The fidget spinner is becoming the new “it” toy and not everyone is happy about it.
As of Monday afternoon, every single spot on Amazon’s top 20 best-selling toys and games list is currently occupied by a fidget spinner or its close cousin, the fidget cube. Almost all of the next 20 hottest spots are fidget-related.
In fact, fidget spinners and cubes make up a whopping 46 out of 50 of the top-selling toys on the e-commerce site.
Fidget spinners are small gadgets typically made with metal and ball bearings that you can twirl between your fingers.
Seemingly overnight, the toys have become an omnipresent part of adolescent life across the US. Here’s one in action:
Costing as little as a couple of dollars, the toys were originally intended to help ease symptoms of ADHD and anxiety.
However, the toys have since gained mainstream popularity. YouTube videos of fidget spinner tricks have been racking up millions of page views, and 200,000 people have posted on Instagram using the “spinner” hashtag.
However, some teachers have decided that the toys create more disruption than they’re worth, despite their original purpose as a productivity tool. Schools in states including Kentucky, New York, and Massachusetts have banned the toy from classrooms.
“Although seemingly harmless, these items are being taken out during class, causing a distraction to students and staff,” Brooklyn, New York school MS 442 wrote on Facebook post in late April.
“They are also being thrown around during transition in the hallways to and from class, in the cafeteria, and at recess. They are small in size, but can seriously hurt someone.”
While MS 442 banned the fidget spinners from school premises, the school said that it would keep spinners on hand for children with sensory issues.
Beyond disruption, teachers have another reason to hate the toys — they can get extraordinarily annoying, extremely quickly.
“The only thing my students seem to focus on, however, is the spinner, itself, and not their work. It’s like a friggin’ siren song,” Cristina Bolusi Zawacki recently wrote in “Working Mother.”
“Let’s stop with the flowery euphemisms. It’s a toy and I hate it. I actually have a visceral reaction when they emerge from a pencil case or pocket, like a sadistic version of Pavlov’s bell experiment.”
While fidget spinners are everywhere right now, there’s no telling how long the trend will last.
“I can literally walk into the office on a Monday morning in a few weeks from now and it can be yesterday’s news,” Allen Ashkenazie, the vice president of Almar Sales Co., which sold 20 million fidget toys to retailers including Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us in April, recently told The New York Post. “As if it never existed.”
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