The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is an agency of the government formed in 1972 to protect against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products. You know like, defective baby strollers and other dangerous things. Well now they are going after Maxfield & Oberton, the makers of Buckyballs, citing if children swallow them they could connect together and pinch intestines and other nerves. Yikes, that’s not good.
The issue is Buckyballs are marketed to adults and not kids. They have warnings on their website, retail displays and they even have 5 warnings on the actual product packaging. I bought a set of Buckyballs when they first came out, they were sold in a little glass jar then. Buckyballs are cool and fun to play with but I’m an adult and I know that I shouldn’t be eating them.
The US CPSC asked Maxfield & Oberton to recall 175,000 sets of Buckyballs in 2010 because they were marked as ages 13+. In 2011 they worked with the US CPSC to inform consumers that it is an adult toy. Since 2009 there have been more than two dozen incidents with many of them requiring surgery. “Use of the product by tweens and teenagers to mimic piercings of the tongue, lip or cheek has resulted in incidents where the product is unintentionally inhaled and swallowed. These ingestion incidents occur when children receive it as a gift or gain access to the product in their homes or from friends.”
Retailers have started or already pulled the products at the request of the US CPSC but you can still buy them from Buckyballs website. I understand that serious injuries can occur, but seriously, in a society that markets guns and other violent toys to children you’d think Buckyballs wouldn’t be an issue.