Mega Brands Recalls More Magnetic ToysMar 17, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP
Mega Brands is recalling millions of magnetic toys amid fears that small magnets in the toys could come loose, placing children who swallow them at risk for serious intestinal injuries. Today's Mega Brands magnetic toy recalls are not the first for the company, which has issued recalls of its popular Magnetix Building Sets on two other occasions.
Magnet toy sets are considered by many consumer advocates to be among the most dangerous toys on the market. Mega Brands' own 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 involved in the latest Mega Brands recalls, 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 Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) issued its first Magnetix recall in 2006, it had received 34 reports of injuries related to the toy, including the fatality. In April 2007, the CPSC expanded the recall to include all Magnetix sets sold before March 2006. By then, injury reports had reached 1,500.
Today's Mega Brands recalls include about 1.1 million Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. Pre-school Magnetic Toys, and 1.3 million MagnaMan Magnetic Toy Figures. The Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. Pre-school Magnetic Toys include small flexible parts embedded with magnets that allow the parts to connect to large, colored metal balls. Mega Brands and CPSC have received 19 reports of magnets coming loose, including one report of a 3-year-old boy receiving medical treatment to remove a magnet from his nasal cavity and one report of an 18-month-old boy with a magnet in his mouth, which was not swallowed. The Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. Pre-school products were sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, K-Mart and other toy stores nationwide from January 2005 through December 2007 for between $10 and $40.
The second Mega Brands magnetic toy recall involves 1.3 million MagnaMan magnetic toys. MagnaMan toys are figures that have body parts that attach with magnets. They come in either a “Futuristic Warrior” or “Ancient Warrior” theme. Each figure comes with three accessories. The Mega Brands and CPSC have received 25 reports of magnets coming loose from the figures. No injuries have been reported. The MagnaMan magnetic toys were also sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us, K-Mart and other toy stores nationwide from January 2005 through December 2007 for about $10.
Consumers who purchased either the MagnaMan, Magtastik or Magnetix Jr. Preschool toys involved in the Mega Brands recall should stop using the recalled toys immediately and return them to MEGA Brands for a free replacement toy. Consumers who need more information about these recalls should call Mega Brands at (800) 779-7122 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.megabrands.com.