Fidget Spinners Go Mainstream

News: Fidget Spinners Go Mainstream

Published: April 23, 2017

It's an interesting time in the fidget spinner industry. We sit on the precipice of the mainstream adoption of fidget spinners. Fidget spinners were, or are, somewhat lumped in with the more well known, recently widespread EDC (everyday carry) community. You're typical EDCer will have some kind of folding knife, maybe a mini flashlight, a multi-tool, a pen. You get the picture. And while fidget spinners fit the profile, I think most hardcore fidget spinner fans would say the spin community is it's own thing at this point. They've split off from the mothership if they were ever actually a part of it in the first place. And with spinners popping up everywhere from your local drug store to Walmart, it seems the masses are ready to hop on board. Are we past the trend phase yet?

That's debatable. The simple fact is that fidget spinners aren't that variant. See, it's really just a bearing surrounded by a piece of metal. You can use different sorts of bearings, different types of metals, and different types of finishes, but eventually you reach a point where innovation becomes difficult. Maybe that's ok though. See, the people that buy fidget spinners by nature seem to trend toward more addictive types of personalities. There seems to be a want and need created by these small metal treasures. Take an addictive group of people, give them something to get addicted to and...profit??? Well, I don't think that was the intention, but it's sort of what we have here. People pining after that elusive special superconductor metal spinner. or the next great 10 minute quiet spinning tungsten God spinner.

Hey, maybe this mainstream move will prompt some vertical expansion. Of course there are other types of fidget toys beyond fidget spinners. Fidget cubes, spinning tops, begleri beads. But what haven't we thought of yet? There have been attempts at innovation with some success. Hopefully this continues.

The hardcore fidget spinner community would probably rather keep their hobby private. Exclusive to those that were there at the beginning. But, I'm not sure about the makers. That's an interesting question. Most of these high end makers are lone wolves or small machine shops. Many CNCers from the EDC community previously making high-end knives now find themselves pumping out small metal shapes with holes in the middle. They can't meet demand as it is with drops of new editions, previous editions and everything in between selling out in mere minutes for the most popular brands. They seem steadfast in their commitment to quality and interaction with the customer base. Can that continue with demand skyrocketing?

There are alternatives of course. Not everyone treats fidget spinners as collectibles. Anyone can own a cheap plastic spinner for $5 these days. Or better yet, make your own spinner. Then there are the copycats, the knockoffs, the vultures coming in to pick the meat off the bones. Chinese brands have flooded the Amazon marketplace offering similar (but lesser) quality spinners directly copied from some of these makers. And at great discounts to the original higher quality spinners. Cursed by the the blue bloods of the spinner community, but happily consumed by the masses.

Now with spinners making there way into the classrooms, we of course have the teachers complaining. So what is the point of fidget spinners anyway? Fidget spinners aren't the main course when it comes to feeding the mind. They're more a side dish. There, comforting adding variety to your meal. They supplement the steak. The subtle flick to start one spinning is as second nature as tapping one's fingers on a desk. Burning off the edge to let us focus on what's actually going on. Difficult for some to understand, but relatable to others. Whether the current short attention span theater we're collectively a part of is good for society isn't the case I'm here to argue (I'm not sure I'm arguing anything actually, just hoping to shed light). It is nonetheless where we are. And despite the teacher's complaints, it's difficult to imagine a fidget spinner taking an otherwise interested student away from learning calculus. Perhaps make classes more interesting.