What Caused our Brief Obsession with Spinner Toys?

By Danny Lombara

Spinner toys: while now almost forgotten by most students, they were the center of focus in many classrooms at Byram Hills only three weeks ago. Many students enjoyed and were interested in these “playthings,” yet just as many were greatly irritated by all the fuss and obsession.

Why were these toys so ubiquitous at the peak of their popularity? What was it about the spinners that attracted us to them so greatly?

Some say that it helped more hyper and energetic students cope with the monotony of class and pay attention. It possibly aided these students to deal with the urge to move around, and assisted them while they sat at desks for extended periods of time. However, skeptics of the toys say that it only distracts these students more from class, along with the people sitting near them. Sophomore Alicia Jacovatos agrees, stating, “They annoyed me a lot in my classes, and I can’t believe people really spend money on these.”

And people are really spending money on the spinners. Freshman Oliver Brocato is making a profit by 3D printing them and selling them on eBay. He creates them for around 4 dollars and selling them for 10, which he describes as a fair price. He sells them to buyers from all around the United States. Oliver notes, “While the fad may be over at Byram, it’s just starting everywhere else.”

fullsizerenderWhile this seems like an interesting way to make a few dollars, others are taking it a bit farther, including seniors Allan Maman and Cooper Weiss. After finding success with selling the spinners to their friends, they decided to invest money (which Maman obtained from his other businesses) in the toys and partnered with successful entrepreneur Gerard Adams. Maman expects to make $45,000 off the spinners this month.

What causes such high demand? Some cynics believe that they represent how modern teenagers feel the need to be constantly active and consumed by inane activities, such as Snapchat or addicting iPhone games. People who hold this perspective may blame technology for causing students to feel the need to be engrossed in a variety of distractions. I would challenge this idea. Personally, I think the success of the spinners deals with the fact that most teenagers are tired from sitting at desks for six hours a day. It’s not hard to imagine this same fad occurring in the 1970s, or any other time period.

My opinion is that spinner toys are simply a method to distract students from school-related boredom. Whether spinners are refreshing or annoying, perhaps they say more about the power of fads in a school environment. After all, it wasn’t until students used the spinners around school that they became a real success.