Reinventing the wheel has led to fidget spinners becoming a highly profitable viral sensation. Marketed as a comforting aide for those with ADHD and anxiety, the mesmerizing spinning widget, made in a variety of shapes and designs, has captured the imagination of children and the wallets of their parents. On Amazon, 18 of the top 20 best-selling toys and games are currently fidget spinners, and in the promotional products industry, suppliers are hustling to meet the demand.
“The fidget craze is happening everywhere – at every show I attended in Asia, every booth had endless versions of design, quality, pricing and functionality for this fidget frenzy,” Scott Pearson, executive vice president of Top 40 supplier Logomark (asi/67866), told Counselor earlier this month. “Although the original design has been around for years, these spinners are now flying off the shelves at 7-11s and will saturate the promotional market over the next six months.”
Since February, there has been exponential growth (4,064%) in ESP keyword searches for the words “fidget” or “spinner.” There were 226 searches in February for “fidget cube,” a desk toy consisting of buttons, dials and switches that was the result of a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $6.4 million. Searches increased 762% to 2,153 in March, and jumped up 337% to 9,411 in April.
“In general, the fidget spinners have done very well and Prime immediately committed to millions of units of inventory and versions for customers,” says Jeff Lederer, CEO of Top 40 supplier Prime Line (asi/79530). The company has traditionally sold fidgets of all sorts including the Tangle, Rubik’s cube and Promopopper as part of its Fun Zone by Prime collection. But with the help of social media, through which teachers have complained about the product’s distracting presence, this current iteration has burst into the mainstream consciousness.
“Any time there is a new product to be excited about, we are happy,” says Jason Robbins, CEO of Top 40 distributor ePromos Promotional Products Inc. (asi/188515). “We see the spinner craze as an exciting opportunity to meet the needs of our large customer base and generate new clients by being a knowledgeable provider.”
Chris Faris, president and CEO of Boost Promotions (asi/142942), says that he has been working on several large projects related to fidget spinners over the past few weeks. “We have been supplying them to our corporate and retail clients,” Faris says. “The retail clients buy hundreds of thousands at a time. Some of their suppliers haven’t been able to get them, which opened up the door even more for us.”
According to data management and analysis firm 1010data, the amount of online sales generated by fidget spinners in April was 55 times greater than the product’s total sales in January. Between January and February, the search volume for “fidget spinner” across major retailers like Amazon.com and Walmart.com quadrupled. By the end of April, “fidget spinner” had more than 25 million searches.
“The way I see it,” Robbins says, “stress balls had a huge run, and I believe spinners with a similar price point and size have the potential to have a long run.”