The fidget spinner fad: Adults don’t get it, and that’s the point

Many parents must be having that conversation with their elementary school-age kids; as of this writing, fidget spinners held the top 16 spots in Amazon’s rankings of the most popular toys, and 43 of the top 50. Add fidget cubes (a spinner cousin), and fidget toys hold 49 of the top 50 rankings.
Fidget spinners, it seems, have become this year’s leading toy fad. I’m a sociologist who has studied fads, and the rapid popularity, media attention and concerns over a new toy craze are a familiar story. As for adults’ confusion about the purpose of the fidget spinner — for many kids, that’s probably part of its appeal.
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