Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Busting balls

When the safety zealots suck the fun out of something, they often also kill a business. Magnet fun is no more.

In the face of "baseless and relentless legal badgering" by the federal government, the manufacturer of Buckyballs is discontinuing its popular rare-earth magnet toy for adults. The company will continue to sell the remaining inventory, but will produce no more once the cupboard is bare...

The demise of Buckyballs leaves Zen Magnets as the last of 13 rare-earth magnet makers, though in a statement on their website, the company says, "Magnet spheres may soon be harder to acquire than ammunition in the U.S."The CPSC is now proposing a ban on "high-powered magnets that are part of magnet sets," but is allowing the public to weigh in on the proposal until November 19 at

I'm sorry we missed that comment period.

One can only make the world so safe, but it is always possible to make it more boring and less prosperous.

CWCID: Coyote Blog.


  1. I don't know about making the world safer - those magnets are still legal elsewhere in the world, as are fireworks and other fun stuff. But there's another point to be made here: those who would defend such safety legislation almost always invoke a utilitarian argument: children unfortunate enough to show up at the Emergency Room because they swallowed these magnets end up "costing society" or "costing the system" or "costing the government" lots of money to treat. Since taxpayers have to foot that bill, so their argument goes, all sensible taxpayers should be in favor of safety legislation. No, all sensible taxpayers should be in favor of *not footing the bill*. Regrettably, there are few places left in the world where that's an option.

  2. Not two days ago I started building a tank model with my grandsons using rare earth magnets to make the weapons changeable. Where are we going to get the toys to teach our children about chemistry, physics and biology if the government keeps making fun dull and boring in the name of "safety"?

  3. I'll put mine up on the shelf, next to my Jarts.

  4. I have a chemistry set from my childhood with uranium ore in it.


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