January 18, 2007


Filed under: fatherhood, pedantry — Brian @ 4:41 pm

I’m on the CPSC’s e-mail list. They send out recall notices and such. It’s amazing to me how often children’s toys are recalled for things like being made of lead. Go here and search for “lead” to see what I mean. I thought we were beyond that, but clearly we’re not.

Anyhow, last spring, the Magnetix line of toys was recalled. The danger? The tiny little magnets (smaller than a pencil eraser) can come out of the plastic holders. If you swallow one at breakfast and another at dinner (once the first has left your stomach) they can attract each other in your intestines, pinching them, and eventually perforating them. This, I understand, kills you.

Since then, though, I’ve seen the same toys for sale in the same stores. I figured they’d made a change to make them safer.

I got another e-mail of recalls today, and it listed another brand of the same kind of toy.

The MagneBlocks(tm) magnetic building sets were sold from January 2004 through November 2006 for between $20 and $120, depending on the size of the set. Sets currently for sale have improved warning labels.

So, the recall isn’t to get the toys off the shelves or (better yet) made so they don’t fall apart. It’s to get a warning label printed.

Now, I’m not one to say the government should protect us from ourselves, but if you’re going to recall something for what amounts to a manufacturing defect that can kill children in completely non-obvious ways, shouldn’t the resolution be to fix the problem?

There are other brands of similar toys that are built well enough that they don’t fall apart, so it’s not an unsolved problem…



  1. This makes me wonder about those Magna (or is it Magma?) Doodles. I just bought one for my 2 year old nephew. And I agree with you…they’ve pulled products for lesser violations. Seems they ought to just fix the problem. Who reads labels anyway? ;-)

    Comment by gwynne — January 23, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

  2. I read them! Mainly to laugh at the silly things they warn you about.


    Comment by Brian — January 24, 2007 @ 7:52 pm

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