The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that owners of Buckyballs or Buckycubes desk magnets are now eligible for refunds when they return the products.
The CPSC sued Buckyballs’ manufacturer Maxfield & Oberton to force a recall of Buckyballs and Buckycubes after numerous consumer warnings failed to prevent children from swallowing the high-powered magnets.
Most leading retailers, including Amazon, Brookstone, and Urban Outfitters, stopped offering Buckyballs and similar products at the CPSC’s request, but company founder Craig Zucker refused to stop selling them elsewhere, even after the agency filed suit.
Zucker agreed to provide a $375,000 fund to be used for refunds. More than 2.5 million toys were sold at a cost of $20 or more, though many have likely been thrown away.
An online recall has been launched on BuckyballsRecall.com. The company went out of business in late 2012, but Zucker introduced a new, larger version of Buckyballs in 2013 which meets proposed federal safety standards.
There are numerous reports of children who have needed abdominal surgery to remove the tiny, strong magnets in Buckyballs as well as those sold by competitors. In 2012, Sabrina Lopez,12, of Bakersfield, CA was pretending that she had a tongue piercing at school when she swallowed four Buckyballs. Lopez was hospitalized for six days and required two surgeries to remove the balls from her bowels.
The recall ends a long legal battle. Zucker recently settled the lawsuit with CPSC and announced that he will fund the recall.
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