The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Attractive offer

Joseph's consistently favorite toy has been Magnetix, which is a magnetic construction toy. He has constructed two figures: "Ziggo," and "R2D2" that he carries with him everywhere in a small metal candy tin.

Unfortunately, I now find out that several children have died by ingesting TWO unglued Magnetix magnets. Apparently, the tiny high-powered magnets managed to attract each other as they passed through adjacent loops of intestine, causing holes and death/emergency surgery. The manufacturer of Magnetix is very squirrely about all of this: they claim to have recalled the defective product from stores and changed it to prevent magnets from coming loose (and thus small enough for ingestion) in the future. However, they have never released any information about which sets have been "corrected" and which sets are still harmful, so I have no way of knowing which one we have. I went online and found out that Magnetix is actually a cheap knock-off of Geomag, a similar but superior magnetic construction toy which is made so that the magnets can't come loose. So, I ordered a bunch of Geomag, and managed to convince Joseph to retire the Magnetix and reconstruct Ziggo and R2D2 from the new set. He seems OK with it.

Anyhoo, If I gave anyone's kids Magnetix as a gift, please let me know--I will buy you some nice new Geomags.

As an aside, did you know that cows are intentionally fed a "cow magnet" to keep bits of barbed wire and metal debris from passing all of the way through the digestive tract? The magnet is retrieved when the animal is eventually slaughtered.

What The Onion has to say about toy recalls


Anonymous said...

Please contact Magnetix directly at Mega Brands in Montreal to clarify or get your toy replaced for free...did you see their new release of MagNext (parts that cannot be swallowed) on CNN?

Susan said...

What--do you work for Mega?

Frankly, I don't want their crappy replacement toy. Mega toys are of poor quality and generally suck. All of their products closely mimic higher quality toys (Legos, Playmobile and Geomags) so that consumers will mistakenly buy them instead of the better products. Mega toys don't cost much less than the high quality toys, but are less well designed and break easily.
I am most annoyed that the recall was issued March 31, 2006. Last month (Jan 2008!) when I went on the Magnetix site, there was no mention of the recall, although they have since added it. Clearly, they held back on publicizing the recall until they could get their replacement toys produced and on the store shelves, which is criminally irresponsible.
I am sticking with Geomags, and I am using the old Magnetix as magnets for the message board at work.