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Remember Buckyballs? They Are Now Gone

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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.  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!


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?

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?


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.

Well, I checked the Zen Magnet site, thinking that they were safe so far. WRONG!

The press release:

About Bucky Balls:

A news article on it:

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.
--- End quote ---

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.

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.

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:

Remember 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.


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