Fidget Spinner: From a Trend to a Fad

Table of Contents

Henrik Vejlgaard, author of best-seller ‘Anatomy of a Trend’ defines a trend as a social process in which style or taste changes. For a new style or taste to trend it has to be accepted by many different trendsetters in groups. Fidget Spinner quickly grew into a worldwide trend this year.

Fidget Spinner is a small handheld device with a stable middle disc which is encircled by two or three paddles containing ball bearings that can be spun. In short, they spin that’s all they do. We have always been obsessed with toys. In 1980 it was the Rubik’s Cube, Tamagotchi in 1997 and Zhu Zhu Pets in 2009.

Fidget Spinner has existed for nearly 25 years now but exploded into world’s attention in 2017. After the initial fascination with Fidget Spinners, most are now passing it out as a fad. Fads, unlike Trends, don’t result in cultural shifts. Trends are usually slow moving shifts in cultural values. Adopting a right trend at the right time can lead to a lot of value for content marketers.

“A micro trend starts with your early influencers and moves to mass adoption within one to two years. These trends are important for fashion companies, but tend to be smaller scale realizations of the desires underlying macro trends”

– Kim Mannino, Senior Trend Consultant, WGSN

A macro trend, by contrast, spans at least five years and impacts a variety of industries from technology to finance. Macro trends operate on a continuum and evolve from season to season, year to year.

Journey Of A Fidget Spinner

Fidget Spinners gained popularity in December 2016 as an article from a leading media publication recommended Fidget toys as a Christmas gift. Fidget spinners popularity was short-lived as it lost its prominence and was dismissed as a fad in June 2017.

Fidget Spinner
Google Search popularity of Fidget Spinners
Early Adopters

The initial adopters of Fidget Spinners were children’s and teenagers who started using it in schools. They even began trading and selling spinners. In some cases, teachers had to confiscate spinner from students. Naturally, spinners became the highest-selling item on Amazon’s toys and games category.

The influencers, high fashion, and media

Fidget spinners soon caught the attention of toy manufacturers, media outlets, and influencers. The demand was outstripping the supply. In fact, as Time Magazine writes Toys “R” Us had to use chartered jets to ship spinners to its store.

Schools meanwhile had either banned spinners in the classroom or were contemplating taking the decision due to adverse usage. Manufacturers, however, were touting therapeutic benefits for students with autism, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Death or Hibernation

As time passed, spinners started getting negative coverage due to injuries resulting out of usage. In some cases, use of spinners also resulted in death. Most districts in the United States have now banned spinners in classrooms. The journey has now ended for Fidget spinners but fidget toys still have a space in consumers shelf.

Become a smarter marketer for $0.

Get the weekly newsletter keeping thousands of marketers in the loop.

Unsubscribe any time, no hard feelings.

“My favorite marketing newsletter I’m subscribed to.” — Amit Agarwal, Growth Manager @ First Challenger

Skip to content