Buckyballs and Buckycubes are collections of small, powerful, round or cubic rare earth magnets which can be used to form all sorts of shapes or squeezed to relieve stress. Indeed, some children and even a few teens have been injured when they have swallowed multiple balls. However, the desk toys are marketed exclusively to adults and come with labels warning against ingestion and insisting they be kept out of children’s reach.
More than two million sets of these toys have been sold worldwide since they went on the market in 2009; there have been less than two dozen incidents.
After more than two years of working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission — by issuing a voluntary recall, changing the warning labels, and producing a safety video — Maxfield & Oberton has been told the CPSC is banning the product because it is “inherently dangerous” and “serves no useful purpose.”
Why not serving a “useful purpose” is a legitimate criterion, they don’t say. Most desk toys — say, a New York Yankees Mr. Potato Head — serve little useful purpose. As for being “inherently dangerous,” at least 140 children are killed each year riding bicycles, and more than 275,000 end up in the emergency room. (Read more)
See the company’s funny appeal for help: Save our balls