Today’s Collectors Corner takes a look a current fad and offers advice for those interested in their potential as collectibles. And for those with more classic tastes, we look at why you might want to act now before a major change rolls out this fall.
Can’t sit still in class? Can’t concentrate in your cubicle? Trying to quit smoking?
Originally marketed as an aid for concentration and to relieve – well, “fidgeting” – fidget spinners have soared in just a few short weeks to the top of the “must have” toy list, and though the concept is in the public domain, and spinners are made by a multitude of manufacturers, retailers have been hard-pressed to keep them in stock.
Most spinners consist of a circular pad containing ball bearings around which a disk – usually in the shape of two or three arms (or blades), and sometimes as many as eight – is free to rotate. While holding the pad between thumb and finger, the operator spins the blades. And that’s it. Some individuals like to time the spin, which can last for several minutes depending on the quality of the bearings, but the primary satisfaction appears to lie in just keeping their hands busy.
The question for collectors is whether spinners are just a flash-in-the-pan (most experts agree that the fad will probably dwindle by the end of summer) or a worthwhile, long-term collectible?
There is much to be said for spinners: they exist in a multitude of materials including titanium, copper, stainless steel, brass, and plastic; colors, including camouflage; and special features – some have glitter, or lights, or glow in the dark.
They have the additional advantages of being small (most are no larger than two or three inches in diameter) and inexpensive, though some models, such as those made of titanium, can sell for several hundred dollars each. They can also be arranged into particularly attractive displays.
As with most products, the decision to collect will usually depend upon your personal preferences, but if you do decide to acquire spinners with an eye on their potential values in the secondary markets – both present and future – don’t forget to save all original packaging, advertising, and any other related materials.
UPDATE 7/6/17: There have been reports of safety issues, see this AuctionBytes Blog post.
Websites for Fidget Spinners
Fidget Spinners Are The Must-Have Office Toy for 2017 – This article by James Pflake is credited by some with igniting interest in spinners (link to article).
Fidget spinners, the hit toy that spun out of nowhere – Just one of a plethora of news stories about the phenomenon (link to article).
In its 82-year history as an officially-licensed board game, Monopoly has had a number of different game pieces (aka tokens). The last change occurred in 2013 when Hasbro, the present maker of the game, replaced the iron with a cat, after open voting by fans.
Once again, Hasbro has placed the fate of the game’s pieces in the hands of the public and the verdict is that the boot, wheelbarrow, and thimble will all be retired, making way for a penguin, rubber ducky, and T-Rex. (We were sorry to see the thimble go.)
The change will go into effect beginning this fall, so if your favorite piece will be no more – or you are a collector – you still have time to pick up an extra game or two.
Websites for Monopoly
Monopoly kicks out three classic game tokens – Article describes the competition that even drew the attention of such companies as Singer Sewing and Ace Hardware (link to article).
Monopoly Fans Worldwide Decide Cat Token Will Make a Purr-Fect Addition to Classic Game – Official announcement of results of voting in 2013: “Iron gets flattened” (link to announcement).
Tokens Monopoly Wiki – Detailed, fan-based compilation of all Monopoly tokens (link to wikia entry).