World News

Popular fidget toys have Russia in a spin

Published on: July 19th, 2017

Consumer watchdog warns spinners could have negative health consequences after state TV show calls them a ‘form of hypnosis’.

The watchdog said it had noted “the aggressive promotion of so-called spinners around children and teenagers” and was aware of concern from parents and teachers.

It said it would ask scientists to “study the effects of the influence of spinners on children’s health, including possible negative consequences”.

The announcement, accompanied by warnings not to buy spinners on the street and to check them for chemical smells, came after fearmongering over the toys on state television.

A show called Virus on Rossiya 24 television on 12th July called spinners an “instrument for zombifying” and a “form of hypnosis”.

Spinners “often have a negative effect on the psyche and make a person susceptible to manipulation”, the presenter warned.

“Possibly it is not by chance that they have started selling spinners at opposition rallies,” he added.

The Life News pro-Kremlin news site on Tuesday ran a feature on “Seven tragedies that happened to children because of spinners”, including a six-year-old boy who got one stuck on his finger.

The move to check spinners has prompted plenty of ridicule.

“How would you check this? Make 1,000 children play with 1,000 spinners for 1,000 hours and then make them write a test?” wrote the video blogger and comedian Yury Khovansky on Twitter.

The toys first became popular in the US this spring before hitting Europe. They have been banned at some schools in the US, France and Britain.

Donald Trump’s son Barron was photographed playing with one last month as he descended the steps of Air Force One.

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