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Consumer product recall

Buckyballs magnet sets

Starting date:
May 22, 2013
Posting date:
May 22, 2013
Type of communication:
Consumer Product Recall
Household Items, Toys
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Product Safety
General Public
Identification number:

Affected products

Buckyballs magnet sets (spheres, cubes, rods)

Product description

Small powerful, rare earth, magnetic balls and cubes that can be used to build sculptures, puzzles, patterns, shapes, etc., including any of the following models:

  • Buckyballs Magnetic Building Spheres
  • Buckyballs Buckybars Magnetic Building Rods
  • Buckyballs Bucky Bigs XL Magnetic Building Spheres
  • Buckyballs Buckycubes Magnetic Building Cubes
  • Buckyballs Chromatics Magnetic Building Spheres
  • Buckyballs Sidekick Magnetic Building Spheres

They are available in a range of shapes, sizes and colours (chrome, gold, silver, pink, blue, green, black).

Hazard identified

Distributors of Buckyballs are voluntarily recalling these products from the market in response to a risk assessment conducted by Health Canada.

The risk assessment on these magnet sets has informed Health Canada's determination that they are a danger to human health and safety because they contain small powerful magnets which can be easily swallowed or inhaled by children. Unlike other small objects that would be more likely to pass normally through the digestive system if swallowed, when more than one small powerful magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract one another while travelling through the digestive system. The magnets can then pinch together and create a blockage and slowly tear through the intestinal walls, causing perforations.

The results of swallowing small powerful magnets can be very serious and life-threatening. Swallowing incidents have often resulted in considerable damage to the gastrointestinal tissues and required emergency surgical treatment. For survivors, there can be serious long-term health consequences.

For more information on the danger of swallowing magnets, please see Magnets.

Number sold


Time period sold

Sold online in Canada since 2009 and through Canadian retailers since 2010.

Distributors may have directly contacted their Canadian customers to advise of this recall.

Place of origin

Manufactured in China.


Maxfield and Oberton Holdings LLC
New York
New York
Premier Gifts Ltd.
Marbles the Brain Store
ThinkGeek Inc.

Images (select thumbnail to enlarge - opens in a new window)

What you should do

Consumers should stop using the recalled magnet sets immediately and contact their municipality for instructions on how to dispose of or recycle the recalled products.

Please note that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act prohibits recalled products from being redistributed, sold or even given away in Canada.