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Buckyballs Throws In the Towel

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the collectors-items-now dept.

Toys 383

RenderSeven writes "As previously reported the immensely popular Buckyballs office toys have been targeted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Last week Maxfield and Oberton, the maker of Buckyballs gave up the battle and announced they would discontinue sales and close. However, being driven out of business is not enough for R Buckminster Fuller's estate, who has filed yet another lawsuit that they own all rights to the name "buckyballs" despite widespread use of the term. If you still haven't bought your own yet, a few thousand sets in stock are still available."

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I have buckyballs! (5, Funny)

biojayc (856286) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919755)

The company I work for bought everyone on our team a set. Probably worst investment ever. Productivity has definitely suffered. But look at my cool artistic design!

Re:I have buckyballs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920563)

I don't know how that could ever be counted as an "investment"... This sounds more like "employee compensation"... Was this reported as taxable income by all your employees?

I think we're going to have to subject your company to a rigorous audit, sir. Expect a note in the mail in about 3-6 weeks.

Love,
The United States Internal Revenue Service
www.irs.gov [irs.gov]

Search for spherical neodymium magnets... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919787)

... on eBay, and you will find multiple vendors selling exactly the same thing, but not called buckyballs. They still exist - just not under that stupid name.

Re:Search for spherical neodymium magnets... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919811)

Until eBay shuts them down.

Re:Search for spherical neodymium magnets... (4, Informative)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919897)

This is what they are, seriously?

Having never heard of Buckyballs, I had to check the site out. Turns out that $30-$40 per set won't exactly break the budget, but you can assemble a similar kit from eBay for a LOT less (including shipping).

Re:Search for spherical neodymium magnets... (1)

slashkitty (21637) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919901)

zero results. Did you try this before posting? I believe they are shutting them down.

Re:Search for spherical neodymium magnets... (3, Informative)

fuzzybunny (112938) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920003)

http://www.magnet-shop.net/ [magnet-shop.net]

German outfit, huge range of Neodymium magnets, spherical, cylindrical, banana-shaped, what-have-you.

Re:Search for spherical neodymium magnets... (2)

Black Cardinal (19996) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920409)

Nice site, but the magnets seem to be even more expensive. Maybe I didn't find the right thing, but to buy 216 3.0mm neodymium spheres (equivalent to one package of "buckyballs") would cost EUR 50 vs USD 35 for the "buckyballs"

Re:Search for spherical neodymium magnets... (2)

fnj (64210) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920435)

Use just a tiny bit of intelligence [ebay.com] . Do you seriously think no one can sell spherical magnets? It's the NAME that is protected; that's all.

I will readily admit that ebay's search function sucks donkey balls. Generally you do get better results [google.com] just using google to search ebay for stuff. Or another good search engine, but google was the first one that worked and I still like them. IMO google search was the most innovative and critically useful tool to be invented for the web since the latter's creation.

More mindless federal regulation (5, Funny)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919827)

Dammit, freedom isn't free. And if the price of my freedom to be entertained by buckyballs is measured in the lives of toddlers, so be it. And now, I think I'll go outside for a nice game of Jarts. Who wants to be goalie?

Re:More mindless federal regulation (3, Interesting)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920463)

Not just toddlers, we also had natural selection at work in pre-teens [saferproducts.gov] . Now how are we going to thin the herd? Start handing out guns?

Re:More mindless federal regulation (1)

GodInHell (258915) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920753)

Just going to put this out there -- how is eating a dangerous man made object natural selection? We're engineered to avoid obvious dangers and to explore our world. Part of that is that humans DO have as a adaptive trait the willingness to eat almost anything. We learn what is poisons and our elders are supposed to keep our infants/ignorant from eating that stuff. I mean, nightshade berries are very pretty round red balls that would probably be fun to play with -- should I let my one year old play with them?

Remember -- these are being sold AS toys. I am a bit of a magnetism geek, I have a small collection of neodymium magnets that I've used for the odd-ball home project or geek sculpture -- but I've also injured myself (skin crushed and torn) by those magnets. I do not want to imagine what would happen to my intestines if I swallowed a pair of them a few minutes apart -- guessing the answer would involved perforation.

Re:More mindless federal regulation (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920805)

You being the adult need to protect your child from belladonna as well as magnets. You failing to protect your child is nature selecting against your genetic line.

I am not a fan of that line of thinking, but we should charge these parents with neglect before blaming a company when people abuse their product.

I'll need to stock up (5, Funny)

skipkent (1510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919829)

I am a baker and normal dragées just don't work the same.

Re:I'll need to stock up (5, Informative)

ddxexex (1664191) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919965)

Well I learn a couple of things today because of this post. 1) A dragée is the name for that metallic decorative ball thing they put on cakes. 2) never accept candy from skipkent.

Hard to swallow (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919833)

I don't see how kids can swallow these, not with their guts full of washing machine gel packs.

State gone Mad (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919847)

Oh, look, the State destroying a business and free choice in the first part of the summary and then the State enabling people to harass other people over imaginary property in the second. Thank goodness they're around to keep things civil.

Re:State gone Mad (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920039)

Perhaps it's time to pack up the ol' ultrasteel, fire up the magic engine, and leave all us greedy, mincing Takers behind.

No, seriously--I'm happy to help pay your way to the Galtian Utopia of your choice. Who's with me?

Re:State gone Mad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920145)

The problem here is how they sell this product. The market this product as a toy for children. If they wrote on the package "MAY CAUSE DEATH" or listed a number of lives and surgeries the product has caused, I don't think anyone would care. Of course they'd go out of business. From the original CNN article:

"We have worked with the company over the years," Wolfson said. "We did a recall with them in 2010. Yet the injuries still happened. In 2011 we worked with them on the education of consumers. Incidents still happened. So we've reached a point where we really do need to take stronger action, which we're doing. We're filing a lawsuit."

My question is what is the lawsuit actually about? Is it about a requirement to inform the consumers or is it against selling the product at all? I am a little concerned that people don't realize that these could kill you. They're candy sized, kids love them and I don't see much of a difference between this and lead painted toys [nytimes.com] except that one is intrinsically dangerous by it's nature.

Re:State gone Mad (5, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920181)

They do not market them to children. The products have extensive warnings on them.

Lies, Lies and More Lies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920629)

They do not market them to children. The products have extensive warnings on them.

Here's the package that was sold at my mall [typepad.com] . I see no warnings. In fact if you can read that scribbling on the front in a playful font it says "The amazing magnetic toy you can't put down." Is that how you market to adults?

Jesus Christ, who's lying to who here? This company seems to not want to properly label their product and just throw their hands up and rage quit when a consumer protection agency makes them!

Re:Lies, Lies and More Lies (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920703)

When was this?
They have not used that packaging in a long time.
Look at their current packaging on their website.

I am an adult, I buy toys. So it seems like reasonable marketing to adults.

Re:Lies, Lies and More Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920801)

What kind of pathetic adult doesn't play with toys?

Re:State gone Mad (4, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920283)

The problem here is how they sell this product. The market this product as a toy for children.

Actually, they don't.

If they wrote on the package "MAY CAUSE DEATH" or listed a number of lives and surgeries the product has caused, I don't think anyone would care. Of course they'd go out of business.

Actually, they do write this, and nobody cares. Unfortunately, rather than treating these injuries as the evidence of child neglect that they are, the feds have taken the approach of banning something that, when used appropriately, is perfectly safe.

Re:State gone Mad (2)

g0del (28935) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920317)

That's completely untrue. They don't market them to children, and have prominent warnings all over the packaging saying to keep them away from children and that swallowing them can cause death. I counted no less than 5 copies of that warning in the last package of them I opened. One of the warnings was on a sticker holding the package closed - you can't even open them without seeing a large warning that they can kill you. There's also a warning on the little plastic box they give you to store them in.

The lawsuit is not about informing consumers because I honestly can't think of any more the company can do to warn people Cigarettes have fewer warning labels than buckyballs. The lawsuit is trying to prevent any sale of the product at all, which is stupid.

Re:State gone Mad (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920451)

If it takes a few hideous and painful deaths to get people to stop leaving potentially dangerous things around, and to teach their children not to eat random things, then it's a price well worth paying.

Re:State gone Mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920481)

That's completely untrue. They don't market them to children, and have prominent warnings all over the packaging saying to keep them away from children and that swallowing them can cause death. I counted no less than 5 copies of that warning in the last package of them I opened. One of the warnings was on a sticker holding the package closed - you can't even open them without seeing a large warning that they can kill you. There's also a warning on the little plastic box they give you to store them in.

The lawsuit is not about informing consumers because I honestly can't think of any more the company can do to warn people Cigarettes have fewer warning labels than buckyballs. The lawsuit is trying to prevent any sale of the product at all, which is stupid.

Your claims are cute but I'd like to see photos. I've picked up this package in stores [typepad.com] and seen nothing about death, dead children, surgeries, killing, etc. Can you provide evidence? In that very picture I linked, there is nothing -- certainly not large enough for a kid to see.

Re:State gone Mad (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920567)

They changed the packaging a long time ago. Look at their website and you will plainly see it.

Taking your claim to the logical extreme and you will say 3 year olds can't read.

Here is a better idea; if a child eats these magnets charge their parents with neglect.

Re:State gone Mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920165)

Let's make government bigger - what could possibly go wrong?

Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (5, Interesting)

quietwalker (969769) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919869)

So if you want rare earth magnets before they're officially banned, get them from zenmagnets.com. Cheaper and higher quality. Also, they're not jerks like the buckyballs guys are.

Fun video here comparing the two http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7Tka4NUmUo [youtube.com]

I know it looks like an advertisement posting, but as someone who owns a crudload of rare earth magnets, zenmagnets seem to me to be the best. I keep a mandala set on my desk at work for downtimes, and I have a manager who keeps trying to make the perfect soccer ball when I'm not looking.

- and if you get the colored ones, just beware - the color tends to come off very easily if you're rough at all with them. You've been warned.

Re:Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920045)

Wonder if China would also limit their export of rare earth magnets products like this too.

Re:Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920201)

I like your manager and if she's female might be interested in marriage. Please forward my compliments.

Re:Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (5, Insightful)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920221)

they're not jerks like the buckyballs guys are.

In what way are they jerks? They seem a little peeved at the CPSC but I would be too. Also note that the CPSC has targeted Zen Magnets as well: Zen Magnets was the first company to receive an administrative complaint from the Consumer Product Safety Commission without a record of injuries.

Re:Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920397)

Try watching the video.

Re:Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920611)

I (and many other from outside USA) made an order during while they were offering discounts, we got an email a few days after telling us the that they were out of stock, and could not fullfill the order.

It was an obvious lie, as they were selling the same goods on the website, and USA customer got their order.

Very unprofessional.

Re:Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920407)

I have never seen Zenmagnets cheaper then buckyballs.

Re:Zenmagnets has cheaper, better magnets... (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920423)

I agree that we need to have some more personal responsibility. Comparisons to Jarts isn't fair. Those are meant to be thrown into the air in a yard, with people in it. Not doing the action the Jart was designed for properly could cause serious harm. i.e. A mistake or poor form in the intended execution of a Jart throw could seriously injure someone. This isn't the same. I think making sure kids weren't buying them would probably be sufficient.

Those disclaimers aside, if you have rare earths at home, please keep them away from young children. It's not something that's silly and passes in a few days. Many children have had severe damage to their stomachs and intestines as a result of eating these.

See (2, Funny)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919871)

Regulations work! If it wasn't for these bureaucrats we'd all be dead from lead poisoning, asbestos, and big gulps. Thankfully these unnamed heroes from the government are here to save us from ourselves.

Re:See (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919977)

Lead and Asbestos regulations were needed. Those are things that still threaten lives, since the Chinese seem to love to add lead to everything.

These magnets should be regulated to be sold only to those over 18. Like many other potentially dangerous products.

Re:See (1)

RobinH (124750) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920151)

While I disagree with the ban, your logic doesn't make sense. Toddlers aren't running into Walmart and buying these, and I don't think anyone's worried about 12-year-olds ingesting them. Limiting it to 18 would do nothing.

Re:See (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920223)

Actually 12 year olds are a decent size group that is eating these. They use them to simulate tongue, cheek and labret piercings.

Limiting it to 18 plus might stop some of those idiot preteens. It would also make it more clear that these products have some level of danger involved.
 

Re:See (2)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920725)

If you're 12 and eating these, I consider that natural selection that's good for the gene pool.

Re:See (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920313)

These magnets should be regulated to be sold only to those over 18. Like many other potentially dangerous products.

Like candy bars, or batteries?

Re:See (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920513)

I was thinking more like spray paint, glues, industrial solvents, and heavy metals.

Re:See (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920773)

I was thinking more like spray paint, glues, industrial solvents, and heavy metals.

You just HAD to include loud rock&roll bands there, eh?

Protecting the children. (4, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919873)

magnets.. bad.

Guns, assault rifles, knives, mace spray, tazers, baseball bats, and realistic 3rd person shooters... good.

Glad you guys have got your retail priorities straight and are protecting your kids so well.

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919991)

magnets.. bad.

Guns, assault rifles, knives, mace spray, tazers, baseball bats, and realistic 3rd person shooters... good.

Glad you guys have got your retail priorities straight and are protecting your kids so well.

One actually is marketed as a toy, the others are not. But your apples to oranges comparisons really make for high discourse here on Government-is-bad-dot.

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920139)

Both guns and buckyballs are marketed as "toys" in the sense that buckyballs are marketed as being fun to play with and XYZ Rifles are good for shooting (animals, targets, etc.) for fun.

Neither buckyballs or guns are marketed to kids.

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920227)

Both guns and buckyballs are marketed as "toys" in the sense that buckyballs are marketed as being fun to play with and XYZ Rifles are good for shooting (animals, targets, etc.) for fun.

Neither buckyballs or guns are marketed to kids.

Except for BB guns which is (not coincidentally) the last time this agency filed a suit.

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920307)

One actually is marketed as a toy, the others are not.

Let's see... Guns - Sporting equipment (so toy-like). Knives - Standard issue Boy Scout tool. Mace - Not toy. Tazers - Not toy. Baseball bats - Sporting equipment (so toy-like). FPS games - Definite toy.

Buckballs - Have "Not a toy" / "Not for kids" printed in no fewer than four places on the packaging.

But I do have one more for you: Dildos - Toy. Does that have any bearing on whether or not you'd give one to your apparently-retarded kids?


So... Sorry, but can you explain the distinction again?


Oh, and just to inject some actual facts into this discussion - Toddlers do not eat these. Tweens do, trying to look cool with a fake tongue piercing. And no one has actually died from them.

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920357)

But I do have one more for you: Dildos - Toy.

And I'll bet they're a hell of a lot safer for kids than Buckyballs. Look it up.

Does that have any bearing on whether or not you'd give one to your apparently-retarded kids?

No, but using phrases like "your apparently-retarded kids" does tell me what level of discourse is available here.

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920533)

And I'll bet they're a hell of a lot safer for kids than Buckyballs. Look it up.

Dildo related fatalities - Greater than zero.
Buckyball fatalities - Zero.

You lose that bet.


No, but using phrases like "your apparently-retarded kids" does tell me what level of discourse is available here.

Hmm, survey SAYS - A step up from "dead toddlers", when not a single toddler (or stupid tween, or even stupid adult) has died from them?

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

Enry (630) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919999)

Magnets aren't in the constitution.

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920301)

Magnets aren't in the constitution.

:grins:

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920127)

Don't forget Kinder eggs [cnngo.com] . Maybe we can get Colorado and Washington to legalize these too.

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920131)

Foods with high-fructose corn syrup, too much sodium, too much fat and too many chemicals.... good.

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920173)

Guns, assault rifles, knives, mace spray, tazers, baseball bats, and realistic 3rd person shooters... good.

I'm thinking one or two of these things are not quite like the others (hint: it's the last things on your list, seriously how is a wooden stick even close to the same as a gun?). However, there is a radical difference between a gun, which is not marketed as a toy, and a magnet set, which is. Like the difference between a toy oven and a real one: the former is subject to regulation about temperature and ability to touch the heating element, because it is likely to be used by a child, while the latter is not, because children are rarely bought full-size ovens for their 8th birthday.

And the fact that you can't make that distinction is part of the problem in the first place.

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920459)

However, there is a radical difference between a gun, which is not marketed as a toy, and a magnet set

Weapons are not marketed to kids as toys? I guess you have not watched much TV aimed at small boys. Or does GI Joe battle his enemies with fluff and sweeties and puppies on your TV?

The promotion of weapons and the use of force to impose your 'truth' on others is constantly marketed to young males, especially in America. The use of love, attraction and magnets less so.

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920259)

I bet your kids are forced to eat with their hands. How do you keep them away from electricity? Your obituary writes itself: stabbed to death with crayolas.

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

guspasho (941623) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920321)

Nobody markets guns to kids, you asshole. Did you get your 5-year-old a murder weapon for Christmas last year?

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920759)

The Daisy red rider is not marketed to children?

No one said anything about murder weapons, but BB guns and .22 caliber rifles are popular Christmas gifts for 6-12 year olds.

Re:Protecting the children. (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920781)

What [crickett.com] makes [glamguns.com] you [geekologie.com] so [budsgunshop.com] sure [dailymail.co.uk] ?

Re:Protecting the children. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920811)

Liberal idiot. I can shoot magnets at my government when they want to abuse the constitution and unlawfully arrest me. Even slingshots are illegal in many states (typically liberal leaning idiotic ones - MA is one of them).

Fortunately our constitution says that I can have a gun for protection. And even though many states make it painfully hard to get one, I can play along for now and buy one.

Protecting myself is higher on my priority than magnets.

And, BTW, giving kids a pocket knife so they can learn how to use it as a tool is a good thing, at least it used to be until liberals started taking over.

Your Freedom and Rights don't matter when... (4, Insightful)

SirAstral (1349985) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919875)

we have to protect another child on behalf of the parents not capable of using good common sense.

We need to stop making scissors of all kinds, stop the production of any toys that a small child might play with but not marketed to them, and even take kids balls away because someone might get hurt.

Stupid people doing stupid things... being going on for millenia, and every effort to stop them has failed.

Re:Your Freedom and Rights don't matter when... (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920041)

Well said! You, sir, are welcome to play goalie in my Jarts tournament any day!

There's no hope for us...really none (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919879)

It's all in the article:

""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.

Darwin award time, then. I cannot believe we pay taxes to pay people who then spend even more of our money on this kind of arrant waste and stupidity.

Zen Magnets (3, Informative)

The Rizz (1319) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919907)

Zen Magnets [zenmagnets.com] hasn't yet caved to the CPSC.

Re:Zen Magnets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920023)

Zen Magnets [zenmagnets.com] hasn't yet caved to the CPSC.

They'll be next on the chopping block, though. Don't think they're safe.

Re:Zen Magnets (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920033)

That might have something to do with the fact that they haven't been targeted by the CPSC at all since they were a marginal player in the market compared to Buckyballs. Now that Buckyballs is going down, if Zen rises to fill that void, you can bet that the CPSC will go after them as well.

Re:Zen Magnets (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920051)

ANNNNNNND...I'm an idiot. Sometimes I wish there was a simple button you could press on your old posts to color them differently or somehow indicate that you no longer stand by what you said.

Re:Zen Magnets (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920627)

That's a really good idea. You should submit it.

Re:Zen Magnets (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920073)

Yes they have:

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.

Re:Zen Magnets (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920161)

Yep, I know. I already retracted what I said. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in the original comment. :-/

R. Buckminster Fuller approves! (1)

boneglorious (718907) | about a year and a half ago | (#41919929)

The estate's claim that the use of the name infringes on their rights (which is a patently ridiculous claim, in my view) is apparently quite consistent with R. Buckminster Fuller's views --- supposedly he would claim credit to his student's work but saw himself as simply protecting his own intellectual property by so doing.

Re:R. Buckminster Fuller approves! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920565)

How the hell can he or his estate claim rights to "bucky" on anything? It's not even his name, fer chrissakes. That's "Buckminster"

Not to mention that "buckyball" started as just a slang term for Buckminsterfullerene, which is a scientific name that by all rights belongs to the public along with Einsteinium etc. It was discovered, not invented - so the fact that C60 exists naturally in soot should serve as prior art that Buckminster Fuller had exactly zilch to do with its creation. His estate should be happy that they even bothered to name it after him.

I swear, is there no end to greed in this world?

Kill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919971)

shoot ahh well I have nothing to do i going for a smoke outside at least that does not kill many people like buckyballs.

SOSHALISM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919981)

This happened because we have a Kenyan born soshalist in the White House. Don't blame me, I voted for Ronmey!

Re:SOSHALISM (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920077)

The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) was signed into law by Nixon. Blame him.

Info about zenmagnets fight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41919993)

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920015)

Lots of things are dangerous for children for swallow. There are entire bottles of cleaners and chemicals under my sink and in my garage that are dangerous for children to swallow.

Should we ban bottles of cleaning chemicals because mom or dad might leave them out somewhere kids can get a hold of them?

Put a warning/hazard label on them, but leave parents to be the ones responsible for their children's environment.

Re:I don't get it (1)

RobinH (124750) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920213)

I agree, but the difference is that these are marketed as a toy. The gov't isn't going to allow the seller to label it as "age 12 and up" and let that be the end of it.

Go for the Zen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920109)

It's ok, I use zen magnets. ...Well, that was until I read the article :(

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.

Zen Magnets is the last standing company selling these things in the USA. Please help them: http://www.zenmagnets.com/index.php?p=1_20_November_Update

Hey Entrepreneurs! (5, Funny)

JWW (79176) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920137)

Still interested in starting a small business in the US?

Didn't think so....

Starting a small business in the US today is less like reaching for your dreams and more like Running Man where you get a 30 minute head start before the death lawyers start chasing you...

way to fix (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920287)

They could follow precedent and just rename the product "Butthole Estate"

There are other countries (1)

kasperd (592156) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920329)

I'd assume the countries, which have not yet banned those magnets, make up a sufficiently large market for at least one or two manufacturers of them to still be in business. I can't say whether it would then be legal for individuals to import some for their own entertainment.

If your #1 product kills children, you fail (1)

kriston (7886) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920349)

If your #1 product kills children, you fail.
One of my favorite toys growing up was Girder & Panel. It was suddenly removed from the house after about a year because it was recalled. The reason? Kids were eating the rubber rivets and killing themselves.

Re:If your #1 product kills children, you fail (4, Informative)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920617)

It's not the fault of the product when parents don't supervise their children and allow them to eat random household objects.

And I realize its not easy. Parenting is hard. If you're not up for it, don't have kids.

This is an adult product. It says it on the box. It shouldn't be required to meet child toy standards.

Re:If your #1 product kills children, you fail (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920647)

If you make claims without citations like that you fail.

I do not believe anyone has died, some people did require medical care though.

I bet S&Ws #1 product could kill kids. There are lots of common household items that could kill kids. You think eating a AAA battery would go well for a child?

Re:If your #1 product kills children, you fail (4, Informative)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920789)

I will pass that epiphany on to General Motors for you. Buckyball fatalities: 0, auto fatalities: ~40,000 per year.

Oh, wait, now you say 'I meant injuries not deaths'. OK lets play that one:

There are approximately 2.2 million Buckyball magnet sets in circulation, and as each set has 216 magnets, there is a grand total of 475.2 million individual magnet pieces. This equals to approximately 1 injury per 100,000 Buckyball sets and less than 1 injury per 21.5 million individual magnet pieces.

Dogs are statistically over 120 times more dangerous
Tennis injuries are 1,228 times more dangerous
Soccer, Cheerleading, poisoning through common household chemicals are all over 1,000 times more dangerous.
Skateboarding is 890 times more dangerous.
Pools, cars, kitchen knives, firearms, balloons, snowblowers are all statistically more dangerous than Buckyball magnets.

That is a LOT of fails by your criteria. Yet where is the CPSC outrage on dogs, racquets, soccer balls, draino, skateboards, pool life jackets, ginsu knifes, and so on?

Fucking magnets. (1)

Chrutil (732561) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920367)

How do they work?

Bukkakeballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920411)

That's for all these "rightsholders" making ridiculous claims; there should be hard jail time for that as an extortion scheme ('fines' etc. don't work in the business world - just another expense, maybe not upgrade the Ferrari. Not "martha stewart puppy farm" jail either.)

Wisdom follows, pay attention! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41920519)

Americans are very weird people, indeed. After all, they found that banning firearms from schools violates interstate commerce laws. The rest of the world scratches head and cannot understand how those two topics relate to each other if at all?

Hey yankee, listen up: these round neodyn magnets, which got banned, were sold in kits of over 200 balls per box, which is insane. It is essentially impossible to keep an accurate inventory of them. Let just two balls roll away into a floor crevice or bunny slippers: if a child finds and swallows them, he/she can get the guts punctured by magnetic attraction force as if shot through by a 9mm. Some victims lose a great lenght of their guts and from then on, have to live with their anus relocated to their belly and defecate slime into a plastic box belt in an uncontrolled manner.

All in all, the american sales ban was very sensible! Regrettably, the balls are OEM made in chinese metalwork shops and one cannot wonder how many of their yellow kids experience neodyn ball ingestion. They probably do not get surgery, they just die, because medical care there is as much a paid item as in the USA, but most han people do not yet have the revenue to afford it. Probably we will never hear about those dead kids, because lives are still too cheap in China to earn a mention...

Let me tell you one more thing: some european countries actually ban kitchen knives, where the blade is longer than app. 8cm and has a pointy end. The logic is, nobody should be able to stab wife, gf, kid, etc. to death in a stupid moment and realize he is sorry by the next morning. Of course, it is possible to use a long-bladed, but non-pointy knife to gruesomely saw away someone's head from the neck, Yet, such act is not something an average Suburb Joe or House Wife can do in the heat of the moment during a household argument, that takes a hardened Taliban or war veteran to execute. Therefore senseless homicide rates can be effectively reduced, less orphans to take care off while mommy is underground and dad is in shackles.

Reading that, any honest texan billionare should feel compelled to purchase and airdrop a large supply of shotguns over Europe to restore liberty to the opressed people in those countries! Remington Co. couldn't agree more.

Re:Wisdom follows, pay attention! (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920691)

I don't have kids. Why should I be subject to restrictions because some parents can't watch their offspring and they manage to swallow random objects?

The world is full of objects that are dangerous if swallowed. Watch your kids and let me have my toys.

How about instead of arbitrarily banning products (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920521)

How about instead of arbitrarily banning products that some obsessed mothers think are somehow more dangerous for their toddlers, mostly because it is new, we just force all packaging to list the number of lives the contents have cost.

Buckyballs (Killed 20 infants since 1995) For example (I have no idea how many, if any, have died of been seriously injured by BBs).
Then we can make informed choices and be held responsible if we allow children to kill themselves will objects we know are dangerous. BB are not designed to be given to infants, just like a nail gun is not designed to be given to an infant; That does not mean they should be banned.

Personally, I love dangerous things and would consider that as good advertising, for those of you with overprotected children well they do no have to buy one.

Warning Label (4, Informative)

screwzloos (1942336) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920597)

WARNING
Keep Away From All Children!
Do not put in nose or mouth.
Swallowed magnets can stick to
intestines causing serious injury or death.
Seek immediate medical attention if
magnets are swallowed or inhaled.

It says right on the little plastic container that this isn't for children. The cardboard retail box gets torn up and thrown away, so I can understand a label on that *possibly* not being enough. The inner plastic cube is pretty explicit too, though.

There are a handful of stupid people somewhere out there, so bureaucrats close down a business that I like and decide that I can't have something that is of no risk to me or anyone around me. Gotta love this world we live in.

CPSC is doing what theya re supposed to (0)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920613)

responding to many, many consumer complaints about a products. Many children requiring surgery.
http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml12/12234.pdf [cpsc.gov]

Byuckyballs says:
"Now, after more than two years, they're saying our extensive measures aren't enough and we should be put out of business.
I can't find any doc the confirms that on cpsc.gov

And the company keeps using the logical fallacy we sold lots, so protect us; which has nothing to do with the safety concern.
"We are fighting the CPSC action because we believe responsible adults should have the right to choose to purchase adult products like ours."
History shows you are wrong.

"We are fighting the CPSC action because we have been betrayed by a government organization that switched overnight from being an ally, helpful in ensuring our products would be marketed correctly, to being an enemy trying to shut us down."
Nice scared words. The steps you took did not work. You refused to take more, the CPSC took the next logical step.

Bought the Blue Balls... (1)

realsilly (186931) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920749)

.... so men don't get them. /wink

They really do sell Blue Buckyballs. So now when I play with them, blue buckyballs, and I roll them around you blue balls won't feel all alone. /wink

Sorry, it was just so easy....

They are NOT going out of business (1)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year and a half ago | (#41920769)

They are just shutting down their lines of small magnets (buckyballs and cubes). According to their website they still plan to sell the larger magnets and are planning new products.

I have a feeling this was their plan all along, turning the CPSC action into a publicity stunt to sell out their remaining stock.
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