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November 4, 2012
In case you were looking to buy some Buckyballs, you missed your chance, as the company decided to take the magnets off the market after a lawsuit and the threat of a ban on the toy-like magnets. However, Buckybars and Buckybigs — conveniently shaped in ways that aren’t easy for young children to swallow — are still on the market. Wired has a post-mortem with Maxfield & Oberton’s CEO, Craig Zucker, on the decision. “They looked at this as an easy target and didn’t expect a fight back,” Zucker explained of its relationship with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “It really came out of nowhere and seemed like selective enforcement.”

In case you were looking to buy some Buckyballs, you missed your chance, as the company decided to take the magnets off the market after a lawsuit and the threat of a ban on the toy-like magnets. However, Buckybars and Buckybigs — conveniently shaped in ways that aren’t easy for young children to swallow — are still on the market. Wired has a post-mortem with Maxfield & Oberton’s CEO, Craig Zucker, on the decision. “They looked at this as an easy target and didn’t expect a fight back,” Zucker explained of its relationship with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “It really came out of nowhere and seemed like selective enforcement.”

13:11 // 1 year ago
July 26, 2012

Why Buckyballs are the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s enemy No. 1

So, in case you haven’t heard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has sued to take the popular Buckyballs magnets off the market, citing a number of incidents where small children swallowed the BB-sized pellets with the strong magnetism. Choking hazard, right? Well, not exactly.

When two or more of the magnets are swallowed, they can attach to each other, ripping holes in the stomach and intestines or causing other serious injuries, blood poisoning and death. The agency said it knows of more than two dozen magnet ingestion cases since 2009. At least a dozen of them involved Buckyballs, and some required surgery, including a 4-year-old boy who ingested three Buckyballs that he thought were chocolate candy, the agency said.

Uh, whoa. So, as you might guess, the CPSC acted somewhat quickly. But that doesn’t mean that their maker, Maxfield & Oberton, is happy. “Thank you for trying to drive a $50 million New York-based consumer product company out of business,” they wrote in a statement regarding the toys, which they say are intended for adults. But when the magnets were launched in 2009, they were targeted at children 13 and older — until they found out this wasn’t actually legal. (photo by Kurt and Becky)

21:47 // 1 year ago
May 13, 2012

Magnets and an iPod Nano are all it takes to make a tiny music player part of your body: It’s not for everyone, and we’re not just talking about the video above. Dave Hurban implanted magnets in his skin to hold the iPod in place, much like a wristwatch. But why, WHY would someone ever do this to themselves? “I just thought it would be cool,” Hurban said. Unfortunately for Hurban, it’ll be harder for him to upgrade his Nano the next time around, especially if Apple changes its style — like, you know, it does nearly every single year. source

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16:32 // 2 years ago