The sudden popularity of latest craze the fidget spinner has Warrnambool stores struggling to meet demand.
“It’s caught everyone by surprise,” Toyworld store manager Karina Valente said.
The store has sold out of the spinners a number of times and they have a waiting list of about 600 customers. Ms Valente said the store had ordered thousands and the next batch was due this week – the last batch had already sold out before they arrived in the store.
“It’s just basically a spinner that these kids are going crazy for,” she said.
Nanna’s Drawers owner Maureen Brunt said the demand for the spinners was so great they had sold 500 on Thursday, and 300 in half an hour on Wednesday.
“It was just mad,” she said.
“I put it on Facebook on our way home from the wholesalers in Melbourne that I had them and they’d be in the shop by Wednesday at 5pm. By 5.50pm we (had) sold close to 300 in just half and hour.”
She said she had been trying to get the fidget spinners for her store after hearing they were good for people with ADHD or who were on the autism spectrum. They’re also marketed at people trying to quit smoking, and those with anxiety, post traumatic stress, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
And it is not just younger kids who want the spinners. Shop owners say teenagers and adults have been buying them.
“Yesterday I walked across to the bank and there were adults playing with them, they were all standing chatting about them,” Ms Valente said.
Toyworld had originally ordered just one box of the spinners, and two or three boxes of the fidget cubes – a six-sided dice with different activities on each side – thinking the cubes would be more popular, she said. They’re expecting shipments of seven different types of spinners in the next two weeks, but the cubes aren’t available until June, with orders piling up for those too.
“Half the time you’ve got to consult the crystal ball, you’ve got to think ‘is this going to be a hit, or is it not?’,” Ms Valente said.