Fidget Spinner inventor spun out of fortune
The original creator of the ‘fidget spinner’ has not pocketed a single penny in profit from the recent toy craze.
Catherine Hettinger, from Florida, envisioned the gadget two decades ago as a way to entertain her then seven-year-old daughter.
Hettinger originally held the patent on the spinners but surrendered it in 2005 as she could not afford the $400 (£310) renewal fee.
Hettinger accepts that should she have been able to afford the fee, she would now be sitting on a fortune.
The 62-year-old even once pitched the device to toy giants Hasbro, who decided not to pursue its mass production.
Twenty-years on and Hasbro are now cashing in on the spinners.
However despite her immensely hard luck, she actually appears rather relaxed about the whole situation.
Although in light of current financial struggles she admits it would be nice to cash in, she is not seething as you’d expect.
Hettinger insists that she is not bitter over the lost opportunity but is instead “encouraged” by the spinners’ sudden popularity.
She told the Guardian: “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.
“There’s just a lot of circumstances in modern life when you’re boxed in, you’re cramped in, and we need this kind of thing to de-stress.
“It’s also fun. That’s the thing about culture, once everybody starts doing it, it’s kind of OK”.
However, Hettinger’s view is not shared by everyone.
As TNT News reported recently, a number of schools have banned the toys after claims they are a distraction to learning.
However many believe the spinners are beneficial to children with learning difficulties.
After hearing Hettinger’s story, a number of people have raised funds for her family.