If you haven’t heard of fidget spinners, you’ve been living under a rock. These in-demand toys are the latest fad to grace your kid’s school and maybe your workplace. Adults and kids alike are spending countless hours fidgeting with these simple yet awe-inspiring toys, causing stores to routinely run out of stock on these relatively inexpensive items.
Fidget spinners are quite simple in concept and construct. They’re usually made of plastic, though some are made of wood or metal. They contain two or three metal weights to keep weight evenly distributed across the toy. Most importantly, they have a center fitted with ball bearings that lets you flick the toy in a circular motion, like so:
That’s it. That’s the entire purpose and use of the toy.
Regardless of their simplicity, kids go absolutely nuts over their spinners, often playing with them for hours or hoarding multiple spinners. Due to the insatiable demand for the toy, nearly every store — from bodegas to Bed Bath and Beyond — sells these toys for around $5 each.
But can you invest in fidget spinning companies or fidget spinners on the stock market?
Investing in toy fads is pretty much impossible.
There’s a reason why you can’t invest in fidget spinners, pogs, or hoverboards. These toys are often made by a nameless or unknown company overseas and sold for cheap. Though a company or person may have originally created and manufactured name-brand versions of this toy, kids often don’t care who makes their toy. They just want to play with it, which is why so many “generic” versions of fad toys are sold. So, the fidget spinners you see kids playing with are likely from companies whose names you’ll never learn.
No one “owns” fidget spinners.
There are a few patents for fidget spinners, but no one company is credited for the creation of the spinners sold in stores. There is little to no branding on fidget spinner packages, and absolutely zero copyright information on the toys themselves. Multiple companies make several variations of these spinner toys, but they’re not as big as the publicly traded Hasbros and Mattels of the toy world.
Speaking of Hasbro and Mattel…
Hasbro ($HAS) makes their own fidget spinners (so says Money magazine),though we looked high and low at toy stores and couldn’t find anything but knock-offs. Mattel ($MAT) has no skin in the fidget spinning game, as they shouldn’t. Any brand-name fidget spinning toy would likely be sold for way more than the generic, brand X spinners that are taking the world by storm.
Fad toys are a terrible investment anyway.
Fads come and go. Though it’s possible to invest in a select few companies selling “hot” fad-based toys, the bulk of the sales for these toys are made in a relatively short period of time. Chances are that if you’ve only recently heard about a fad toy or product, its popularity is already in decline.
Can you invest in toys?
Absolutely. We put together a guide on how to invest in the toy industry, which does particularly well during the holiday season. You can learn more about investing in publicly traded toy companies here.