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June 17, 2017

Are fidget spinners on the way out?

Search trends for the toys and their viral videos have steadily declined for weeks

Trends Toys
051982017_kid_sinner_PV Staff photo/PhillyVoice

Fidget spinners have been so popular with children that retail stores are struggling to keep them in stock. But the stress-relieving toys, which sparked a debate about whether they are appropriate for children to play with in school, could lose popularity with schools letting out for summer.

That didn't take long.

The craze over fidget spinners, whose marketers claim it relieves stress as users spin it between their fingers, took over earlier this year thanks to internet videos. But it looks like they could already be on the way out.

A quick "fidget spinners" search on Google Trends shows a steady decline in the number of web searches for the toys since the fad peaked in May. 

Google Trends, which shows search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for a given region and time, found that those looking for the toys on Google Shopping are also far fewer in numbers from a month ago.

Image, news and YouTube searches for the toys have also gradually declined, although each had just started trending upward to some degree as of Thursday. 

During the back end of the most recent school year, fidget spinners caused problems in schools. Some schools barred them from the classroom because they had become a distraction.

While it could be argued the toys are another soon-to-be-forgotten fad, their skyrocketing popularity earlier this year had been accompanied by stories that the stress relieving toy could help students with ADHD and autism.

Further, the toys still dominate Amazon's best sellers list for toys more than a month after the fad came about.

But given the waning search interest on both Google and YouTube, as well as schools breaking session for the summer, those addicting little plastic things could return to obscurity sooner rather than later.

Fidget spinners, we hardly knew 'ye? We'll see.