When I first saw fidget spinners at Toy Fair in February, I was hesitant. Sure, they were fun to spin and felt nice in my hand, but who would pay $20 for it? Most of our customers are under 8, and I worried that the spinners would be too difficult for little hands. (This is true- they won’t work unless your thumb is longer than the arm of the spinner.) “Fidget toys” were a huge trend at Toy Fair, which I wrote about at the time, but the buzz was about fidgets as a whole category, not the spinner specifically. I ultimately ordered several fidget toys, but passed on the spinners.
Big mistake! A few months later, we were receiving up to ten calls a day to ask if we carried fidget spinners. The craze quickly got the attention of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. My husband’s coworkers keep asking him to bring them spinners from Momo’s, sometimes for their kids, but mostly for themselves. We’ve been in business for two and a half years, and no other trend has even come close to fidget mania.
I was in 5th grade at the height of the Beanie Baby hysteria in the late 90s. Friends’ moms would call local shops to learn the shipment schedules and line up to buy the rarest styles. Even if a friend got her hands on a coveted Libearty or Garcia, she wasn’t supposed to remove the tag. My friend Lauren had an enormous collection, but she wasn’t allowed to touch it because her parents planned to sell them to pay for college one day. Even at 10 years old, I was skeptical.
The difference between Beanie Babies and fidget spinners is that Ty exclusively produced Beanie Babies, but anyone can make a fidget spinner. The design is not patent protected. Dozens and dozens of manufacturers are supplying them. We did our research and found fidgets with high-quality ball bearings and over 4 minutes of spin. We can hardly keep them in stock.
What do you think about the trend? Do you or your kids use spinners to focus? What makes kids want what everyone else has? Are your kids begging for one?
One parent said to me, “if he’s spinning, it means he’s not looking at an iPad.” Our mission at Momo's is to promote unplugged play, so we're embracing fidget spinners.