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First, the big fad was adult coloring books. Now it’s adult toys! And NO I’m not talking about sex toys, you nasty! I’m am, in fact, talking about actual toys. Toys that appeal to adults; that you play with in public and it’s generally socially acceptable. I mean, I wouldn’t play with my new toy at a formal occasion like a wedding or a funeral, but any place where you regularly use your phone is also a good place to fidget. Actually there are many studies that show fidgeting is actually beneficial to the health of your mind and your productivity.

So, what are fidget toys and what is the big deal? At first glance, many people judge these toys as a silly, simple and somewhat childish. What do they do? They spin and click and you fiddle around with them in your hands when you are bored. So, why can you now find fidget spinners and toys in every store, gas station and pawn shop in America? It turns out, there is something to this fidgeting phenomena.

The act of fidgeting has been around probably since beings with extremities have existed. It’s a natural thing that people do when they have excess energy and it would seem absurd to do a few jumping jacks at the moment. Fidgeting is any small repetitive motion you make with your body or an object. So when you jiggle your leg under your desk or flick your pen around in your hand you are fidgeting. Fidgeting means that you are not fully stimulated about whatever your mind is currently focusing on. For example, I keep fidgeting with my cat under my desk as I type out this very article. It helps you to focus. Just about everyone I know fidgets in some way or another. So, a handful of innovative people with inventive minds created the concentrated solution for people with fidgeting urges. And its explosive popularity is taking America by storm.


Fidget Spinners:
They spin! They um, Spin! They make you fidget! Fidget spinners are the current kings of fidget toys and one of the most popular trends of 2017. Both kids and adults can be found all over spinning away on these simple toys. There are a ridiculous amont of videos showing people performing tricks and stunts with their spinners. It’s an epidemic.


Fidget Spinners can literally be found anywhere that you buy things. The cost of a fidget spinner can be anywhere between 99¢ for the knock offs to $15-$20 for cooler metal made designs. There have even been mentions of a fidget spinner selling for as much as $400!! Do people know that they can make their own fidget spinner from scratch? I've seen spinners made from hot glue gun glue, plastic bottle caps and pennies, melted crayons and even Gallium.  All you need are bearings and then you can get creative with the other materials. Oh, and this deserves an honorable mention: There is a video on youtube from Natasha Lee where she used acrylic adhesive to mold the world’s smallest functioning fidget spinner... to attach to her middle fingernail! Bonus points for creativity, Natasha.

Fidget spinners are popular for coming in a large variety of colors, shapes and styles. They even have ones that light up... like MINE! Mine is the most awesome! It has flashing red, green and blue LED lights that look like an acid trip when you spin it. But I digress. The original inventor of the Fidget spinner, Catherine Hettinger had a patent for the fidget spinner that ended in 2005. So, as a result, she is now not making any profit from fidget spinner sales. But in an interview, she said that she is not upset by this, quite the opposite. Hettinger says that she is so thrilled that the popularity of her toy is finally taking center stage. She feels like she has contributed and made her mark in the world. What a sport eh?


Fidget Cubes: The fidget cube was born from a Kickstarter project. It raised over $6.4 Million. Then, a scummy thing happened to the fidget cube creators. Some manipulative business dude copied the idea of the fidget cube and had the funds and the resources to produce the cube for cheaper and much faster. So, now there are a multitude of fidget cubes available for all you fidgeters out there. It’s like a dice with six sides. Side 1 has a switch that clicks from side to side like a light switch. Side 2 has five buttons that make clicking noises on some and no sound on others. Side 3 has a smooth thumbprint indentation that feels nice to rub your thumb into. Side 4 has a metal rollerball and some toggle rollers. Side 5 has a joystick and side 6 has a spinning dial. They are small enough to fit in your pocket and are really great for reducing stress at work.



Mokuru™/Kururin™: The original fidget sticks. Invented in Japan, these fidget toys are designed to do juggling tricks on a desktop and they are marketed as desktop toys. In my opinion, these toys are the coolest of all the fidget toys out there today because the more you play with it, the more you get a feel for how to manipulate it. They sell for around $10 - $12 and have many promotional videos around to help teach you how to use this amazing little toy. It defies gravity and is perfectly engineered to be rolled and flipped on a flat surface.



ThinkInk Pen: Of all the fidget gadgets that I will mention here, I do believe this one to be the most “grown up”. It is most certainly a fidget device designed for the office. The ThinkInk pen is a pen that has magnetic balls on it and a metal cord that can be bent and shaped in anyway that you desire. The magnet balls attach to the pen and allow you to spin them around the circumference of the pen. You can also make the cord into a clip and clip it anywhere that you regularly clip things on the go. In my job, you can never have too many pens around and all the better if it’s easy to take with you and play with. The pen itself is flexible and can bend into arched shapes while you write or just fidget. It’s a multi tasker's dream. It costs around $5 to $15 depending on where you purchase it from.


Honorable Mentions: There are a just so so many toys out there designed to quench fidgeting needs. There are keychain fidget toys like the little Edamame pea pod toy that you pinch and it pops out a pea or a little rectangle that simulates bubble wrap... ooh I need that one. There are also all manner of squishy colorful stress balls out there just waiting to be squeezed. And finally there are many ropey and chainlike varieties of fidget toys that can be pulled and twisted and yanked and balled up and then pulled out again. These toys do well with stress reduction and helping the dexterity of your hands.



If you feel guilty about your fidgeting habits and tendencies, don’t be. It turns out, fidgeting is GOOD FOR YOU. Not only is it good for you, but it also makes you a better worker and it helps to improve your focus when carrying out complicated tasks. AND here’s the best part, fidgeting relieves stress! That is major selling point of all these fidget toys. It takes the edge off your busy and stressful work day and makes you a more calm and attentive person in the long run. They are harmless little objects that help to lightly distract you and keep your hands busy while you work. Of course this really applies to adults.

Many children are receiving displinary measures at school for being distractions with their fidget toys. It's advisable to monitor kids using fidget toys and to gage their maturity before you allow them to take the toys out of your home. Aside from that, if you are an adult or a young child, use these toys for what they are designed for. And, make sure to be respectful of your enviroment. So whether you fidget or not, whether you are a kid or an adult, fidget toys could be the next big thing for you, at least until this fad runs its course, or the spinner stops spinning. / Issue 194 - September 2018
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