You’ve already seen them: these three-spinned tops, which have invaded the schoolyards, the streets and the open spaces (!). If they are supposed to have a therapeutic or even de-stressing effect, they amuse some, while annoying others.
A tale of Andersen
They have three branches, sometimes more. Children and teenagers turn them between their fingers, on one finger, from back to front, around oneself, under the knee … They are hand spinners or fidget spinners To fiddle …)
Fashion phenomenon today, the toy dethrones that of the Pokémon, in vogue last year. Yet the story of this top is worthy of an Andersen tale. An American would be at the origin, according to our confreres of the Guardian. Catherine Hettinger lives in Tulsa (Oklahoma). If she had an autoimmune disease, she would have developed this tooth for children with concentration disorders.
In the 1990s, it even filed the patent. Being in a difficult financial situation, it would have chosen in 2005 to no longer renew the license.
Beware of counterfeits
Fallen into the public domain, spinners are now available in stores, markets and via Amazon in particular.
Prices range between 2 and 40 euros, depending on the quality and type of the bearing (steel or ceramic ball), shape and design (up to six spokes) or color. Already, the authorities are warning consumers against counterfeiting.
In Luxembourg, for example, the Luxembourg Institute for Standardization, Accreditation, Safety and Quality of Products and Services (ILNAS), which states that packaging does not carry the CE Product to the European Community requirements), nor the address of the manufacturer or importer.
Generally manufactured in China or Hong Kong, spinning tops are regularly intercepted by European customs. Last May, more than one million of them (for a weight of 50 tonnes) were seized at the airport in Liège, reports the Belgian daily La Meuse.
The toy could help the concentration of hyperactive children, just like a pen that is spun on his hand. In children with autism too, it would improve the ability to concentrate and their ability to communicate.
A dangerous toy
In the United States and France, however, schools would have banned them from their precincts, the children having fun throwing them on their little comrades, which was not the primary objective of the toy.
In open spaces
Spinning tops in open space? The phenomenon is gaining momentum. In the past, your colleague across the way was constantly stamping on his chair and waving his knee. Perhaps he was turning his pen with one hand … Only, the other hand being unoccupied, he easily lost his concentration.
Now, thanks to the hand spinner, it is supposed to be 100% effective at the office.
Not yet confiscated at the office
To the great displeasure of the other colleagues, whose attention is diverted by these spinners that do not stop twisting, or which vibrate in annoying way when they are placed on the table. For the time being, they are not yet prohibited in the workplace. But it may be that soon, some employees may be tempted to spend more time playing rather than working, at risk of receiving a warning, or being dismissed for serious misconduct.