Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of toys in the Dogpound community. Now, normally toys are not a major discussion point except when they are called BuckyBalls. Maybe you have heard of them and maybe not. I only recently came across them when the co-founders appeared as guests on a national radio talk show. It is an interesting toy for adults...composed of a hundred-plus small but powerful rare earth ball magnets that allow the user to create infinite number of designs and shapes. A mindless way to kill time or relieve stress. I was so intrigued that I got a set via the internet and I have to admit it is an addictive activity. However, as you can guess, there is more to this story than me playing with some magnetic balls at work. Some children have swallowed this item and wound up in the hospital, and in a few cases surgery was necessary to get the magnets out of their intestines. Now the Consumers Product Safety Commission has stepped in; they are not issuing a warning, they are not asking them to improve their warning labels, they are instead seeking an immediate ban of the product and the sale thereof…forcing the company out of business if they are successful. This would be their first stop-sale request in the past 10 years or so. The company was started several years ago from the ground up by the owners and they are not going down without a fight. They said the product is clearly labeled in a number of different places stating that this is only an adult toy and not for kids. They also state that the number of reported incidents are far less than some other toys currently on the store shelves, and those toys only received a warning, whereas they are being sued by the CPSC to stop all production, recall the product and refund the customers money. For example, balloons have been considered hazardous to young children and they are now required to have a label warning about choking hazard for children eight and under. The CPSC among other things claims that the warnings are insufficient [they appear five times on the box], that the box is not child-proof and that an adult cannot tell if a small magnet is missing or not. I just envision my old Lego toy box having a top that required an adult to open, and after each use my parents sitting on the floor counting 100 pieces to make sure one did not disappear. Now here is the other rub…some of the swallowed magnets were done by older kids who were simulating having their cheeks or tongues pierced. As they say, there is no cure for doing stupid things but the CPSC seems to think there is.
I feel stressed out and I am going to go play with my BuckyBalls, but first I need to check Max to see if he is using them again to pretend he has pierced ears. As always be good, play safe and remember if there is a way to do something incorrectly someone will find a way to do it.
JR and Max