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Battat Magnabild Magnetic Building Systems Latest Dangerous Magnet Toy Set Subject to Recall

Jan 23, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
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More magnet toy sets were recalled today amid concerns that the powerful magnets could severely injure the intestines of children who swallow them. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) 125,000 Battat Magnabild Magnetic Building Systems are being recalled after the commission received 16 reports of magnets coming loose from the toys, although the magnet toy sets have not caused any injuries.

Magnet toy sets are considered by many consumer advocates to be among the most dangerous toys on the market.  Magnetix Building Sets were the first magnetic toy sets subject to a large scale recall in 2006, following the death of a toddler who swallowed a magnet that had come loose from its casing.   The magnets in Magnetix, like those in the recalled Magnabild sets, are high-energy neodymium iron boron magnets.  If a child swallows more than one of these powerful magnets, they can be attracted to each other while in the intestinal tract. As a result, the magnets clump together, causing the intestines to twist. This can cause intestinal blockages, bowel perforations and even death. By the time the CPSC issued its first Magnetix recall in 2006, it had received 34 reports of injuries related to the toy.  Since the Magnetix incident, other magnet play sets have been recalled.  Mattel has issued recalls for 18 million other magnetic toys in several popular lines including Polly Pockets and Batman.

Since those recalls, the makers of magnetic play sets have attempted to make the toys safer.  Both Mega Brands and Mattel have redesigned their magnetic toy sets by partially embedding the magnets in plastic and sealing dangerous pieces with a cap that prevents the parts from escaping.  The Toy Industry Association also addressed the problem in May by drafting a set of voluntary standards for magnetic play sets.  Under the new rules, magnets must either be “reliably contained” within a product or the toys must carry a warning label explaining the dangers of ingestion.   Magnetic toys made under those standards were to start appearing on store shelves this month.

Unfortunately, the Battat Magnabild Magnetic Building Systems being recalled today were not made under those new standards.   The Battat Magnabild Magnetic Building System recall involves the 293-piece (item number BB1502H) and the180-piece (item number BB1431H) Magnabild Magnetic Building System sets. Both sets come in a rotating display cases that contain 1-inch and 4-inch rods with magnets, curved 1-inch rods, triangle and square pieces with magnets, square-shaped plastic building pieces, triangles and 5-sided pieces, and metal balls. The pieces come in different colors. All of the plastic building pieces, except the 4-inch flexible rods, have the word “Magnabild” in raised lettering on them. The item number is found on a hang tag attached to the set. The product is designed for children older than three years.  According to the CPSC, the recalled magnet toy sets were sold by various retailers nationwide and online sellers from 2005 through 2007 for between $30 and $40.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled Magnabild Magnetic Building System away from children and contact Battat to receive a pre-paid mailer to return the toy and to receive a free replacement product.  For more information, consumers may contact Battat at (800) 247-6144 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at www.battaco.com.

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