Magnetic Buckyballs toys discontinued
Maxfield and Oberton, the maker of Buckyballs, has defended its efforts to keep the magnetic desk toys away from children.
November 2nd, 2012
11:16 AM ET

Magnetic Buckyballs toys discontinued

The popular Buckyballs and Buckycubes magnetic desk toys will be discontinued, its manufacturer said, blaming what it called "baseless and relentless legal badgering" from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"It's time to bid a fond farewell to the world's most popular adult desk toys," Maxfield and Oberton, the maker of Buckyballs, said on its website this week. "That's right: We're sad to say that Balls and Cubes have a one-way ticket to the Land-of-Awesome-Stuff-You-Should-Have-Bought-When-You-Had-the-Chance."

A limited number of the toys are still available, but no more will be made after they sell out, the company said.

In July, the Consumer Product Safety Commission sued Maxfield and Oberton in an attempt to get the company to stop selling the toys, saying they are hazardous to children. When children swallow the powerful magnets, they can pierce holes in the intestines, the commission said, and some children have required multiple surgeries and lengthy hospitalizations. Since 2009, officials said, there have been at least a dozen ingestions of the Buckyballs magnets.

"CPSC stands behind the case at this time," commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said Friday. "We continue to allege and believe that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are dangerous and defective for young children as well as teenagers."

Internet videos direct older children and teenagers how to use the toys to mimic tongue or cheek piercings, he said, and some have ended up ingesting them.

At the time the suit was filed, Maxfield and Oberton spokesman Andrew Frank said the company would "fight this vigorously," noting that while "some people have misused the product," the toys were marketed to those aged 14 and up, and carried warning labels.

But "we made a tough decision after a lot of thought based on how to protect the integrity of the business, the brand, and begin to move forward," Frank said in an e-mail Friday. "It was time for our team to start focusing on the future and providing innovative products for our loyal customers. We will continue to fight the CPSC and sell our other products."

Wolfson said the Consumer Product Safety Commission did not single out Maxfield and Oberton.

"We have seen incidents with a variety of different brands (of magnetic toys)," he said. "That's why our approach to this hazard has not been exclusive to one company."

Eleven of 13 manufacturers agreed to stop making, importing and selling the toys. Maxfield and Oberton and a Colorado company called Zen Magnets did not, and the commission filed suit against them, Wolfson said. Both suits continue.

Last month, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition said warning labels on Buckyballs were ineffective.  The group released the results of a new survey of more than 1,700 doctors, who reported at least 480 toy magnet ingestions in the past decade, with 204 occurring in the past year.

“The numbers have skyrocketed post-labeling,” said Dr. Mark Gilger, a pediatric gastroenterologist who helped author the study. “There’s just many examples of people ignoring the labels, or people who haven’t paid attention to them bringing them to their home inadvertently.”

Gilger said young children sometimes think the toys are candy, and older children and teens use the toys to mimic piercings.

Doctors have said "the injury pattern they are seeing in hospitals (after ingestion) is like a gunshot wound to the gut with no sign of entry or exit," Wolfson said.

Frank last month defended Maxfield and Oberton's efforts to keep the toys away from children, and the company said in a statement it does not sell its products to children and has a strict policy of not selling to stores that do sell toys exclusively to kids.

The statement also noted the company’s efforts to educate its customers, including an informational safety website it developed.  The company said it has strongly advocated for a public education campaign sponsored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as the commission has done with other products that posed risks to children.

Zen Magnets acknowledged in a Reddit posting Thursday that "the magnet fight is probably lost."

With Buckyballs' demise, "This makes Zen the last magnet sphere company standing in the US for now," the post says. "We'll keep fighting as long as we can."

Zen Magnets was the first company to receive an administrative complaint from the Consumer Product Safety Commission without a record of injuries, as the company has had no ingestions of its products, said founder Shihan Qu.

"We've always sold online, where it's not easy for kids to buy anyway," he said.

soundoff (1,397 Responses)
  1. azithromycin zithromax

    uti zithromax https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax drug

    April 12, 2021 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. zithromax z pak

    what is zithromax used for https://zithromaxes.com/ zithr

    April 12, 2021 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Detectives Sevilla

    It's very easy to find out any topic on net as compared to textbooks,
    as I found this article at this site.

    April 12, 2021 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. ed treatment tablets

    erectile disf https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile dysfunction clinic

    April 13, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. vilitra 60mg vardenafil

    vardenafil generic https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil vs sildenafil

    April 13, 2021 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. ace333 test id

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit,
    but other than that, this is wonderful blog. An excellent
    read. I will certainly be back.

    my webpage ace333 test id

    April 14, 2021 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. viagra cost canada

    getting viagra from canada with no prescription https://canadaviagrastore.com/ buy viagra online from canada

    April 14, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. c-alprostadil

    injectable medication for erectile dysfunction https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil mexico

    April 14, 2021 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. alprostadil side

    alprostadil mexico https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil injection

    April 16, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jammie Kolbe

    Magnificent web site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you to your sweat!


    April 16, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. buy viagra online from canada

    viagra in canada for sale to united states https://canadaviagrastore.com/ is viagra the same in canada

    April 17, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. tadalafil 40 mg from india

    tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 40

    April 18, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. buy sildenafil generic canada

    best rx prices for sildenafil https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil cost compare

    April 20, 2021 at 01:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. cialis canadian pharmacy

    do you need prescription for canadian prescription of cialis in usa https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy for cialis

    April 20, 2021 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. catholicmta

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about children's health.

    April 20, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ace333 slot game

    For hottest news you have to pay a visit world-wide-web
    and on internet I found this web page as a most excellent web site for latest updates.

    Also visit my blog – ace333 slot game

    April 21, 2021 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. how safe and reliable are canadian cialis

    cialis at canadian pharmacy https://canadacialisstore.com/ buy generic cialis, canadian

    April 23, 2021 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. teva pharms vardenafil

    vardenafil prices india https://vegavardenafil.com/ us prices on vardenafil

    April 23, 2021 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Cabinet Riverside

    You're so interesting! I do not believe I have read through a single thing like this before. So nice to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that's needed on the web, someone with some originality!


    April 24, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Used Forklift Repair Shop California


    April 24, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Steps Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I really thought you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.


    April 24, 2021 at 16:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. real estate for sale sandpoint id


    April 24, 2021 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Forklift Repair Orange County

    This page certainly has all of the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    April 24, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv furniture san diego

    That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!


    April 25, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Batteries California


    April 25, 2021 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. viagra sale canada

    viagra prices canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ generic viagra canada free shipping

    April 25, 2021 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. rv upholstery repair


    April 25, 2021 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Slide Out Los Angeles


    April 25, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. how to buy sildenafil online

    sildenafil prescription nz https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 20 mg online rx

    April 25, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. cvs ed meds

    discount erectile dysfunction https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile tissue definition

    April 26, 2021 at 07:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. order tadalafil

    generic tadalafil 40 mg https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil gel

    April 26, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. is plaquenil safe

    erectile dysfunction icd https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile dysfunction with diabetes

    April 26, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. dolquine

    chloroquine phosphate vs chloroquine sulphate https://chloroquineorigin.com/ what is chloroquine used for

    April 26, 2021 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. avana

    avanafil pill avanafil 50mg

    April 26, 2021 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. plaquenil depression

    does erectile dysfunction cause infertility https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile strength

    April 26, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. plaquenil side effects

    erectile cherries https://plaquenilx.com/ top male erectile pill

    April 27, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. buy viagra from canada

    viagra canada purchase https://canadaviagrastore.com/ canada viagra scam

    April 27, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. homes for sale dalton gardens

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject. I really like all of the points you made.


    April 27, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. dapoxetine

    buy avanafil canada dapoxetine for sale in australia

    April 28, 2021 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. where to buy CBD

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the fantastic works guys I've added you guys to my

    Here is my web blog :: where to buy CBD

    April 28, 2021 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. April

    Hello there! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after going through a
    few of the posts I realized it's new to me. Regardless, I'm certainly pleased I stumbled upon it and I'll be book-marking it
    and checking back regularly!

    April 29, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. priligy

    dapoxetine pills for sale dapoxetine prescription usa

    April 29, 2021 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. viagra prices canada

    generic viagra canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ help me please find a place to buy viagra in canada

    April 29, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. chlorochin

    choloriquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine drug class

    April 30, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Candice

    You have made some good points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views
    on this site.

    April 30, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. chloroquine hydrochloride

    chlorodine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine side effect

    May 1, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. canadian pharmacy no perscription generic cialis

    cialis canadian pharmacy https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy 5 mg daily cialis

    May 1, 2021 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ed treatment tablets

    erectile medication over the counter https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile method

    May 2, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. aika online private server download

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m certainly happy I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    May 4, 2021 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. aika online download


    May 4, 2021 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Leave a Reply to Lita Latus


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.