The Guardian figured out how Fidget Pop, a rainbow-colored, reusable, bubble-wrap fidgeting toy, became a must-have for the playground
Popular with children around the world, the new simple Fidget Pop toy is a silicone-based tray with hemispherical “bubbles” that can be squeezed inward with a child-friendly cotton.
They are sold mainly on the web – on the Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, eBay, AliExpress. When all the “bubbles” are turned out, you just need to turn it over and the toy is back in action.
Considering how many people have been fascinated by film bubble popping at least once in their lives, the success of this new toy isn’t all that surprising. But thanks to TikTok and Instagram – platforms already mesmerized by ASMR slides – the popularity of the new fidget pop is phenomenal.
Therapy Store owner Nick Taylor told The Guardian that the interest from schools, businesses and the public has been so strong that he can barely meet the demand for the toy.
“We have boxes of them that disappear every day and we have to use multiple suppliers to keep them in stock,” he says. “In some hands, they are just a popular toy, but there are children who can really use them,” Taylor assured.
This “sensory” advantage is what sets this toy apart from, say, the previously super popular LOL Surprise! doll.
Restless behavior is fairly widespread, and the fact that it is becoming more recognized has led to an increase in innovation in products like fidget pop, which are deliberately designed and marketed in order to be more widely accepted, according to Dr. so that children protect themselves from nervous fidgeting.
“Often times, people just use what’s at hand — a paper clip, a USB stick, a take-out coffee envelope,” she explains. “People say things like fidget pop help them focus and can also help them calm down or deal with feelings like anger.”
Children are no exception. Isbister said there isn’t enough “scientifically rigorous research” on so-called fidget toys, but she says her research with children and parents suggests that “the right fidget toys help kids focus and manage their emotions.”
Indeed, fidget toys have long been available to children for therapeutic use, with local and international therapy stores such as Taylor’s offering fidget pop, and other similar toys such as Pop Toobs and Simpl Dimpls.
Isbister is currently working with experts in the social-emotional education of children, including Dr. Julie Schweitzer of the University of California, Davis, to investigate the impact of such subjects on the attention of people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). She says that some therapists recommend such toys for people with ADHD, but with the caveat that the devices do not attract other people’s attention with movement or noise. This could explain the rapid rise in popularity, and then such a rapid decline in demand for the spinner.