CPSC Finally Announces Recall Of Buckyballs, Kicking Off Refund Process

After two years of fighting the makers of Buckyballs and related Buckycubes to get the manufacturer to issue a recall of the magnetic toys that health experts say can rip through your gut if swallowed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says it’s reached a settlement with the owner of the former company, and consumers can start filing their refund requests.

The CPSC originally filed a lawsuit against the company behind Buckyballs, Maxfield & Oberton, back in 2012 to force it to stop selling the rare-earth magnets, saying that the tiny balls posed a health hazard, especially to children who might be inclined to chuck them down their throats.

Buckyballs replied that they’re not meant for kids, and are actually just magnetic desktop toys, and embarked on a fight to “save our balls.”

That effort was stymied when its founder, Craig Zucker, dissolved the business, forcing the CPSC to sue Zucker directly, which was the first time since 2003 that the agency had to resort to a lawsuit to initiate a recall. Usually, companies issue a recall when the CPSC says so.

It’s all over now, as the CPSC says it’s reached a settlement [PDF] has been reached with Zucker that ends all legal proceedings.

As part of the recall, the CPSC is reiterating its advice that consumers stop using Buckyballs and Buckycubes immediately… and now it’s time for those refunds, which previous reports said could reach as high as $57 million for consumers.

To get a refund, visit BuckyballsRecall.com and fill out a registration page to file a claim. The refunds will be no greater that the purchase price of the product — and make sure you count all those balls, as “partial refunds may be provided depending on the number of magnets returned.”

You’ll have until January 17, 2015 to submit a refund request.

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  1. PottaHarry says:

    This is stupid. Of course it’s dangerous for kids, similar to million other things you find in day to day life. That’s why it’s marketed to adults.

  2. mongo says:

    They can try taking my BuckyBalls from my cold dead hands.

    I bought a bunch on sale for good prices after the initial kerfuffle. Many are still in the original boxes.

    Ain’t no kids here to be at risk. Dogs, maybe.

    I will admit that when I was messing with them the thought ran through my head that it would be fun to demonstrate them to the toddler done the street – after which my sanity returned.

    • SingleMaltGeek says:

      Exact same story here, I’ve got a few unopened sets — except I have a kid and she is allowed to play with the opened one, because she is 12 and she grew out of nomming on toys about…oh, 11 years ago.

    • MintOvaltine says:

      Agreed. They’re not taking my balls away! They can have my lawn darts, though.

  3. Psylent1 says:

    So what happens when no one returns their balls?

    Will our government spend millions to “Educate” us on why we should surrender our balls?

    Will they tap the TSA to go door-to-door to forcefully seize our balls?

    What happens when they see the magnetic numbers and letters on your fridge? Magnets that are purposely targeting children? Inconceivable!!!