The Hottest New Product You've Never Heard Of

Fidget Spinner

Fidget spinners—little twirling gadgets that are all the rage among a certain youthful age group—are literally fidgeting and spinning off shelves faster than suppliers and retailers can stock them. Available at brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart, Walgreens and 7-Eleven, online searches for these addictive contraptions began spiking in April, according to Google trends.

Ready-made for point-of-purchase impulse buys, fidget spinners are being marketed as an aid for people who are stressed or have ADHD, autism or anxiety. But they're also a distraction in class. Teachers across the country are banning them from their classrooms. Vox Media recently quoted a teacher venting via a blog post: "The only thing my students seem to focus on ... is the spinner, itself, and not their work. It's like a friggin' siren song."

Click through to see some additional information about the little toy, where it's available, and how you might be able to get your hands on some.

Fidget Spinner

At the Eby-Brown trade event in Rosemont, Ill., on April 27, representatives from various general-merchandise suppliers like Licensed Products Wholesale recounted stories of retailers calling them looking for the little toys. When word spread that 7-Eleven had them for sale, phones began ringing. One supplier of the novelty had a box on hand to show and a few examples to try, which garnered a lot of attention on the show floor. But several recent news reports cite difficulty in matching supply to demand across manufacturers.

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are made from plastic or metal with a bearing in the center and prongs that spin around it. They're intended as mindless play to keep distracted hands busy. The claim is that the spinning toy helps increase focus. Fidget spinners can sell for a few dollars—a low price point that further attracts kids and their parents looking for an inexpensive and popular toy. One of the better-selling spinners retails on Amazon and comes from POAO for about $9.

Fidget spinner

The Florida-based inventor of the fidget spinner isn't cashing in on her product's popularity, however. Even as sales of the toy rise into the tens of millions, according to The Guardian, Catherine Hettinger isn't seeing a penny off those sales. She let the patent lapse in 2005 when she couldn't afford the $400 renewal fee.

"I just didn't have the money. It's very simple," she said.