And Shelburne shop owners are having a hard time keeping them on the shelves.
Matt MacInnis, co-owner of TLC Pharmasave in Shelburne, said he brought the toy in about a week ago when an exchange student from Mexico requested one.
“I ordered 50, thinking this is going to be a huge mistake,” said MacInnis.
They flew off the shelves, so he ordered another 200. He sold out in 24 hours.
He said the pharmacy had four or five mountain bikes at a time parked out front with kids going in with $11 cash and coming out with the fidget spinner.
“What is the fascination with them?” said the office manager at the Shelburne school, Hillcrest Academy. “They just spin around.”
But, that’s the beauty of the low-tech toy, said Grade 6 student Kailey Wolkins.
“The simplicity is unreal,” she said. “They are cool you can do what you want…there are no rules.”
Useful in schools
While the toy may not have rules, some school boards in the province are looking at whether students should have fidget spinners at schools.
Kathy Hart, co-ordinator for student services of the Tri-County School Board, says the newest fad is not on the school board's radar.
“They aren’t banned in our schools,” she said.
Quite the opposite - the schools have been providing kids with this type of toy for a while.
“We often provide kids with fidgets to help them focus and pay attention,” said Hart.
That isn’t exactly what the inventor had in mind when Catherine Hettinger created the fidget spinner for her daughter 24 years ago. According to a Wikipedia article, Hettinger’s prototype was rejected by Hasbro and she could not afford to renew her patent for the toy.
Eventually, it was promoted as a toy for children with ADHD or autism who have a difficult time focusing.
“All of us do things that help us focus,” said Hart. “But it is amazing at what takes off.”
From the water bottle challenge to slime, fads sweep through schools and cause the latest must-have products to fly off the shelves. Right now, it’s the fidget spinner.
“For those who are having trouble figuring out what it is,” said MacInnis, “it’s the Yo-Yo come back to life.”
He's already ordered 500 more – and there’s a waiting list of children eager to get one of their own