A supplier from Lakewood, Colo. recently added a new graphic artist to its team.
There is much to-do about magnets lately. We wrote previously about the lawsuit filed by the CPSC against Craig Zucker, CEO of Maxfield and Oberton, the manufacturer of Buckyballs. We then heard from Scott Wolfson, director of communications for the CPSC, who offered some observations as well as some clarifications.
This is a story of polar opposites—positive and negative, and when it comes to promotional magnet products, they don’t attract much more than negative attention.
Remember Buckyballs? Those are the small, spherical rare-earth magnets marketed as desktop toys by Brooklyn-based Maxfield & Oberton until the end of last year, when its owners closed the company amid a legal dispute with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The government's beef: Swallowing high-powered magnets can do lots of damage to a kid's innards.
Closing the company didn't end the matter. The CPSC still sought a mandatory recall of Buckyballs, as well as products from two additional magnet-set makers, and moved to hold Maxfield & Oberton's former chief executive officer liable for the costs of a recall.
Jane Nelson-Halverson, owner of Dakota Promotions & Printing, describes her experiences volunteering for an abused adult resource center, which she also does some promotional work for. She details the services the center provides, as well as how she handles selling promotional products to an organization she also volunteers at.
"So this is what starting over looks like. I have a seven-by-seven space with two little desks in it."
Craig Zucker is remarkably good-humored. He's referring to his office, rented month-to-month in a dilapidated building in Brooklyn. There is construction all around, graffiti on the walls, and unfinished doors and windows.
It's a long way from the Soho digs the 34-year-old used to occupy. Zucker is the former CEO of Maxfield & Oberton, the company behind Buckyballs, an office toy that became a sensation in 2009 and sold millions of units before it was banned by the feds last year.
The CPSC opened a can of worms when it went after former Buckyballs CEO Craig Zucker in his personal capacity earlier this year. His transgression? Refusing CPSC's request to voluntarily and permanently remove his company's entire Buckyballs product line from the marketplace. Attorneys from Keller and Heckman shred the rationale for the agency's misguided decision—and question the Administrative Law Judge's actions to date.
The authors primarily take issue with suing Zucker personally. "Individuals," they point out, "do not check their free speech rights at the door when they disagree with agency actions and exercise their rights to object."
Public Policy Polling recently released results showing a majority of Americans disagree with the CPSC's ban against high-powered magnets. More than 80 percent of respondents said they favored age-based restrictions or no restrictions. Only 6 percent supported the CPSC's stance.
Canada may be the latest country to ban the sale of small, high-powered magnets. The Canadian minister of health, Leona Aglukkaq, announced several new health initiatives last week including increased regulation of small magnets in children's products.
Eight retailers, including supplier ThinkGeek, are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall Buckyballs after the manufacturer, Maxfield & Oberton, refused to participate. The company went out of business following a CPSC lawsuit in 2012.