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Woman who created the fidget spinner hasn't earned a single cent off her creation

Joe Harker

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| Last updated 

Woman who created the fidget spinner hasn't earned a single cent off her creation

Featured Image Credit: X/@MelissaOnline / Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The woman whose genius mind invented the fidget spinner hasn't earned a single cent from her creation, it has emerged.

No matter where in the world you're from, we can guarantee you've heard of the infamous fidget spinner.

The sensory toy has proven to be both incredibly popular and useful for those who find themselves fidgeting or experiencing anxiety and stress - as well as for individuals who are neurodivergent or are on the autistic spectrum.

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The toy seemed to peak back in 2017, with retailers selling tens of millions of the little gizmos all across the globe.

Some people loved them so much they ate them, others simply hated them and some people made heaps of cash selling them.

Many might think that the creator of the little gadget must have made an absolute killing from her design... but sadly, those thought wrong.

Catherine Hettinger, the toy's original creator, actually never managed to cash in on the craze.

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Fidget spinners reached their peak of popularity back in 2017. Credit: Getty Images/Stock Photo
Fidget spinners reached their peak of popularity back in 2017. Credit: Getty Images/Stock Photo

Believe it or not, Florida-based Hettinger came up with the original idea for the fidget spinner back in 1993 and tried to pitch it to a number of toy retailers, including Hasbro, but they turned her down.

Hettinger got a patent for her invention in 1997, but by 2005, it had expired as she couldn't afford the $400 renewal fee to hold onto the rights to the device, meaning anyone could make their own version or design of the fidget spinner without running into any legal issues.

Fast forward to 2014 and Scott McCoskery invented something he called the Torqbar, which was basically identical to the fidget spinner.

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He said he invented it because he wanted something to focus his hands on during meetings at work so he wouldn't fidget as much while his boss droned on.

It would still take a few years before they really skyrocketed in popularity, but fidget spinners went on to become one of the most popular toys of the 'new 10s' (or whatever it is we're calling the previous decade).

Catherine Hettinger invented the original fidget spinner. Credit: X/@MelissaOnline
Catherine Hettinger invented the original fidget spinner. Credit: X/@MelissaOnline

Not holding the patent and not making the toys herself, Hettinger was left making absolutely no money out of the fidget spinner craze, which sold millions of toys around the world.

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Despite not being able to cash in on the craze and struggling for money herself, Catherine told The Guardian back in 2017 that she was 'pleased' that people were enjoying the thing she created.

“Several people have asked me, ‘Aren’t you really mad?’ But for me I’m just pleased that something I designed is something that people understand and really works for them,” she said.

She also accepted that most inventions just didn't make money, though suspected things could have been very different if someone had just invested in her all those years ago.

Topics: News, Money, US News

Joe Harker
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