What is this little desk fidget thing?
October 7, 2019 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Help me identify this item I got from a mall in the 1980s or early '90s.

Here's a link to the image:

Or https://imgur.com/a/XSsEkVT since the preview doesn't show the link coming through :-)

The little plastic items float in a clear viscous liquid, so as you turn the item, they move around. Sort of like a kaleidoscope combined with a fidget toy.

I moved recently and found this stashed away for at least 25 years. I think I got it at a mall, but beyond that, I don't know what it is, what to call it, or if there's any way to buy more -- especially now that fidget devices are all the rage.

Any ideas?
posted by Flying Saucer to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think "liquid desk toy" fits the bill; when I search that phrase it brings up a bunch of similar items.

I used to have one of the hourglass-style ones with the different colored liquids. Those things were a staple of the kinds of mall stores that also sold glowing plasma balls and "rain sticks" back in the 80s and 90s.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:44 AM on October 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

I think this will give you everything your little heart desires re this kind of toy. "Liquid motion" seemed to be my buzzword.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:17 PM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

"Liquid filled paperweight" is your search term.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 12:33 PM on October 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks, all. I definitely see what you're aiming for.

What makes this "liquid filled paperweight" different from all the ones I'm seeing is that there are plastic baubles inside it, not just liquid. They're like things you'd put on a friendship bracelet in 1986. That's what I was trying to find -- and to figure out if this thing, with its peculiar cylinder shape, had a specific name, and even a source that still existed today.

But I do like a lot of these liquid desk toys :-)
posted by Flying Saucer at 6:40 PM on October 7, 2019

Most of the ones I get with that search term have baubles inside them. Like this one and this one.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 7:05 PM on October 7, 2019

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