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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Save the Buckyballs!

Do any of you like little office toys to play with as you sit in on lengthy conference calls? Do any of you have fidgety hands that always seem to want to be doing something like clicking a pen or tapping your fingers on the desk? If so, then Buckyballs might be for you…and they might get taken away.

See, it turns out that these simple, yet fascinating magnetic balls are a major hazard to children if swallowed. When more than one is ingested, they can cling together and pinch major organs resulting in the need for emergency surgery to remove them. As a result, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently filed suit against the manufacturers of Buckyballs and has ordered many retailers to stop selling them. It’s true, I can’t even find them, nor their competitor Magnet Balls for sale on Amazon.

Now, as a father of two young boys, I fully agree that Buckyballs are very dangerous to children. However, so does the manufacturer. I have never seen an instance where they were being marketed to children and there are copious warnings on their packaging. In fact when I first opened the package, I looked at them and thought, “Hmmm these look dangerous, I had better keep them at work and away from my kids.” I fully appreciate the CPSC’s desire to watch out for the safety of my children, but I think this is crossing the line a bit. Yes, they are dangerous, but so are steak knives, forks, and even my car keys. I know these things, and as a parent, I know to keep dangerous items far out of reach of my young children.

I’ll end the rant there and get to my purpose for this post. If you want a fun magnetic toy to make shapes and amuse yourself with, then you can still find Buckyballs (and fun Buckybars as well) direct from the manufacturer at the link below:

There are many promo codes available to save some cash, but at the time of this writing, the very best is a coupon for 50% off with free shipping. The code below, which I think might be the best named promo code of all time, came as a result of Groupon cancelling a Buckyballs offer in response to the CPSC decision:


Want to know what to do with your new toy? Check out this url for ideas, buy this inexpensive book, or watch the video below: