Deadly Recalled Toy Still Available At Walmart, Target, Kohl's And More

Magnetic toys that killed one boy and injured more than 2 dozen others are still available for sale in many Illinois stores according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The attorney general’s office found the recalled toys at several stores all over the state, and a Chicago Tribune reporter was able to purchase the toys Wal-Mart, Target and Big Lots stores in the northwest suburbs.

These toys have magnets that can fall out of the toy and be eaten by small children. Once more than one magnet is ingested they can attract to each other inside the body, causing intestinal damage and death.

The toys were originally recalled on March 31, 2006, but subsequent injuries prompted an expanded recalled April 19, 2007.

HOW TO TELL IF YOU’RE LOOKING AT A RECALLED MAGNETIX SET: The recalled toys lack a warning label on the box. This warning label reads:

“CAUTION: Do not ingest or inhale magnets.
Attraction of magnets in the body may cause
serious injury and require immediate medical care.”

If you see any of these toys without the warning label, take a picture and send it to us at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. Remember: If it has the warning label, it is not a recalled version of the toy. —MEGHANN MARCO

Child’s Death Prompts Replacement Program of Magnetic Building Sets [CPSC]
Magnetix Magnetic Building Set Recall Expanded [CPSC]
Some stores in Illinois selling recalled toys [Chicago Tribune]

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  1. kjherron says:

    So, if there’s a label on the box then they’re safe to eat?

  2. AtomikB says:

    Just leave the toy alone! Some of my favorite toys as a kid are no longer vailable because they’re “dangerous”. Here’s a safety tip:

    Don’t eat your toys.

    Problem solved!

  3. MercuryPDX says:

    Why not just print out a sheet of labels to distribute to the stores?

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    @AtomikB: Agreed… common sense surrenders.

  5. BeastMasterJ says:

    Magnetic Fields lead to better digestion!

    So if they just stick a brightly colored warning label on them, they’re ok? They need to bring back Lawn Darts, while The’re at it!

    Rebrand them as ‘Recreational Doom Javilins’ or something.

  6. eldergias says:

    @AtomikB: Agreed. You know it is dangerous to eat rocks? Why aren’t there warning labels on those things? A little kid could eat anything, if they are weird enough to want to. Warning labels won’t protect them any better, they just let parents make better decisions on what to buy kids. But if you are a parent who bought your kid a magnet set, the magnets are small enough to ingest, there was no warning label on the box, and when you took the magnets out of the box you didn’t think they were dangerously small then a warning label probably wouldn’t have helped you anyway. Okay, companies should put those labels on boxes so that parents can easily tell which have small parts, but if your kid eats part of his toy and gets sick, its not just the companies fault for making small pieces, it is also the parents fault for not watching what they give their kid. If a parent gave their kid a knife to play with and they hurt themselves, Ginsu wouldn’t get into trouble, the parent would.

    This case is slightly different because it deals with magnets, so this is understandable, but regular toys that don’t have ingestion warning hazards labels aren’t a big deal. When you buy your kid something, take it out of the box and look at it before you give it to them. It’s that simple. You should do this whether or not the toy has a warning label.

  7. jurgis says:

    @AtomikB: What’s that David Sedaris bit… about how his friends in France can’t believe that Americans are so stupid, that they would do dumb things and then sue someone over it?

    Some of the litigation of our time is legit, but most of it is just people are stupid and want to blame someone (other than themselves) when the screw up.

    As an aside, that is the lamest looking toy I have ever seen.

    And rocks are tasty.

  8. CTSLICK says:

    @BeastMasterJ says: …”They need to bring back Lawn Darts, while The’re at it!”

    No doubt! My folks played those things every weekend with the neighbors. I’ll never forget the first time I got to fling one of those suckers. They always landed with that satisfying thunk. Ahhhh memories. Wish we hadn’t sold them in a garage sale. BTW, None of the kids got hurt because the parents paid attention to what their kids were doing.

  9. VA_White says:

    I have two kids who are eight years apart in age. Many of the toys for the big kid are extremely dangerous for the little kid. It is a serious offense for a swallowable toy to be found outside the sacred domain of the big kid’s room. Big kid has a gate on his door just so little brother cannot toddle in there and start gulping down legos.

    As a parent, I take the responsibility for keeping dangerous things out of reach of my little one. I am not going to blame Target for failing to warn me about the painfully obvious.

  10. scoobydoo says:

    There is a huge different between swallowing a Lego and pooping it out, and swallowing a magnet that rips up your intestines and kills you.

    Kids have been swallowing Lego for years, I’m sure I too had my fair share of them. But a toy that gets into your insides and then kills you in the way these magnet toys does is new.

    FWIW; I read the story in the newspaper and it was a mix of reading how a toddler died in a terrible way, and a totally botched recall and coverup job to protect an investment during the sale of the company (Megablocks purchased the maker of Magnetix but wasn’t told about the problems surrounding the recall).

  11. timmus says:

    Let’s call a spade a spade. This recall only looks good on paper because very few people read little warnings printed on packaging. This action only gives a veneer of safety and buffers the manufacturer from litigation.

    If we REALLY want to save kids lives, either destroy all of these toys or put a warning INSIDE the package printed on bright fluorescent yellow paper.

  12. stephen5 says:

    jurgis says:
    As an aside, that is the lamest looking toy I have ever seen.

    Dude you are so wrong, that toy is x-teme, look is says so right on the box. If was lame they wouldn’t be able to say that it’s x-teme, at most they would be able to claim that it was extreme.

    Also, it looks kinda tasty…

  13. BeastMasterJ says:

    @CTSLICK: You guys had Lawn Darts too, huh?

    We played them all the time at my aunt’s 4th of July picnics. and yes, the sound of one of things sticking the ground was nice.

    Of course, we also had the kiddy versions, which had weighted rounded ends that were supposed to just land with a thud, but they friggin’ BOUNCED! As if a potential bludgeoning was preferable to getting skewered. I’m so glad we were able to pick those up for the brief time they were sold in stores. I wonder if we still have them in the garage…?

    And just to echo the other comments here:
    Eating your Toys = Dumb
    Recalling Toys because they look yummy to toddlers = Dumber

  14. Youthier says:

    It’s a stupid recall but the stores should really take this seriously otherwise they’re setting themselves for a lawsuit.

  15. alfonzotan says:

    We gave a set of these to our niece and nephew last Christmas. They love it, and the’re smart enough (and old enough) not to eat the parts. All you nanny-state idiots can kiss my kiester.

  16. bedofnails says:

    Survival of the fittest.

  17. 0x12is18 says:

    I bought a set of Magnetix for my daughter because I thought they were cool, and now she doesn’t get to play with them. For those who’ve enjoyed Legos, Tinker Toys, and the like, Magnetix are just as fun when you get a bunch of them.

  18. Falconfire says:

    Dude we had one toy as a kid where you fired fucking projectiles at each other trying to know the flag off a castle. Not soft foam covered things but big hard plastic disks that made a nice THUNK sound when launched and ripped apart the blocks in a castle with a satisfying crash.

    More than once I knocked my sister to the ground firing one of those disks with my catapult into her head on purpose. GREATEST GAME EVER.

    Or how about “Pass the Trash” where the whole point of the game was to fling pieces of hard plastic “trash” the size of a thumbnail at your friends hole while grabbing the good stuff for yours. I think more than once I swallowed those things myself.

    And of course there is all those fun things like a archery set, or a BB gun.

  19. dwarf74 says:

    I’m in Illinois, and I bought a set of Magnetix off Clearance at the Bloomington K-Mart. I don’t know that I have the packaging still available to check on the label, though. I bought it around a month ago, and I don’t generally hold onto toys’ boxes that long. If I have it, I’ll snap a few shots for you folks.

    It was originally going to be for my fiancee’s 6-year-old nephew (who has younger brothers, too). However, I decided such toys would find more productive use on my desk. :) I’m thinking my toy greed might have helped us dodge a bullet here…

  20. maggie says:

    Shortly after the recall, I saw these toys at two stores, took a box to customer service (at Target and Marshall’s) and told them there was a recall of these toys and couldn’t they check a list or something. They appeared surprised by that notion and when I was at the same stores subsequently, this brand of toy was still for sale. I did note that the recall notice (which are easy to find on the CPSC website for me so I don’t know why Target can’t find them and distribute them) did not included EVERY toy in this line of products, which I thought was odd. It is a very cool toy.

  21. joopiter says:

    @Falconfire: Are you talking about Crossbows & Catapults? Because that was an awesome game! My brother and I used to play that all the time. Our kitchen used to become a warzone until my mother banished us to a different room. Ah, those were the good old days…

  22. bedofnails says:

    @joopiter:

    Holy crap! Between that and crossfire; what a way to release juvinile energy.

    (How amazing were those Crossfire commercials?)

  23. Jayus says:

    @jeopiter:

    The music was INCREDIBLE. “Crossfire/You get caught up in the/Crossfire…Crossfire…CROSSFIRE!”

    A friend of mine thought it was “you get caught up in love” which makes it an awesome power-ballad.

  24. Jayus says:

    Sorry, I misspelled joopiter…and it was supposed to be @bedofnails anyway (oh, the shame…maybe I’ve been playing the games of my childhood too often lately)

  25. magic8ball says:

    The thing is, the magnets in the toys are supposed to stay IN the toys. It’s when they fall out and become available for ingestion that it’s a problem.

    That being said, there are also a ton of little steel marbles that come with the set, which are a perfect size for a toddler to choke on, so they’re really unsuitable for very small kids anyway.

  26. mopar_man says:

    It’s no wonder old toys are bringing in big money. It seems that every irresponsible parent now is getting all the decent toys recalled because of their stupidity. All the decent stuff can’t be sold any more. I think I still have my lawn darts at my parents’ house. I’ll be sure to keep them around for my kids to play with. Maybe, just maybe, a neighbour will come over and tell me they’re dangerous just before I throw one of them into his eye.

  27. quantum-shaman says:

    I say flavor them with melamine and export them to China.

  28. synergy says:

    Ah the snarkiness warms the cockles…

  29. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I agree with the simplest solution..make sure your kids understand the idea that toys are not made to eat! Do not eat the toys!. This wisdom will not only serve them well during childhood, but later in life as well in case they decide to eat..say…power tools or something.

    I got to play with all sorts of things when I was a kid, including lawn darts, a steam engine that ran on little cubes of fuel that you had to light with a match (OMG, fire!) Matchbox cars with all sorts of removable parts, cap guns…and my favorite…the Erector Set. This one was great! All sorts of steel pieces with sharp edges, nuts and bolts you could swallow (if you were that stupid), gears and pullies you could pinch your fingers in, and..get this..an electric motor that plugged into a 120V wall socket! I mean, talk about a trip to the ER waiting to happen.

    Oddly enough, however, I had fantastic supervision, and not only was I allowed to play with these toys, my grandfather encouraged it. Oh, and I was learning how to solder when I was 11. I never ended up going to the hospital…ever.

    Supervision is the key. Sure, bad things happened..Brian Cincera had to go to the hospital because he decided it would be fun to shove a tiny plastic steering wheel up his nose, but hey, that’s life.

    You’ll shoot your eye out with that thing, kid.

  30. Yes, the snark is alarming in this post. But, really, the story just breaks my heart. I mean, dying from a toy? Could anything be more sad?

  31. asherchang says:

    That’s a strange coincidence… I know any boxes made subsequent to the recall would have that label, but not having that label itself would not cause the magnets to fall out… and yet, when the box does not have that warning, its contents are defective.

  32. infinitysnake says:

    Actually, the toy in the image has a warning label on the front, and is therefore NOT part of the recall…and the reason they’re being “spotted” in so many places.

  33. infinitysnake says:
  34. headon says:

    Set the table honey, I just came from Toy’s R Us, dinner is ready. Were having magnetix pie.
    Gimme a break. Don’t eat the toys. Problem solved.