Fidget Spinners

Good morning everyone,

It's already sunny and warm outside-and tomorrow and the weekend are looking pretty much the same. We'll see daytime highs somewhere between 25C and 27C all week and they're still not calling for rain anytime in the near future.

Have you heard of Fidget Spinners? Be prepared, because they're coming to Japan soon if they're not already here. Stores back home can't keep them in stock. Parents are scrambling to find them. And some schools have banned them. 

The mania for fidget spinners — the 3-inch twirling gadgets taking over classrooms and cubicles — is unlike many other toy crazes, because they're not made by a major company, timed for the holiday season, or promoted in TV commercials. They're more easily found at gas stations or 7-Eleven than at big toy chains.

Fidget spinners have been around for years, mostly used by kids with autism or attention disorders to help them concentrate. But they exploded in popularity this spring.

Shannan Rowell, a sixth-grade special education teacher, says that after a weeklong break in late April more than half of her 25 students suddenly had one. "They seem to be taking over classrooms," says Rowell, who lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts. She thinks it's likely a kid brought one to a playground and the craze spread from there. Recent YouTube videos of people spinning them on their noses, foreheads and shoes also helped.

Helen Holden heard about fidget spinners last month when her 7-year-old twins demanded she stop at a 7-Eleven to buy them. "I thought it was a drink," says the bank vice president and blogger from Los Angeles. That store was sold out, and so were several other 7-Eleven locations that she called. The chain says spinners have "been flying off the shelves" since they went on sale in March. Holden's kids said they needed them before school on Monday so they could practice spinning them. So she signed up for Amazon Prime, paid $5.99 for one-day shipping and had two $15 fidget spinners delivered on a Sunday. "I totally got suckered by my kids," she says.

At Funky Monkey Toys, owner Tom Jones says he got a phone call about the fidget spinners in April. About 30 minutes later, another person called. "I said, 'Whatever they are, I need to get them.'" Now, the phone has been ringing 20 to 30 times a day with people checking if they're in stock. His shop in Oxford, Michigan, can sell up to 150 in a day. "We run out of them frequently," says Jones, who recently got a shipment of 2,000.

On Amazon.com, 18 of the top 20 best-selling toys and games were fidget spinners, ranging from ones that cost just a few dollars to $12 versions touting stainless steel bearings.

Five Below, which sells items for $5 or less, says on its website that customers can only buy two fidget spinners at time.

Toys R Us flew fidget spinners in this month from China, rather than wait for ship transport. It says Rubik's Cubes, yo-yos and other toys to occupy restless hands have been hot sellers since the beginning of the year. It also started selling $12.99 fidget cubes — the items that made up the rest of the Amazon best-sellers — which fit in the palm of a hand and have clickers, wheels and switches on the sides.

It's not just kids spinning them. An expert claims that adults are reaching for spinners because they are more stressed out. "People don't smoke as much, so they have to figure out a way to work out their stress," he says.

Hmmm...I might need one at work after all my lessons with bad students...wait, I don't need one, because I don't have any bad students...right?

Have a great day!


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