Remember the fidget spinner craze of 2017? Well, a Pop It fidget toy is the latest must-have when it comes to keeping little hands busy in the classroom, on the playground, and at home during distance learning. Anyone who loves popping bubble wrap totally gets this fidget toy’s appeal.
What Is a Pop It Fidget Toy, Anyway?
Pop Its—also known as crazy poppers, crazy snaps, push pop fidgets, and bubble pop fidget toys—come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes and are basically reusable bubble wrap made out of silicone. Kids press in “bubbles” to hear a slight popping sound, and when all the bubbles have been “popped” they can flip the toy over and start again.
Why Are They So Popular?
More than 3.7 billion people are watching videos related to Pop Its on Tik Tok, and toy stores can’t keep them on the shelves. But why?
“I think kids are attracted to the product because they find it satisfying to make it pop,” Judy Ishayik, Owner of Mary Arnold Toys—New York’s oldest continuously-run toy store, tells Parentology. And they can’t get enough. Ishayik says, “We’ve found that they’re selling like crazy,” and she tries to stock new styles every two to three days to meet the demands of her customers.
“Kids are collecting them now,” says Ishayik who recalls running down to her store’s basement to locate a duck-shaped Pop It for a young boy who was determined to find it for his collection.
In addition to searching for particular designs, Ishayik explains that kids are also looking for the toy’s sound: How loud is the pop?
There’s a Pop It for Every Style
Pop It fidgets come in every color in the rainbow. But if solid colors aren’t your thing, tie-dye, glow-in-the-dark, camouflage, and glitter versions are also widely available.
You can find these toys in simple geometric shapes like circles and squares, or more playful designs like cupcakes, dinosaurs, sea creatures, and even Among Us characters. Ishayik says the most popular collectibles in her store have been the unicorn and game controller designs.
Pop Its range in size, too. Most average about five inches, but a jumbo Pop It may be as large as eight inches. Pocket-sized mini Pop Its are very popular in Ishayik’s store as well, and those average about two and a half inches.
Kids looking for a more unique style to add to their collection can also find a new spinner version and a wearable bracelet with the bubble popping feature.
How to Play with a Pop It
Like many fidget toys, Pop Its are often marketed as sensory toys that help relieve anxiety and stress or help children and adults who struggle with maintaining focus. While some kids may find the simple action of popping bubbles soothing and helpful for paying attention, many are using Pop Its in more creative ways.
Of course, kids have found a way to use the toy as a make-shift ice cube tray. But most are using Pop Its to challenge their friends to a variety of two-player games that use logic and speed.
One of the most popular games is called “Last One Lost.” Players take turns popping bubbles in a single row, and the person to pop the last bubble loses. Another popular game involves hiding a marble in an inverted bubble, flipping the board over, and having a friend pick a number to guess where the marble is hiding. There are also good old-fashioned races— to see who can pop all the bubbles in their fidget toy the fastest.
Will This Trend Fizzle Out?
It’s hard to know how much life is left in this trend, but Ishayik feels confident Pop Its will continue to be in demand for at least a few more months. “I think we’ve got the summer,” she says. “It’s a fun thing to send to kids at camp or bring them on visiting day.” She says there are new products coming out that will continue to appeal to Pop-It fans, like bracelets, spinners, and larger versions.
Judy Ishayik, Owner of Mary Arnold Toys