Eight Retailers Announce Recalls of Buckyballs in Conjunction with CPSC
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that it is working with eight companies to recall Buckyballs and Buckycubes toys, high-powered magnet sets that first came under fire in 2012.
Promotional products supplier ThinkGeek, as well as retailers Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Brookstone, Hallmark, Marbles the Brain Store, Overstock.com and Toys 'R' Us are all working with the commission to recall every order for the tiny, high-powered magnets sold by the companies. The CPSC estimates that 3 million sets of the magnetic toys were sold by a variety of retail and online businesses since 2010.
Buckyballs first came under serious attack in July 2012, when the CPSC filed a stop-sale order against manufacturer Maxfield & Oberton Holdings LLC, stating that the products "contain a defect in the design, packaging, warnings, and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury to the public." The CPSC stated that it has received 54 reports of children and teenagers ingesting the products, which can result in blood poisoning, sepsis and possibly death. Of those reported, 53 incidents required medical attention, although none were fatal.
Maxfield & Oberton resisted the suit, claiming that Buckyballs were expressly targeted toward adults and included all required labels indicating that their products were not intended for children. The company eventually discontinued its products in October 2012 and has since gone out of business.
According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit against Maxfield & Oberton is still ongoing. The CPSC has only filed three other stop-sale lawsuits in the past decade, two of which were against other businesses selling magnets who refused to comply with stop-sale orders.