Why Are Swinging Sticks So Expensive? (5 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

It’s long been a dream for humankind to build a perpetual motion machine, and hundreds of inventors have tried to create one. Though it hasn’t yet been achieved, the desktop sculpture known as Swinging Sticks comes close.

If you’ve been thinking of buying one for yourself or as a gift, you may have noticed the price tag and wondered why Swinging Sticks are so expensive. I was curious about that, too, so I did some research. Carry on reading for all the details!

Why Are Swinging Sticks So Expensive?

Swinging Sticks are a fascinating piece of kinetic art, and they have a price that has nothing to do with their lack of utility. Their high cost is because they are seen and bought as artwork. Careful design, quality materials, and precision manufacturing add to costs, as does their marketing as museum-quality artwork.

Read on to find out more about Swinging Sticks and why they are so expensive. You’ll find all the answers here!

1. They Have A Cult-Like Following

Swinging Sticks are a unique item with a cult following, especially after they were seen in the film Iron Man 2.

Further, they are seen as a must-have high-tech toy or kinetic art, which gives them value despite the lack of utility.

Also, Swinging Sticks have an almost hypnotic effect on people, making them something more than just simple home or office decor.

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Moreover, it is almost impossible to copy them, so there are no cheap fake versions on the market.

For these reasons, people are willing to pay high prices, from around $120 for a miniature desktop model to over $650 for a big edition.

2. They Are Carefully Designed

Swinging Sticks are made on a double pendulum design with a system of magnets inside aluminum arms, which can pivot and rotate in endless patterns.

Moreover, the sticks themselves are hollow aluminum tubes and very carefully designed, and the magnets in the moving arms are calibrated for precise movement.

However, they’re not actually a perpetual motion machine and do use batteries.

3. They Require Precision Manufacturing

3. They Require Precision Manufacturing

The complexity of the design requires advanced engineering and construction to ensure that the Swinging Sticks continue to move in the mathematical sequence created for them.

As you can imagine, this adds to the cost of the item since it combines sculpture with precision engineering. Currently, the Swinging Sticks are manufactured in Taiwan.

Also, each piece gets individual attention and is finished by hand. Because of the skill level needed in production, only a limited quantity is made.

Lastly, there have been many attempts to produce cheaper versions, but those don’t work so well and fall apart quickly.

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4. Quality Materials Are Used

The Swinging Sticks are made up of aluminum tubes and magnets, and their flawless movement depends on using the best quality materials.

Additionally, the sticks contain ball bearings which must likewise be of the highest quality and must be manufactured precisely to maintain the motion.

5. They Are Sold As Museum-Quality Artwork

Swinging Sticks are more like sculptures or art objects since they don’t have a practical value. In fact, they’re advertised as museum-quality art, and the prices reflect this classification.

Further, the price of artwork is determined by intangible factors like popular and critical evaluation and perceptions, which adds to the value of the Swinging Sticks.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Nendoroids are so expensive, why model trains are so expensive, and why Warhammer is so expensive.


Swinging Sticks are expensive because they are sold as artwork rather than utilitarian objects. The design, quality of the materials used, and precision manufacturing add to the costs.

However, customers are willing to pay high prices for a unique art object that cannot be duplicated or forged.


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