Fidget Cube by Ansty Labs – Review
A Different Kind of Toy
I’m the guy with his knees bouncing under the table and his thumb unendingly pushing in the cap of his ballpoint pen, all while refraining from biting his nails. Fidgeting and nervous ticks abound from dawn to dusk. Which is why, when I spotted a toy called “Fidget Cube” on Kickstarter last summer, I joined hundreds of thousands of other pledges by creating an account and pledging $19 for one of my very own. Half a year later, it arrived in my mailbox.
The plastic cube is only 1.25 cubic inches (20 cubic centimeters), which I noticed was the ideal size for putting it into a hoodie or jacket pocket, while it protruded a little too much from the pockets in my jeans. It was, however, perfectly sized for the palm of my hand and rolling around between my fingers. So let’s fidget.
Each of its six sides nestles a unique fidgeting activity, some more satisfying than others. One houses a raised but smooth joystick reminiscent of a video game controller from a console from the nineties. The joystick can be pushed minimally in any direction and twists a few degrees for a little extra fidgeting.
An adjacent side features five buttons, arranged in an “X” layout, like the dot pattern on the “5” side of a die. Two of the corner buttons offer no resistance when pressed, and just mush into the cube, springing back when released. The other two corner buttons provide the most resistance, and click when pressed down fully, clicking again when released. The middle is Goldilocks, offering little resistance but still clicking when pushed. I found all of the buttons to be satisfying in their own right, but the ones with the most resistance provided a great deal of stress relief; I felt like I was popping bubble wrap.
My favorite fidget function is a tiny, flat wheel crank that rotates with a pleasing click. Rotate fast enough and the entire cube seems to vibrate and hum. My thumb repeatedly made its way back to this side of the cube when it tired of the other functions.
On the opposite side lies a stainless steel ball and a set of three rotating gears. The gears offer different levels of resistance and relatively little gratification, but the ball is incredibly pleasurable, especially because the entire thing can be pushed into the cube as a giant button with extra strong resistance.
Then there’s the switch. It looks like a light switch, albeit with three positions, and I would have appreciated more resistance on the switch. Furthermore, because of a loud clack when the switch is flipped, this is the noisiest side of the cube. At first, I was a little disappointed by its action, but then discovered that it could be rocked gently and noiselessly from side to side, like a seesaw. Still, I would make the switch action a little more positive.
The most boring side of the cube is nothing but a depressed oval. The outer edge of the dimple can be traced, or the whole cavity can be filled with a fingertip, but in general there is little fidgeting to be done on this side. However, because there are no raised features, this side functions well as a bottom to the cube.
Despite a couple of flaws, I have quickly come to adore my little Fidget Cube. Whether I’m intentionally fidgeting in a deliberate effort to relieve stress during meetings or on public transit, or passively fidgeting during a movie, the fidget cube has remained by my side to offer relief and tactile comfort. Now when I leave my apartment, I check for my wallet, keys, phone, and my fidget cube.
Something of a modern stress ball, the fidget cube has been a rewarding purchase. Ansty Labs, the company behind the cube, should consider creating other versions of the toy with different functions and, while the cube has been surprisingly durable, they might invest in a metal version.
Be warned: there are several imitation fidget toys on the market, but there is only one official Fidget Cube, and cheaper imposters are known to be inferior in quality and much less durable. The Fidget Cube is available in assorted colors from Antsy Labs for $22, plus $3 shipping.
(Photos: Accura Media Group)