Buckyballs, the addictively fun building blocks that enable you to fidget up some imaginative creations at your desk at work, were the subject of an unusual stop-sale order this week from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the first ordered by the agency in more than a decade — but Buckyballs isn’t taking the decision lying down.
In the wake of the business-destroying decision lobbed at Buckyballs by an agency the toy’s distributor’s CEO says was “handpicked by Obama,” the American Association of Pediatrics commended the action, saying:
“As pediatricians, our number one goal is to keep children safe. The powerful, tiny magnets contained in these toys and other similar products have caused unnecessary surgeries, debilitating injuries, irreversible gastrointestinal damage and other lifelong health impacts in infants, children and adolescents.”
Experts say Buckyballs pose a large swath of dangers to youths, as even older kids and teens are prone to accidental swallowing due to the practice of placing Buckyballs on the tongue to mimic a piercing. But docs explain that if two Buckyballs are ingested, the little magnets can wreak havoc on internal organs, due to their penchant for sticking together and causing internal damage.
Naysayers also warn that Buckyballs can be elusive, particularly when ingested by a non-verbal child. (Or one that simply isn’t forthcoming.) When Buckyballs are missed in exams, they can cause irreversible injuries, docs say.
But the maker of Buckyballs believes the action is unfair and unwarranted, given the toys are explicitly marketed to adults exclusively and have resulted in only a handful of injuries, and a new message on the site says of the decision:
“You might have heard there’s a problem with our products…
“THAT IS NOT TRUE.
“The government is saying they should be recalled because children occasionally get hold of them. That is unfair. We only market to adults. We are vigorously defending our right to market the products you love. Let them know how you feel about this: Comment on Facebook; send a tweet; tell your friends; complain loudly. Read more here.”
If you didn’t click on it, the second link goes to a page titled “Save Our Balls.” The very innuendo-heavy clip below (which sounds disturbingly like the Happy Fun Ball SNL commercial) lays out Buckyballs’ case and urges consumers to buy a set and “stick it to the CPSC.”
Do you think Buckyballs should be available to adults who enjoy the toys and are aware of the risks, or is the potential damage too great?