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Last post Author Topic: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone  (Read 8725 times)

J-Mac

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Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« on: November 12, 2012, 09:34:56 PM »
A couple years ago there was a cute thread about the skirmish between BuckyBalls and Zen Magnets. Well the US Consumer Product Safety Commission sued BuckyBalls in July and just 10 days ago the maker of BuckyBalls announced formally that they had stopped production of both BuckyBalls and BuckyCubes. (Don’t ask - I have no idea what BuckyCubes are, but I imagine they are related to their Ballsy brothers. Sisters?)

Here's the BuckyBalls website with the announcement.  http://www.getbuckyballs.com/  They are still selling their existing stock until it is gone. Apparently their competitor mentioned in that other thread - Zen Magnets - is claiming that they intend to stick it out and continue selling their similar product, the eponymously named "Zen Magnets". Of course they haven't been sued by the US government. Yet.

So get 'em while they last!

Jim

Renegade

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 10:11:38 PM »
Billions of magnets sold, and 12 incidents reported.

Let's see...

How about 33,808 deaths in 2009? List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_yearw That's a kill ratio of 0.01%.

If you don't like that figure, then how about something that kills MORE people than cars?

http://naturalsociet...ic-fatalities-in-us/

37,485 deaths from those in 2009. Confirmed that is. More recent figures say around about 100,000 people per year die as a direct result of using prescription medication as prescribed by their doctors.

Come to think of it, we should outlaw gravity. Hell, gravity is a killer! Just ask Wile E. Coyote. Don't believe me?

List_of_causes_of_death_by_ratew

Falls are responsible for 0.69% of all deaths in the US.

BAN GRAVITY NOW! Support the "Ban Gravity Bill"!

Also ban fire. It kills 0.55%.

1.24% of people would still be alive if we had the courage to make gravity and fire illegal!



This is a very disturbing trend - the quest to make it illegal to make a living. Fascist petty tyrants.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 10:27:15 PM »
Well, I checked the Zen Magnet site, thinking that they were safe so far. WRONG!

http://www.zenmagnets.com/

Screenshot - 2012-11-13 , 3_20_23 PM.png

The press release:

http://zenmagnets.co...8_CPSC_Press_Release

About Bucky Balls:

http://www.zenmagnet...1_20_November_Update

A news article on it:

http://blogs.westwor...y_targets_denver.php

Quote
Zen Magnets, a company based in Denver, is now facing an administrative complaint from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency that claims the small magnets Zen sells are a serious safety hazard. The CPSC is pushing the business to notify consumers and recall its products.

ZERO incidents from Zen Magnets, and they're "dangerous"?

This is not about safety - this is about control.

I have some suspicions about why this is being done, but I'll keep them (mostly) to myself. For those that are interested in guessing, search for "Fred Bell". (If you need help there, add "dead" or "murdered" or something like that to the search. e.g. What was he doing just the day before he "died"?) I think this is the same issue and just the prelude.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

eleman

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 12:40:07 AM »
dinodirect and dealextreme are still selling, and will most probably be selling for a long time.

Be thankful for the Chinese people, who focus on producing things rather than thinking about whom to sue.

app103

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 04:08:55 AM »
Once an actual recall has been issued on a product, it becomes illegal to sell that product anywhere in the US, even 2nd hand at a yard sale.

There is currently a war on products containing magnets. It is semi-justified. In homes where there are young children that put things in their mouths, one magnet won't do any harm, but 2 can kill a child. But the CPSC harassment of companies and their magnet containing products is unevenly applied. Some companies and product categories get hit while others do not. Toy companies of course get hit more often, while manufacturers of refrigerator magnets rarely get hit. And some of those magnets are more toy-like than the actual toys that are being recalled.

This is from a line of refrigerator magnets that is still in production and still available in many stores, and has never been the issue of a recall:

coffee maker magnet.jpgRemember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone

There is a whole line of them, many different kitchen appliances. While they make really cute fridge magnets, they are the perfect size for a child's doll house, and I can remember buying the entire line for my daughter's doll house.

If you are going to pressure companies to recall products containing magnets, especially toys, then it needs to be applied evenly, with fridge magnets like these also being recalled.

But I think the issue I have with the whole idea of recalling everything that has a magnet in it is that in places where there are no young children that put things in their mouths, the magnets pose no danger at all. The pressure to recall both Bucky Balls and Zen magnets is very unfair to those companies and their customers that have no young children at all. The CPSC wants to make it illegal for a teenager that's an only child to have a set of these, wants to make it illegal for a childless adult to have a set, wants to make it illegal for a CEO to have a set on the desk in his office.

While I will agree with a warning label to alert parents of young children of the dangers of magnets, I don't agree with a recall to remove the product from the market and out of the homes of existing owners, by forcing the companies to buy back at full retail price, every set they have sold since the beginning of time.

And that's what a CPSC mandated recall does. It forces companies to pay out more than they made from the products they sold, and if the company is a small one, with a single product, not only will it put them out of business due to no longer having something to sell, it can bankrupt them by forcing them to liquidate all their assets to cover the costs of the recall. They won't even have the chance to stay in business by coming out with another product.

Now, I am not against all recalls. Exploding laptop batteries need to be recalled, as well as other unsafe products. But products that are only unsafe when the consumer doesn't exercise common sense shouldn't be recalled. Maybe a warning label should be required on a lot of those products, but not a full out recall to banish every trace of the product from the country and bankrupt the companies that made them.


Tinman57

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 06:43:00 PM »
WELCOME TO THE NANNY STATE GOVERNMENT OF THE U.S.A.

J-Mac

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 10:46:18 PM »
Heck, I ordered me a set of Zen Magnets right after starting the thread last night!

Jim

eleman

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 12:25:26 AM »
Maybe this whole saga is somehow related with rare-earth elements shortage looming on the horizon. Right now China is virtually the sole provider of rare-earth elements, so US government may be trying in a convoluted way to make more "rational" use of the stocks at hand. This may be a means to circumvent WTO rules.

I realize this one is as good as conspiracy theories come, so don't assume that I have proof or something.

40hz

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 09:11:49 AM »
Wasn't there also some crazy rumor or story circulating around some years back about how these magnetic balls could be used as a component in some sort of weapon? I seem to vaguely remember a bit of short-lived "crazy news" about that.

40hz

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 09:13:55 AM »
I realize this one is as good as conspiracy theories come, so don't assume that I have proof or something.

Run it past Renegade. If it's a good conspiracy theory he'll find as much proof to back it up as you can stand to look at! ;D :P

(@Ren - in case it's not obvious, I am kidding. ;))

Curt

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 05:11:31 PM »
amazing products; I want some!






Edited:

Quote from: Zen
CURT,

HOORAY! I´m pleased to announce that your order has been processed and is now complete.

Please rest assured that we hold great urgency to each and every shipment. Your package will leave us within 24 business hours of this email. Standard domestic shipping takes 3-7 business days. Standard International shipping takes 2-3 weeks. Unless you selected a shipping service with tracking, there will not be an additional email.

After a rigorous 4 step process of verifying the quality and consistency of each and every magnet,  we donned silk gloves and placed it into a sacred padded envelope made of magic and lined with Unicorn fur, sealed the envelope with an adhesive made from strands of Gypsy hair, and wrapped the whole thing in a snazzy looking faux gold leaf paper, with elm leaf inlay from Costco. Unfortunately, by the time it gets to you, all of that fancy stuff will likely have been picked clean by the greedy postal service employees. Please don´t be surprised to see just a plain padded envelope.

-ZenMagnets.com
-hehe.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 05:28:42 PM by Curt »

Tinman57

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 04:11:46 PM »
Maybe this whole saga is somehow related with rare-earth elements shortage looming on the horizon. Right now China is virtually the sole provider of rare-earth elements, so US government may be trying in a convoluted way to make more "rational" use of the stocks at hand. This may be a means to circumvent WTO rules.

I realize this one is as good as conspiracy theories come, so don't assume that I have proof or something.

You may very well be right.  Canada is now getting into the rare earth metals game.  I'd rather get it from Canada than China, even if it is a little more expensive...

Renegade

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 04:32:34 PM »
Maybe this whole saga is somehow related with rare-earth elements shortage looming on the horizon. Right now China is virtually the sole provider of rare-earth elements, so US government may be trying in a convoluted way to make more "rational" use of the stocks at hand. This may be a means to circumvent WTO rules.

I realize this one is as good as conspiracy theories come, so don't assume that I have proof or something.

You may very well be right.  Canada is now getting into the rare earth metals game.  I'd rather get it from Canada than China, even if it is a little more expensive...

Order your magnets today, and with every order over $1,000, get your own FREE pet beaver~! ;D

But wait! There's more! Order $10,000 worth of magnets today and get your own free MOOSE~!

Supplies are limited, so act now! :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 04:34:37 PM »
From what I've read, rare earth metals aren't so much 'rare' (as in virtually exclusive to China) as they are much more easily and economically mine-able (is that a word?) over there.

Supposedly there's enough to go around - if the price is right. And once the prices do go up many previously neglected sites for rare earth metals will start to become worth exploiting.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 06:37:41 PM by 40hz »

40hz

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 04:35:37 PM »
But wait! There's more! Order $10,000 worth of magnets today and get your own free MOOSE~!

Ooooo....I wouldn't mind owning a moose. Gimmee....gimmee!
;D :Thmbsup:

SeraphimLabs

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 05:50:23 PM »
That is fascinating, considering that they have plastered all over them warning keep away from children.

Yet again though, careless people and bad parents see to it that honest businesses get shut down because someone might get hurt by their product.

Maybe we should pass a law banning Tanning bulbs, or even natural sunshine. Think of all the skin cancer you would prevent by such legislation.

Really though, all they look like to me is ordinary steel ball bearings. Build yourself a magnet charger, buy a couple dozen steel ball bearings for perhaps $.35 each max, charge them up using the magnent charger, and you have effectively the exact same product for a fraction of the price.

Renegade

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 06:15:17 PM »
Magnet chargers seem a bit expensive.

$9,400 here: http://www.allmagnet...evice/magnetizer.htm

Or build your own for $200 to $300 here (incomplete): http://www.magnetopa...es/charger/page1.htm

Another how to here: http://gasengine.far...-magnet-charger.aspx

Unless you need a LOT of magnets, probably cheaper to just buy them.
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SeraphimLabs

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2012, 06:36:37 PM »
Gotta learn to scrounge. It's possible to do it way cheaper than that, really the only expense is the required length of wire unless you happen to have a transformer core with the right shape and coil counts. Used transformers are easy enough to strip the cores from as well if you don't have a suitable core.

Try though they might, the government cannot realistically eliminate people's ability to simply make what they need out of whatever they have. It's an ability that sets the human race apart from the beasts, and something a lot of people these days should use more often.

40hz

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2012, 06:40:28 PM »
Try though they might, the government cannot realistically eliminate people's ability to simply make what they need out of whatever they have. It's an ability that sets the human race apart from the beasts, and something a lot of people these days should use more often.

Yeah! There can never be enough BuckyBalls! Lets get on it pronto! :P

Renegade

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2012, 07:29:16 PM »
Gotta learn to scrounge. It's possible to do it way cheaper than that, really the only expense is the required length of wire unless you happen to have a transformer core with the right shape and coil counts. Used transformers are easy enough to strip the cores from as well if you don't have a suitable core.

Try though they might, the government cannot realistically eliminate people's ability to simply make what they need out of whatever they have. It's an ability that sets the human race apart from the beasts, and something a lot of people these days should use more often.


...

Yeah! There can never be enough BuckyBalls! Lets get on it pronto! :P

Hmmm... Now I'm wondering...

I'm absolutely agreeing with 40hz there, but is it really such a great idea to scrounge for parts for your balls? :P

Ok - silliness aside - do you have any ideas about where to scrounge for free scraps? (Just general ideas would be good.)

I've checked on ebay for some things before, but it seems like anything I want on ebay has a large crowd of idiots bidding far above market price. I'm sure there have to be better sources. (Typically I see people bidding 20~50% above market prices.)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

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Renegade

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2013, 09:01:48 AM »
This story is not over yet. ;)

An interview with the Bucky Balls CEO:



Related: http://www.unitedweball.org/

The hilarity temperature gets cranked WAY up at the site there.

On the technical side, the balls are 33 mm in diameter, making them impractical to stuff up your nose.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Stoic Joker

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2013, 11:24:32 AM »
Absolutely love the site. :D Now that is how you give the establishment the finger! :Thmbsup:

Prices look pretty good too ... And I've always wanted to have my balls chromed.

J-Mac

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2013, 09:28:23 PM »
Oh the irony... Three years ago mouser started a thread about Buckyballs' bullying of the "little guy", Zen Magnets, with onerous legal threats. mouser's opening line in his post was: "It brings a warm glow to my soul when i see a little guy fights back against the bullying legal intimidation of the big companies." In context, Zen Magnets was "a little guy" and Buckyballs was "big company" who was using "bullying legal intimidation" against them. Oh how the wheel doth turn!   ;D

Kinda makes you wonder if the owner of Zen Magnets has friends in high places at the CPSC!

http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=24101.0

Jim


app103

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2013, 03:35:31 AM »
Kinda makes you wonder if the owner of Zen Magnets has friends in high places at the CPSC!

Nope, since Zen Magnets is also being targeted by the CPSC.

J-Mac

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Re: Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2013, 04:13:30 AM »
Really? I know that they are going after magnets in general, but I don’t see anything about the CPSC going after Zen Magnets on the Zenmagnets.com web site.

Jim