Sunday, September 15 2019



Have We Reached Peak Fidget Spinner?



This spring these spinners were everywhere, from board rooms to dorm rooms, and it seemed like overnight everyone was onboard with these stress relieving gadgets. Due to their appeal to both kids and adults, it wasn’t parents getting in on the game that sounded the death knoll. If they are in fact dead, which may not be the case, it was simply over saturation that did them in.

It is mind boggling that something that was completely unknown as little as six months ago now accounts for a staggering 17% of all daily toy sales. If you are a hashtag follower there is no escape, as at its peak these toys garnered over 150,000 mentions on a single day. Its fad status is undisputed but some are questioning its effectiveness as a learning tool. Prior to its invasion into every corner of daily life, the fidget spinner was used by school children to help them to focus and concentrate. Strangely enough, typical students saw the device as a fun toy and so the fad began.

Started as a device for children suffering from ADHD to help them to focus. Of course, the one flaw was that they are inherently distracting to everyone in the fidget spinner’s vicinity. Now that the science behind the focus trend has been somewhat debunked, their popularity hinges on their stress relieving qualities. As many classrooms and schools are banishing the toy, more executives are bringing them into the workplace. Whether they are an effective way to deal stress or not, many find that when someone near them is using the toy their stress levels increase. Annoyance is a major complaint about the fad and many people are wishing the craze would fade away. And quickly.

Many have hailed Kim Kardashian’s entry into the fidget spinner market as another strong marker for its imminent demise. While it remains to be seen if her product takes off or if the launch was too far behind the curve, it is true that the nation has fixated on this seemingly innocuous device. The toy did reach fad proportions but it does also have a purpose in helping atypical learners to focus and for stress monkeys to feel more relaxed.

The largest headache may be felt by supplier Five Below who has made some serious capital with their production of the spinner. Five Below’s stock soared over 28% during the height of the fad and while this is not their only product they are one of the companies that have gained the most from its sale. The stock price is currently down from that high level and many analysts have downgraded the company. It will be interesting to see if the company that lives by the spinner also dies by the spinner.

As things are quieting down with the return of school it will be interesting to see if we have indeed reached the peak or if the relative quiet was simply a temporary lull.