Developed by: TEC Accessories
Size: Diameter: 1 inch
Now, most new fidget spinners tend to explode on the market nowadays but the rise of The Orbiter from TEC Accessories really has been something to behold. Since being released, interest has surged, and it’s all down to the quirky design which will leave everyone musing, “Why didn’t I think of this before?”
So, we already know that there’s nothing quite like the Orbiter, but it’s time to find out why, and to determine whether this bizarre, funky design makes it a long-term winner or simply a novelty item.
The Orbiter consists of a Neodymium magnet, two concave titanium buttons and part of a small pinball. It’s really unusual, but the deep concave shaping of the buttons makes it easy to hold, and the buttons can be used to store the ball when not in use. You can purchase extra balls from TEC to have a few going at one time – perhaps it would have been nice to get a couple of balls in the purchase, but there we are. You can also slot the ball into the groove on the button for something a bit different. It’s not clear that TEC intended for this, but it’s a cool addition we spotted.
The 1-inch diameter makes the Orbiter great for every day carry, and at a weight of just 48 grams, you’ll hardly know it’s there. And thanks to the magnetization, there’s no chance that you’ll lose the ball and the base station ensures it won’t be rattling around either. .
Just a word of caution: the magnets used in the Orbiter are rather strong and magnetization can interfere and permanently damage electronic items and other magnetized items like credit cards. TEC are aware of this and have advised you keeping the Orbiter a way from such items, and it’s probably not worth the risk – so keep your phones and cards in separate pockets.
The Orbiter is a versatile spinner and TEC claim that you can fidget with it in four ways. We looked at all four and concluded that two were intended, and that the other two came purely because of the design.
The most common way that you’ll fidget with the Orbiter is to place the ball on the circumference of the magnet (which effectively acts as a bearing) and to spin it around. This is a really cool way to fidget and it feels very rhythmic yet needing of a delicate touch. This makes the Orbiter a tricky fidget spinner to master, which should only encourage you to play with it more! Once you get the hang of the subtle touches required to extract perfection, the Orbiter will deliver as satisfying a hand spinning experience as you’ve had.
The more you practice with the Orbiter, the more you become aware of what the minute adjustments in your touch have. The magnet is impressively strong and the ball will stay attached even when you flick it at full speed. Perhaps it’s possible to knock the ball off, although we can’t imagine you’d want to do this!
The second most popular way to play with the Orbiter is to hold it horizontally so that the “buttons” would be facing upwards and downwards. The tiny gap in between the body and the caps is just the right size to hold the ball, and with some effort, you should be able to get the ball whizzing around this ever-so-compact circle. Getting it just right is a challenge though as the natural instinct of the magnet is to get the ball as close to the center as possible, hence the ball is always trying to escape out over the rail when going quickly. Therefore, it’s imperative that you fidget often to perfect that balance. This is fun as it adds an element of challenge to your finger spinning. Angled just right, you’ll get the ball moving effortlessly between the maglev and base station of the Orbiter which looks awesome.
This is also a really safe way to fidget as the strength of the magnet ensures that the ball won’t come off even if it does fly out over the rails. So if you were worried about using the Orbiter while on the go because of losing the ball, you needn’t have been.
The Orbiter also – well, some claim this – doubles up as a spinning top. This supposedly works by placing the ball in the base station, pointing the ball to a flat surface and then spinning it. However, the success rate of such a trick was about 10% for us, which wasn’t really much fun. But perhaps you’ll be better at it so definitely have a go.
Around the button
The metal ball also fits into the buttons of the Orbiter and therefore it’s possible to whizz the ball around the button. This is a fun little trick also more novelty than anything else and won’t keep you occupied for every long. But every little helps and each of these tricks are unique, requiring different skills.
The Orbiter is one of the most exhilarating fidget toys that we’ve played with in quite a while and makes a change from the traditional fidget spinner. The strong magnetization makes for a lot of fidgety fun, and since there’s no risk of losing the ball, you can play with the Orbiter with limited concentration – this means the toy serves its purpose, as you’re stopping yourself from fidgeting, without it distracting you!
There’s a ton to like about the Orbiter and it’s great that TEC are trying to expand the fidgeting boundaries. Experimentation is only going to be beneficial for customers later on, so it’s encouraging to see new toys going on sale. There definitely seems to be a future in magnetized fidgeting, and it’ll be interesting to see whether TEC tries to build on what they’ve done with the Orbiter. At $65, be sure to check this one out.