After a long wait, one of 2016’s most anticipated desk toys has finally made its way into the hands of a small number Regina residents… Who have immediately started fidgeting with it.
The Fidget Cube is a desk toy developed by brothers Matthew and Mark Mclachlan, owners of Antsy Labs, a Denver-based technology design house. The toy was designed with one goal in mind, to address people’s desire to fidget.
The product launched on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter on August 30, 2016, and quickly gained a massive following. Surpassing its initial goal of raising US$15,000, the campaign raised almost $6.5 million from over 150,000 supporters.
Tentative plans were made for anyone who supported the project before November as “December tier” backers, to receive their cube before the Christmas holiday.
Unfortunately, for some backers that wasn’t the case.
A series of delays stemming from product quality evaluations and legal disputes regarding counterfeits meant that not all early supporters would find their Fidget Cube under the tree.
“I waited a bit longer than I expected, but as soon as I got it I forgot about that,” said Fidget Cube backer Logan Case, a computer sience student at the University of Regina. Case pre-ordered the cube in October and received his package in late February.
“Oh I love it,” said Case. “I don't really consider myself an anxious person, but I’ve always been the type to click my pen or shake my knee while I work, so when I saw this product I knew I had to pick one up.”
While some backers have waited patiently for their cube, many have taken to social media and Fidget Cube’s kickstarter page to voice their displeasure. Complaints about product quality, shipping times, and lack of communication about their shipping situation have been identified as the biggest issues among backers, prompting some to ask for their money back.
Antsey Labs announced on Feb. 7 that 75 per cent of the December tier pre-orders had been shipped, with hopes to have the rest shipped by early March. With the Kickstarter campaign over the Fidget Cube can be pre-ordered for $CD29 in 10 different colours directly from Antsy Labs, although no shipping date has been confirmed for those who have ordered the cube since November.
The cube is a dice-shaped object, each side designed with different fidgeting activities in mind; your fingers can move from button-pressing, to switch-flicking and ball-rolling. There is no game-aspect to the Fidget Cube, compared to a more traditional cube-shaped fidgeting object like a Rubik’s Cube. Every button press, or flick of the switch causes no effect, as the cube’s developers say simply performing the actions helps fidgeters focus while doing other tasks. The developers also claim the Fidget Cube can reduce stress, similar to a stress ball, but without the implications.
There are many theories as to why some people fidget.
“Our brains are always seeking activity, it's only natural then when we do something that requires us to sit and focus on one single thing, for our brains to desire that extra stimulus. Fidgeting is a natural way of searching for that stimulus,” explained psychologist Donald Sharpe. “As for the cube, I could see it working on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, you have to determine what works for you in terms of relieving stress and maintaining focus.”
Whatever the case, for those still waiting for their Fidget Cube, it looks like you’ll have to fidget the old fashion way a little while longer.