8. Original Use
The purpose of the original fidget spinner designed in 1993 varies dramatically from the fidget spinners plaguing our world’s playgroundstoday. Following the inventor’s patent securement, Catherine Hettinger’s idea was rejected by Hasbro and she ultimately lost the patent in 2005.
Prior to losing the patent, however, Hettinger produced the spinners with a machine she had purchased from an old sign-making company. She distributed the devices at art fairs. Then smaller manufacturers began to produce the spinners, mainly as a tool to comfort children dealing with conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, and anxiety.
These devices were intended by both Hettinger and other manufacturers to provide therapeutic stress relief and strengthen users’ focus. At this point, the fidget spinner was still considered more of a tool than a toy and was not commonly recognized or widely used.
7. Modern Use
“There’s just a lot of circumstances in modern life when you’re boxed in, you’re cramped in, and we need this kind of thing to de-stress,” says creator Catherine Hettinger. In a fast-paced world in which information can be disseminated nearly as quickly as it is gathered, Hettinger believes that the fidget spinner’s initial purpose of stress relief remains most important to combat present-day hassles.
This leads to her disagreement with the increasingly large number of schoolsthat are banning fidget spinner use because they are a potential distraction and can interfere with the successful learning of others. However, following Forbes’ declaration that the spinners are “the must-have office toy for 2017,” sales began to boom.
Originally intended for children, then for executives, and back to children (this time for a different reason), fidget spinners have catered to several demographics along their journey to global toy domination.