this thing's incredible

These Crunchy Magnetic Balls Make the Best Stocking Stuffer for Fidgety Hands

Best Stocking Stuffer: Speks
They come in their own neon carrying case.

My hands get restless. They’re not just your average fiddlers, either. They act independently from my brain — tiny, incorrigible beasts that cause actual, real-life damage: pick scabs until they bleed, unravel the sleeves of expensive sweaters. There is a whole market of products targeting people like me and hands like mine: Kinetic Sand; squishy, slow-rising toys shaped like cupcakes and croissants; and Rubik’s Cubes, all meant for the restless desk-ridden. But my hands aren’t just fitful — they’re picky, too. The puzzle required too much concentration, the sand quickly lost its stickiness, the squishy toys are somewhat monotonous (and left my hands smelling of imitation vanilla).

Mold them into any shape, like a hexagonal prism.

I wasn’t actively looking for a solution to this problem when the solution, quite literally, found me. I got to work one day last week and found a package sitting on my desk from a company called Spek. Inside, another box — this one containing a clump of tiny magnetic balls. I looked the balls up and found that their site described them thusly: “Mashable, smashable, rollable, buildable balls delivering addictive, irresistible calm for the fingers. Namaspeks!” Not one to ignore a free box of polarized balls, I took them out and began playing with them. Eight hours later, when I packed up my tote to head home, I left with my Speks still clenched in my hand.

Let me try to describe the euphoric relief these Speks have brought me in the week since I’ve had them. They’re satisfyingly moldable — they move and reshape when I grind them between my thumb and forefinger. Each ball detaches from the last, which means you can do anything with them: build them into a little marble house; flatten them into a square; form a long, single strand and wrap it around your wrist or your fingers — all while taking phone calls, reading emails, and even sitting in long meetings. (I should add here that while Speks may sound fun for all ages, they are a Grown Up Toy — you don’t want to know what happens if magnetic balls are swallowed.)

Best Stocking Stuffer Idea: Speks
You can turn them into little sculptures that stand on an included magnetic tile, too.
Speks — Original (2.5mm) Mashable, Smashable, Rollable, Buildable Magnets
$21, Amazon

And best, best, best of all, they’re not particularly noticeable, the way a fidget spinner is — you can hide them in your palm easily while using them. I learned this particular benefit last weekend at a dinner party, which I spent eating roast chicken, chatting about sexual harassment, and coiling the Speks into rings around my fingers, no one the wiser! I’m speaking directly to my fellow nail-biters and split-end pickers, and all you other odd ducks with unspeakably strange and fidgety compulsions when I say: You’re going to want to buy these. And if you know someone who’s even slightly fidgety, get them the best stocking stuffer they’ll ever receive. Namaspeks.

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Crunchy Magnetic Balls: Best Stocking Stuffer for Fidgeters