Fidget Spinners Seattle Startups

Meet The Real Original Startup Behind The Fidget Spinner

Seattle Startup Torqbar Is the Real Company Behind The Fidget Spinner.

Torqbar-top Meet The Real Original Startup Behind The Fidget Spinner

The original fidget spinner, the Torqbar, in brass 2015 (photo: torqbar.com)

Fidget Spinners were designed for kids with developmental disabilities- Bullshit
Fidget Spinners were created as a kids toy- Bullshit
Fidget Spinners were created by Florida woman Catherine Hettinger, again Bullshit.

A patent search for spinners will turn up Catherine Hettinger’s patent on a device that looks nothing like today’s fidget spinner craze. Yes she created a spinning toy of some sort, but it’s not the fidget spinner.

Not-the-fidget-spinner-patent Meet The Real Original Startup Behind The Fidget Spinner

This patent from Catherine Hettinger looks nothing like today’s fidget spinners. This patent was filed in 1992 and abandoned in 1997

The three barred fidget spinner is a creation modeled off the original two barred spinner. That spinner, was originally introduced in 2015 with the name Torqbar. Torqbar was the creation made by Scott McCoskery a former radio dj, IT professional, inventor and entrepreneur based just outside of Seattle.

McCoskery created the Torqbar for himself. He was working for a mobile security firm where he had to go to lot’s of meetings. During those meetings he would fidget, needing to find something to occupy his hands. “I’d click a pen, fidget with something in my pocket,”he told the Seattle Times.

His original Torqbar was called “The iPhone of desk toys” by Forbes Magazine. They are made of titanium, tellurium copper and zirconium. They are a marvel of both design and innovation. They feel solid in the hand, and nearly indestructible. They are not, kids toys.

Torqbar-2 Meet The Real Original Startup Behind The Fidget Spinner

One of the original Torqbar fidget spinners created by Scott McCoskery (photo: GoFundMe 2015)

The original Torqbar retails for between $139 and $800 if you have one custom made. For the custom made Torqbars the buyer can decide the material and the finish on the metal.

“These are people with disposable income. They like very nice things and they want the best of everything, and the exclusivity of something nobody else has,” McCoskery says.

When McCoskery started sharing photos of the Torqbar on his Facebook page, people began lining up for the luxury item.

“Within one day I had over 100 on a waiting list,” says McCoskery. “All I was selling were the custom ones. I’d have a conversation with the person ordering — what kind of metal, weight, what colors, titanium screws, every element. It’s similar to ordering a custom knife.”

After the initial response to his creation McCoskery turned to his friend Paul de Herrera to help with the business side of things. One of the first things they did was file a patent. That’s a long process and until the patent arrives there are thousands of knockoffs making there way into the United States from China. The spinners below were purchased in Baltimore for between $10-$20 each, notice the resemblance to the original Torqbar.

Spinner-torqbar-story Meet The Real Original Startup Behind The Fidget Spinner

Torqbar knock-offs purchased for between $10-$20

There was even a Chinese website that had stolen images, including logos, from McCoskery’s original site. The knock-off site went offline about two weeks ago.

While many believe fidget spinners are a fad, McCoskery and de Herrera are hopeful that their fidget spinner will be more in line with toys like Rubic’s cube, the frisbee and the yo-yo.

Check out the original TorqBar here. 

Check out how fidget spinners can be productively used in the classroom here.