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Toys

Buckyballs Throws In the Towel 383

Posted by timothy
from the collectors-items-now dept.
RenderSeven writes "As previously reported the immensely popular Buckyballs office toys have been targeted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Last week Maxfield and Oberton, the maker of Buckyballs gave up the battle and announced they would discontinue sales and close. However, being driven out of business is not enough for R Buckminster Fuller's estate, who has filed yet another lawsuit that they own all rights to the name "buckyballs" despite widespread use of the term. If you still haven't bought your own yet, a few thousand sets in stock are still available."
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Buckyballs Throws In the Towel

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  • State gone Mad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:51PM (#41919847) Homepage Journal

    Oh, look, the State destroying a business and free choice in the first part of the summary and then the State enabling people to harass other people over imaginary property in the second. Thank goodness they're around to keep things civil.

  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:52PM (#41919873) Journal

    magnets.. bad.

    Guns, assault rifles, knives, mace spray, tazers, baseball bats, and realistic 3rd person shooters... good.

    Glad you guys have got your retail priorities straight and are protecting your kids so well.

  • by SirAstral (1349985) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @12:52PM (#41919875)

    we have to protect another child on behalf of the parents not capable of using good common sense.

    We need to stop making scissors of all kinds, stop the production of any toys that a small child might play with but not marketed to them, and even take kids balls away because someone might get hurt.

    Stupid people doing stupid things... being going on for millenia, and every effort to stop them has failed.

  • by RenderSeven (938535) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @01:16PM (#41920221)

    they're not jerks like the buckyballs guys are.

    In what way are they jerks? They seem a little peeved at the CPSC but I would be too. Also note that the CPSC has targeted Zen Magnets as well: Zen Magnets was the first company to receive an administrative complaint from the Consumer Product Safety Commission without a record of injuries.

  • Re:State gone Mad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Millennium (2451) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @01:20PM (#41920283) Homepage

    The problem here is how they sell this product. The market this product as a toy for children.

    Actually, they don't.

    If they wrote on the package "MAY CAUSE DEATH" or listed a number of lives and surgeries the product has caused, I don't think anyone would care. Of course they'd go out of business.

    Actually, they do write this, and nobody cares. Unfortunately, rather than treating these injuries as the evidence of child neglect that they are, the feds have taken the approach of banning something that, when used appropriately, is perfectly safe.

  • Re:State gone Mad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by David Chappell (671429) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @01:54PM (#41920901) Homepage

    Actually, they do write this, and nobody cares. Unfortunately, rather than treating these injuries as the evidence of child neglect that they are, the feds have taken the approach of banning something that, when used appropriately, is perfectly safe.

    The problem is that they are a harmless-looking toy, but the only safe way to use them is to make sure no small children are present, take them out and play with them, then count them to make sure none have been lost, and lock them up. If someone loses two of them, then children are in grave danger.

    As for child neglect, if you were visiting someone with your small child and a teenager was playing with a bunch of magnets, would you immediately think "those are very dangerous, I must keep my child on my lap so that he doesn't pick one of those up"? Of course not. Since you have not seen the package, you have no way of knowing that these particular magnets are much more dangerous than those which you played with as a child.

    This does not mean that everything sold has to be safe for children. Guns, knives, fireworks, blowtorches, and chainsaws are dangerous by the very nature of what they are intended to do. Even small children immediately understand their capacity to destroy things. The CPSC does not ban chainsaws because they cut or blowtorches because they burn. But it does ban toys when they tend to cause harm in totaly unexpected ways.

  • Re:State gone Mad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RanCossack (1138431) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @01:57PM (#41920955)
    This is as bad as when Big Government sinisterly destroyed the hardworking Americans employed in the Asbestos industries. Damn that rascally "the State" and the institutions that strive to protect its citizens! The sooner we use these overzealous examples as an excuse to throw the whole thing out, the better we'll be.

    Unless history is any indication, I suppose, but hyperbole and false indignation is all that separates us from animals.
  • Re:State gone Mad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @02:14PM (#41921355)

    Where are these rules, and lawsuits, for Legos? Just as small. More prevelant. more pieces to "kill" the poor children.

    Your apparent (and probably typical) ignorance of the difference between a piece of plastic and a high-powered magnet demonstrates the exact reason that the government felt compelled to act in this case.

  • by Marc_Hawke (130338) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @02:27PM (#41921553)

    We used to buy Magnetix. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetix [wikipedia.org]

    They were great fun...simple...self assembling, but you could do some fun things. It seemed like a great toy for kids. After we had gathered a sizable collection, we heard about the warning of swallowing the magnets. Coincidentally we also started noticing the magnets falling out of their plastic housings.

    So, we heavily increased the supervision as the kids were playing with them. Made sure to keep everything glued in tight and or disposed of. Basically I guess that means I'm a responsible parent.

    In the end though, we stopped buying them and switch to a toy that was less hazardous. That means the warning effectively became a ban ...for my house...

    I think that's how it should work with pretty much everything.

  • Re:See (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @02:39PM (#41921751)

    Why the hell can't people take personal responsibility for their mistakes?

    Because they don't.

    They never have, and they never will. No matter how much naive libertarians wish for it.

    It's not naivete. We don't think they will. We just want them to pay the consequences for not doing so, instead of making the rest of us pay.

    If give a bunch of supermagnets to your kids, don't supervise them, don't teach them about the dangers, and then they swallow a couple and die...congratulations: You just paid for being a dumbass with the life of your child. Why do I have to give up my magnets as well?

  • Re:State gone Mad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @02:58PM (#41922133)

    This is as bad as when Big Government sinisterly destroyed the hardworking Americans employed in the Asbestos industries.

    Yeah! Who cares that in one case you could be harmed just by being in the same room with the microscopic deadly terror and wouldn't know it was happening, and the other you have to actually decide to deliberately eat more than one of the macroscopic fiendish killers? Yeah! That makes no difference.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @03:41PM (#41922875) Homepage Journal

    When you have a product that actually kills kids, it's not mindless regulation to ban it.

    What's next? Kitchen knives have killed enough kids over the years...guess we need to ban those.

    Seriously, a few accidents happen....parents that don't keep things dangerous out of the reach of kids, or stupid kids putting anything in their mouth and swallowing it?

    I think that is more Darwin's Law at work....should ban things like that that MOST adults can safely enjoy....

  • by D'Sphitz (699604) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @03:48PM (#41922985) Journal
    accidental deaths of children due to handguns in the US: ~500 per year
    accidental deaths of children choking on balloons: ~1000 per year
    accidental deaths of children by magnetic desk toys: 0
    Greatest Country on Earth!
  • by evil_aaronm (671521) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @03:50PM (#41923033)
    My nephew, when he was small, pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove, causing it to spill all over him, and he suffered third-degree burns over a large portion of his body. He didn't die from it, but should we ban boiling water because kids can be injured by it? Or should we encourage parents to pay more attention to their kids?
  • by triffid_98 (899609) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @03:50PM (#41923039)

    When you have a product that actually kills kids, it's not mindless regulation to ban it

    Um...yes it freaking is. I can think of a great many things it could be fatal to swallow. Even dihydrogen monoxide is fatal in sufficient quantities.

    "Think of the children" has caused so much stupid regulation it should be an automatic fail ala Godwin's law.

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