.

It’s pretty obvious the appeal isn’t about stopping fidget, isn’t it?


So, does it really have health benefits?

With the toy being so new to the market, it definitely has not gone through any studies to prove its benefits. Claims of it being able to relieve stress or anxiety are therefore all marketing gimmicks.

The closest thing that has the same claim is a spinner ring, also known as a worry ring. However, the ring itself isn’t the cure for anxiety itself—there’re many factors involved. In other words, it might help, but it isn’t proven—so take whatever you read with a pinch of salt.


How long can it spin?

You can read the scientific data here, but if all you want is just a number, here’s one: it’s at an average of 104 seconds. That’s about one minute plus. You’re welcome.

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

Featured Image: idan gamliel / Shutterstock.com

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