Skip to comments.The Feds' War on ... Buckyballs!
Posted on 08/01/2012 5:31:26 AM PDT by Kaslin
It's come to this: In the name of protecting parents from their own lack of responsibility and common sense, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is waging all-out war on an innovative consumer product company in New York.
The vengeful, destructive feds won't stop until the world is safe from tiny, magnetic Buckyballs -- and until every last job created by the firm is wiped out.
Where are the defenders of American innovation and entrepreneurship when you need them? While the White House doles out billions of taxpayer dollars to failed crony ventures, this phenomenally successful toy maker is fighting for its life.
Last week, the agency filed an "administrative complaint" against the manufacturer/distributor of Buckyballs and Buckycubes, New York-based Maxfield and Oberton Holdings LLC. The legal action -- only the second of its kind in 11 years -- seeks to stop all sales of Buckyballs products, force a recall and order full refunds. According to the bureaucrats, "dozens of young children and teenagers swallowed" the adult desk toy, causing "internal injuries requiring surgeries."
A dozen swallowing incidents have been linked by the CPSC to Buckyballs since 2009. Compare that to the estimated 30,000 emergency room visits that occur every year as a result of children swallowing government-minted coins.
There are no fewer than five cautionary labels on every Buckyballs or Buckycubes product box; the company distributes an educational video on the dangers of swallowing the toys. And Maxfield and Oberton has cooperated with the government on safety policy since its inception.
Yet, several feckless retailers (including Brookstone, Amazon and Urban Outfitters) under the regulatory gun have already yanked the magnets from their virtual and physical shelves despite the company's clear warnings that Buckyballs and Buckycubes are for adults -- not children.
"Obviously the bureaucrats see danger everywhere, and those responsible people -- like our company who have vigorously promoted safety and appropriate use of our products -- gets put out of business by an unfair and arbitrary process," Craig Zucker, founder and CEO of Maxfield and Oberton, said in a statement.
Obama's big-business pals sit on do-nothing jobs councils and host countless dog-and-pony shows touting their commitment to "Startup America." But when a 3-year-old startup that has earned $50 million in sales all on its own faces ruthless bureaucratic extinction, the government jobs blowhards are nowhere to be found.
The Obama administration has issued thousands of waivers to union donors and other politically connected recipients to protect them from onerous federal health care regulations. Where's the usurper-in-chief's special executive order to keep the CPSC's hands off of America's Buckyballs?
"I don't understand how and why they did this without following their own rules before allowing us to make our case," Zucker said. "It almost seems like they simply wanted to put our products and industry out of business."
The magnetic toy company is not alone. The heavy-handed CPSC is notorious for imposing nonsensical rules that have decimated small businesses across the country. A hysterical overreaction to lead in children's toys three years ago ushered in a trial lawyer-friendly nationwide witch hunt against handmade toymakers, manufacturers of artisanal books, sellers of musical instruments and other educational entrepreneurs.
Richard Woldenberg of the family-run Learning Resources, Inc., summed up the nosybodies run amok last year:
"As directed by Congress, the CPSC has dutifully banned the sale of rhinestones to children, ended the era of youth model ATVs and forbidden the use of brass bushings in toy car wheel assemblies. Why? They might emit a single atom of lead! ... Advocates have never produced victim case histories to justify the draconian rules and simply wag their fingers at anyone daring to question their cherished law."
In 2001, I reported on the CPSC's crackdown on baby bath seats -- which was based on dubious fatality statistics that whitewashed parents' idiotic decisions to leave infants alone in the seats or with younger siblings who dumped the babies into the tubs to drown. According to the manufacturers, all but three of the bath-seat deaths cited by the feds over the past two decades occurred when a child was left alone.
Government paternalism is wreaking havoc on the economy. They have self-made entrepreneurs who refuse to play their games by the balls. The Nanny State is not a lifesaver. It is a self-serving serial job-killer.
I'm right, aren't I?
Did he make the mistake of donating to Republicans?
When Obama took over GM they closed down all the Republican-owned delaerships - I guess a car sale is only good when a democrat sells it
Buckballs and Buckycubes are clearly labeled to be kept away from children.
This infernal nanny state will legislate everything if allowed to continue.
What would they do if a child were to encounter a poisonous spider or a poisonous snake?
When will they outlaw glass? /s
If the government did not have so darn many people they would not be enforcing little things - they would focus on the big stuff. The supreme court wetlands story earlier this year, the spilled milk, the stupid school funding of crap programs...it is all because folks have too much time on their hands and too many regs, they make our lives a mess!!
I’d never heard of them either, but they look like they’d be fun. I may have to get one.
We gots lots o’ work to do come 1/20/13.
Buckyballs seem neat.
What the hell are executives doing with these things, then?
They ARE, after all ... desk toys, right?
Maybe an idiot gummint guy swallowed one or two while daydreaming up some new regulations ... VOILA!!,
I nearly died, so someone else may nearly die, thus; ..
I ordered a set of Buckyballs last night after reading about this.
Not to be confused with Buggy Balls ;-)
One more in a long line of persecuted businesses.
I’ve had a set of Buckyballs for a couple of years. Really cool little gizmo.
Gladly, seems like this is getting the attention it deserves. Heard the owner on Rush a day or two ago. Now Malkin.
I ought to buy a set of BuckyCubes just to support the business. After all, eating Chick-Fil-A (or “Chick-a-fil”, as my granddaddy called them) all day today.
But now, I know what I want for my birthday next week. I'm even going to make Mr. Rightfield's job easy . . . I'll order them online and he can given them to me.
Doesn't every couple who have been together for 40+ years do birthday gifts this way, once in a while?
"Maybe an idiot gummint guy swallowed one or two while daydreaming up some new regulations ... VOILA!!"
More likely that the "gummint guy" left his box of (strongly magnetic) BuckyBalls on his desk next to his computer on his lunch break, and when he got back, his hard drive had been totally wiped, LOL.
When I started reading the post, I was confused as well.
I only know bucky balls as Buckminsterfullerenes.
Since they exist on the atomic level, I wouldn’t think that swallowing them would be an issue.
Do Not Taunt Buckyball.
Reminds me of the idiot cow orker back when floppy disks were still around — he stuck one of his to the side of a filing cabinet with a magnet and then couldn’t figure out what happened to his data.
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