Not a day goes by that you won’t find us playing with these little magnetic balls at our desks — here’s why Speks are the best fidget toy

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Connie Chen/Business Insider

  • Speks makes small productivity desk toys out of magnets to help you focus or practice creative building skills.
  • Its most popular Original Speks toy ($24.95) is made up of 512 tiny magnet balls that you can mold, mash, and build with.
  • You can find us regularly playing with Speks at our own desks because they’re quiet and they can be manipulated in a variety of ways.

The explosive popularity of the fidget spinner and fidget cube a couple years ago has, for better or for worse, shown us that kids and adults alike enjoy having something tangible to play around with in their hands.

Thankfully, the fidget spinner fad has died down, ushering in a new generation of attention aids: squishable toys.

They vary in material (some of the more popular options are made out of slime), but the ones we’re always playing with at our desks are called Speks, a set of 512 small spherical magnets that you can mold, mash, and build with.

The simple but surprisingly effective concept is brought to you by the creators of Buckyballs and Zen Magnets. They’re two popular magnetic desk toys made to help adults “mash and smash stress away while building and creating – with no spinning and no batteries.”

Our team was initially a little skeptical about the claim that playing with Speks “is like doing yoga for your fingers,” but we were still intrigued enough to try them for ourselves. Since trying them for the first time in 2017, not a day goes by without seeing at least one of us build with the Speks as we brainstorm pitches or take a few seconds away from writing a review to mash the magnets into different shapes.

The cool thing about the Speks is that there are enough magnets to use them in a variety of ways. Personally, I often found myself picking up my set as I worked through an article. Instead of getting carried away clicking at different browser tabs or spending too much time on Spotify, I get my mind back on track by squishing the Speks between my fingers.

You can also get creative and make sculptures (see the tiny purse our editor made below) if you need a hands-on activity that will get you away from your screen for a few minutes.

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Connie Chen/Business Insider

Here’s how some of my colleagues on the Insider Picks team enjoy their Speks:

Remi Rosmarin, reporter:

I always find myself fidgeting with pens, hair-ties, and other small items anyways, so it’s nice to have some toys designated for just that. Speks are fun to play with mindlessly or if you just want to give your brain something else to focus on for a while.

Sally Kaplan, editor:

I love playing with Speks – they give me something quiet to fidget with when I’m thinking, and they’re easy to set down and return to later on. Though, I will say, I have an impossible time setting them down.

Breton Fischetti, vice president:

Depending on the type of person you are, Speks can either be fun or frustrating. If I’m at my desk, I like to mash the whole set around in my hand absentmindedly. However, because it’s made up of magnets that come in this perfectly shaped cube when the set arrives, I could also spend hours trying to get them back into that shape. It’s something you can use as either a game that demands your full attention or something to keep your hands busy.

speks set


The creators are serious about your use of the Speks. Each Speks set includes the 512 rare-earth magnets, a metal building base, plastic splitter card, 16-page starter guide, and carrying case. For the safety of small children, Speks should be enjoyed by customers ages 14 years and older.

Other than these Original tiny magnets, the company makes a super-sized version ($14.95) and building blocks ($29.95). Though they look and feel different, they’re both designed to inspire you to build.

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If you find yourself getting distracted or fidgety through the work or school day, these magnetic balls might be the solution for you. Speks are also the perfect stocking stuffer for teens and adults.

Shop all Speks toys at Amazon here