The maker of Buckyballs, those powerful tiny magnet desktop toys that can be harmful if swallowed, isn’t going down without fighting the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Last week the CPSC convinced 11 retailers, including Amazon, to pull the toys from sale and sued Buckyballs’ company, Maxfield & Oberton, to get it to stop selling them. But instead, the head of the company is embarking on a media blitz to “save our balls.”
There’s also one holdout — Zen Magnets announced yesterday that it isn’t going to cooperate with the CPSC, as it’s never marketed the toys to kids or heard about injuries. It started a site to help out Buckyballs at http://www.savemagnets.com to urge the agency to reconsider the “unfair ban” on the magnets.
Meanwhile, Maxfield & Oberton are going full steam ahead with a “Save Our Balls” campaign for Buckyball aficionados to get together and celebrate their love of the toys and protest the CPSC. Oh yeah, and please pretty please, it wants you to keep buying the balls. So far over 30,000 people have watched the video on the site and online sales seem to be keeping up, said Craig Zucker, co-founder of the company.
Once the publicity is gone however, sales could plummet. Zucker is now turning to influential policy makers and placing ads in D.C. papers.
One such ad asks President Obama for help: “We do not understand why our products, marketed exclusively for adults and with so few injuries, have suddenly been raised to the very top of the CPSC’s action list.”
The CPSC is all, “Na na na na na, we’re not listening!” It maintains that because the balls can attach to each other when ingested, they can tear through vital organs that get in the way of their magnetic path.
“We are not going to wait for a death to happen,” said an agency spokesman, according to the Washington Post. “The injuries that we have seen are like a gunshot wound to the gut with no sign of entry or exit.”
Buckyballs fight back [Washington Post]