The les­sons of fid­get spin­ners A la re­cherche du nou­veau jouet star.

Les le­çons des fid­get spin­ners (le fid­get spin­ner ou hand spin­ner est une tou­pie conçue pour tour­ner sur son axe avec un ef­fort mi­nime)

Vocable (Anglais) - - Édito Sommaire -

Im­pos­sible d’échap­per à la fo­lie du fid­get spin­ner cette année ! Le gad­get s’est ré­pan­du comme une traî­née de poudre dans les cours de récréation. Un raz-de-ma­rée qui avait pris de court les ven­deurs de jouets. Avec Noël en ligne de mire, les voi­là face à un tout nou­veau défi : re­pé­rer les ten­dances sur In­ter­net pour dé­ni­cher le pro­chain jouet star.

You can spin them on your nose, chin, fin­ger or tongue. Some in­clude LED lights; others re­semble a ship’s wheel, or even a skull and cross­bones. The fid­get spin­ner has th­ree paddle-sha­ped blades at­ta­ched to a cen­tral, weigh­ted disc contai­ning ball bea­rings. Flick a blade and it spins—for as long as 12 mi­nutes, if it’s an ad­van­ced mo­del from Ja­pan. Ori­gi­nal­ly de­si­gned to help calm chil­dren with at­ten­tion-de­fi­cit hy­per­ac­ti­vi­ty di­sor­der or au­tism, it swept the world ear­lier this year as a toy that eve­ryone could play with.

2.Re­tail sales have un­doub­ted­ly slo­wed re­cent­ly, says Mark Aus­tin of ToyWorld, a trade pu­bli­ca­tion—good news for the schools that have ban­ned the toys as too dis­trac­ting for pu­pils. But the spin­ner has crea­ted a new “fid­get” ca­te­go­ry of play­things. And the glo­bal toy in­dus­try has lear­ned les­sons from its sur­pri­sing suc­cess.

3.The fad star­ted in Ame­ri­ca in Fe­brua­ry. By May, all 20 of the top-sel­ling toys on Ama­zon, an on­line re­tai­ler, were ei­ther fid­get spin­ners or fid­get cubes, a close re­la­tion. There have been

ma­ny such crazes—who can for­get the great loom-band ma­nia of 2014?—but none that spread as fast.

4.Fré­dé­rique Tutt, an ana­lyst of the glo­bal toy mar­ket for NPD, a da­ta com­pa­ny, says the spin­ner took just th­ree weeks to cross the At­lan­tic and go glo­bal. No one knows exact­ly how ma­ny have been sold but NPD es­ti­mates that at least 19m were sold in the 12 rich-world coun­tries that it tracks (in­clu­ding Ame­ri­ca and the big­gest Eu­ro­pean mar­kets) du­ring the first six months of this year. Others put the fi­gure at over 50m.

ON­LINE FRENZY

5.Big toy re­tai­lers, the usual ar­bi­ters of what sells, were ini­tial­ly caught flat-foo­ted. Fid­get spin­ners were a play­thing that chil­dren them­selves dis­co­ve­red and shared on so­cial me­dia, par­ti­cu­lar­ly on YouTube and Ins­ta­gram. No per­son or firm had a pa­tent on spin­ners, so with no li­cen­sing fees to pay, anyone could make them. They are pro­du­ced in huge quan­ti­ties in Chi­na, of­ten by firms that pre­vious­ly ma­nu­fac­tu­red smart­phone ac­ces­so­ries. Others were made using 3D prin­ting. That has been a boon for small shops, which have been able to stock these un­bran­ded goods from whe­re­ver they can find them.

SPOTTING NEW FADS

6. An­drew Moul­sher, ma­na­ging di­rec­tor of Pe­ter­kin, a firm that im­ports toys in­to Bri­tain, calls it a “wa­ter­shed mo­ment” for the bu­si­ness. Big re­tai­lers usual­ly plan their in­ven­to­ry as much as 18 months ahead of peak sea­sons such as sum­mer or Christ­mas; sche­dules are of­ten tied to toy­filled films such as the “Star Wars” and “Cars” fran­chises. This is where most of their at­ten­tion, as well as their mar­ke­ting and ad­ver­ti­sing bud­gets, goes. So it was ea­sy for big re­tai­lers to miss the erup­tion of fid­get spin­ners on­line. (Sub­se­quent­ly they reac­ted as well as they could, says Mr Aus­tin, or­de­ring spin­ners in by air freight.) 7.De­ve­lo­ping and ma­nu­fac­tu­ring a toy can take even lon­ger than in­ven­to­ry plan­ning— up to th­ree years. But now there is pres­sure to spot new fads and bring pro­ducts to mar­ket far more qui­ck­ly. Af­ter the fid­get spin­ner, both ma­nu­fac­tu­rers and re­tai­lers know they must re­spond fas­ter to si­gnals from so­cial me­dia.

8. A Ca­li­for­nian com­pa­ny, MGA, which was foun­ded in 1979, spot­ted that chil­dren were wat­ching YouTube vi­deos of other young­sters ope­ning pre­sents; to take ad­van­tage of this “un­boxing” trend, it ma­na­ged to pro­duce the L.O.L. Sur­prise! doll, which contains se­ve­ral layers of gifts, in just nine months. It has be­come ano­ther best-sel­ler.

9.The spin­ner’s suc­ces­sor may be the rol­ler, an ob­long ob­ject weigh­ted at ei­ther end. Mr Moul­sher star­ted im­por­ting Ja­pa­nese Mo­ku­ru rol­lers in­to Bri­tain in Ju­ly and has sold about 40,000. Lear­ning from the fid­get fad, he hopes the new school term and a smart so­cial-me­dia stra­te­gy will see sales ro­cket. Tea­chers, be war­ned.

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