The fidget spinner is a toy consisting of a circular ball bearing in the center, surrounded by a lobed (generally two or three) structure. When held at the center, the lobes can be grabbed and "spun" along its axis. Generally created with either plastic or metal, the fidget spinner can be customized with various colors to create a mesmerizing visual experience when spun.
This memorizing spinning pattern allowed the fidget spinner to become one of the most popular toys of 2017, and is still quite commonly used by children and adults alike. It is also claimed that the fidget spinner many help those who have trouble focusing or who may have anxiety, stress, and fidget because of these reasons.
The origin of the fidget spinner is unclear, however similar devices were invented as early as 1993. A spinning toy patent, similar to the fidget spinner, was received by Catherine Hettinger in 1993. However, she was unable to locate a manufacturing company to sell her version, so in 2005 the patent for her spinning toy lapsed. In 2014, Scott McCoskery created a metal spinning device in order to cope with his fidgeting in long work meetings. Eventually, he began selling this device, called the Torqbar, online. However, there are multiple patents for fidget spinners describing the creation of several versions, so it is unclear who invented the popular toy that exists across the country.
As a toy, the fidget spinner is quite simple. It can be spun, or balanced on the fingers, thrown, and caught, but its base mesmerizing spin is the main reason for its success and intrigue. With its popularity, many school children began to bring fidget spinners to school. However, some schools deemed them distracting, and resulted in fidget spinners being banned at schools across the country. In May 2017, nearly 32% of the largest 200 American high schools had banned them on campus.
Despite this ban, fidget spinner still remains a favorite across the country and are still commonly sold throughout various toy and convenience stores. Because of their mesmerizing nature, fidget spinners will likely remain a favorite for several more years to come.