Fidget Sales Just Keep Spinning
Fidget spinners are turning so quickly, it is hard to keep up.
The first major appearance for the fidget spinner was at Toy Fair New York in February 2017. Stores began stocking them in March and by early May 200 million had shipped to retailers. Prices range from under $5 to over $20.
The whirlwind in sales hasn’t come without some controversy.
Some schools have banned them, saying spinners are just a distraction, and children are getting into fights about missing spinners. Meanwhile, proponents argue that spinners help those with attention deficits stay focused.
“There has been no research into the efficacy or safety of these toys to help manage the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety or any other mental health conditions in children (or adolescents or adults for that matter),”
Scott Kollins, a clinical psychologist specializing in ADHD at Duke University told ABC news. Others argue the spinners haven’t been around long enough for peer-reviewed studies to be done.
Spinners can be swallowed by children, especially children under the age of three. That age may not be a good indicator. A 10-year-old in Houston famously put a spinner bearing in her mouth to clean it. She swallowed it, and it took surgery to remove the spinner part. A 10-year-old boy in Oregon had been warned about that hazard, but couldn’t resist putting one in his mouth.
Spinners are built to different construction and test standards. There are accusations that some spinners that have been rushed to market fall apart after a time.
“All of this has come very quickly,” said Tabatha Bauer, senior manager logistics & compliance at Staples Promotional Products.
“The Staples compliance team is monitoring the safety of spinners.”
The market has been flooded by manufacturers rushing to get in on the fidget spinner craze without ensuring the product meets applicable safety compliance guidelines. “We don’t want any of our customers to have a bad experience, and consumers should conduct proper research and use caution before purchasing spinners,” Bauer said.
Tabatha Bauer, Director of Logistics & Compliance for Staples Promotional Products, has been in the promotional products industry since 2000. She is a member of the ICPA (International Compliance Professional Association), PRAG (Product Responsibility Action Group) and ICPHSO (International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization).