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Buckyball Magnets: Fun, Powerful and Versatile Choking Hazards

by Lambert Varias

Happy 25th anniversary, Buckyball! Welcome Google visitors! (9/4/2010)

Hey guys! Let’s play a game! I call it “Hazard!” Here’s how it goes: I describe something, and you tell me the answer in the form of a question. Awesome game right? Okay let’s get started! It is the spherical form of Buckminsterfullerene C60. What? “What is a buckyball?” Nice one! How about this one: They’re small, round, come in groups of 216, and are hazardous to kids and gadgets. I’ll give you some time to think.

“What are boogers?” I’m sorry but that is incorrect. The correct answer is, “What are BuckyBalls?”


No, not buckyballs. BuckyBalls. BuckyBalls are not allotropes of carbon. They’re magnets made of neodymium. Makers Zoomdoggle have a couple of videos that show what the toy can do:


As you can see, BuckyBalls are powerful enough that they stick to each other and to metal surfaces as well – even when thrown. They’re also powerful enough to break hard drives and yes, pacemakers. On the other hand, children have also been known to break stuff and cause heart attacks. At least you can throw BuckyBalls away when you get tired of them right?

BuckyBalls sell for $20 US per set, plus a $6 US shipping and handling charge. But if you buy a second set, Zoomdoggle will ship them to you at no extra cost. Place your orders at e-junkie. That’s it for today’s “Hazard!”. If you live in the Internet area and would like to be a contestant, I’m sorry but you can’t be on the show because this is our last episode.

[via The Presurfer]

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Comments (32):

  1. manchicken says:

    So what happens when your kid swallows them? Do we get to have a super awesome time in surgery as they remove them?

    • technabob says:

      I think you just use more giant magnets to pull them out of their body. Oooh, I wonder what an MRI machine would do?

      • lambert v. says:

        Dr. House already tried doing that. He embedded a bullet in a corpse and tried to “extract” it with an MRI machine. If humans could die twice that was exactly what would have happened. MRI machine got wrecked too. So.

        • skinnytie says:

          Dr. House isn’t real. You know that, right?

          He also doesn’t live in your TV. So.

          • hahaha says:

            you know yu just ruined that jaggoffs day!! Actually he thought it was a real experiemtn and the results were put in real medical journals, dr house even went on a lecture tour of the inner african countries, they beheaded dr.house but he sewed his own head back on, cause he is the most NO-non-sense doctor, I like how he said if humans could die twice, sorry to burst your bubble again, but that wasnt a real corpse either so, and it wasnt a real MRI machine EITHER, its A TV SHOW JAGGOFF

          • lambert v. says:

            What?! Are you telling me that House, portrayed by actor Hugh Laurie, isn’t a real person? OH NOEZ! Right. I’d tell you to work on your sense of humor, but I guess you’re still working on your spelling. Next time before you submit a comment, have your mommy or daddy check for errors okay? Jaggoff.

          • lambert v. says:

            You didn’t know I was kidding, right?

          • muffinblighter says:

            lolz. and i’d say that’s a win for skinnytie.

          • luda says:

            dnt make thingz complicated Cartmen would say screw you guys stop heaping around House the most fictional thing that can ever come on TV..

          • Anon247 says:

            Whats with all the hate? And btw, yea, an MRI would rip a bullet out of a head like that. It’s happeneda few times too. Not all doctors that use those things actually understand how powerful those magnets are. Apparently none of you do either.

          • uidiots says:

            heyu huys r all losers… just cuz its a fictional show doesnt mean all events are false, im surprised at how close minded and ignorant people are. maybe if u opened ur mind to reality u wouldnt be so dumb and might get ahead in life so u wouldnt have to rag on people who have relevent comments.

          • noel elliot says:


    • manchickenisretarded says:

      if your children sallow them they are retarded

  2. hahaha says:

    PS, about the buckyballs, so I could throw them at someone with a pacemaker and if I had a good aim I could kill someone or if a kid plays too close to grandpa and his pacemaker, the kid is a killer, would they prosecute?? maybe dr.house could invent a pacemaker that is buckyball proof??

  3. Huh... says:

    I know this may be shocking, but this toy is not meant for children. Most adults, contrary to the opinion and habits of the blogger apparently, have grown beyond the “Hafta put it in my mouth” stage.

  4. Lol says:

    Even if the kids put a ball in their mouths… Can’t it just go out easily by letting them swallow the string of buckyballs? xD Would be painfull to see a string going in.. and then coming back out with another ball on it o.O

  5. Adam Fields says:

    “Can’t it just go out easily by letting them swallow the string of buckyballs? xD Would be painfull to see a string going in.. and then coming back out with another ball on it o.O”

    It’s worth pointing out that, no, it doesn’t work this way. They stick together through your intestines, turn your insides into a garbled mess, and kill you unless you’re lucky enough to get emergency surgery quickly. Nice thought though.

  6. Bardly says:

    One of those balls would very likely pass right through.
    A whole string would be more likely to hang up in the narrows.
    I don’t know about the chemistry of this material.
    Unless it’s a soluble poison, it’s hard to imagine it’s anywhere near as dangerous as pennies: the inner part of the bi-metal sandwich dissolves fairly quickly in stomach acid, leaving a jaggy shell of the copper-rich outer layer which physically cuts guts.
    Even if this metal dissolved, it would usually remain fairly rounded since it is a uniform material.
    If someone is tired of playing with theirs, please do an experiment and report the results?

  7. Fladnag says:

    How about if we assume that you wouldn’t give this to a three year old or stick them on your computer? If you don’t do either, then I think BuckyBalls would be much safer than you’re acting like they would be. If however you would let your child use these as a teething ring, or maybe decided that with the help of BuckyBalls your iPod would make an excellent refrigerator magnet then of course they would be “hazardous to kids and gadgets.”

  8. alex says:


    I found them here duno if you can find them cheaper

  9. Peter Morgan says:

    I understand (but can’t produce a link) that multiple magnets (or a magnet and a piece of metal) in the digestive tract can be very nasty indeed, if the magnets trap part of the wall of the digestive tract between them. Major blockage can ensue. Neodymium magnets are becoming a commonplace, and are enough stronger than the old-fashioned types to make a difference, so expect more troubles to be noticed gradually. This particular product is certainly not the only one out there.

  10. I love Dr. House and i always watch this TV series after my day job.,;,

  11. Nick says:

    The world isn’t safe. You might be struck by a car while crossing the street to check your mail, especially if you’re distracted. Anybody can come up with a reason, even a good reason, as to why any given thing is ridiculously hazardous; living in a state of perpetual paranoia is not only easy, it’s socially acceptable. This degree of concern, applied to life in general, makes it more likely that an accident will occur. I’m not talking about “positive energy” or anything mystical; I’m talking about the simple fact that, if you’re focusing on thinking about all the ways that something might go horribly, terribly wrong, you’re not focused on the actual process of being safe and sensible. Nobody says “calm down,” anymore, and somebody desperately needs to.

  12. Dana says:

    here’s the thing, the magnet itself is not the problem in the digestive tract, it can go right through, like anything else and come out just as most other stuff that enters the body through the mouth.
    The dangerous part of this is when a child (usually) swallows more than one over a day or two or three, and one is furthur in the digestive tract than the newer one and they connect in the body, cinching the interstines together. I only know this because way back in 2006, my son, who LOVES BuckyBalls now, loved Magnetix back then, there was a HUGE recall because a 20 month old had actually died from injesting them, and like 34 other kids were in the hospital.. probably when it was on House too… Those little plastic pieces containing the strongest magnets break quickly and there was always little black magnets on my fridge that used to be in magnetix! Tip is, watch your kids. I am just online trying to find a replacement Bucky Ball, we have one missing and the child PROMISED he didn’t eat it!

  13. james says:

    our scince teacher brought in some a wile a go the were cool but somebody lost some

  14. abena says:

    what happens if you swallow magnettic balls becuase i swallowed 2

  15. Emily says:

    So what if it says ‘toy’ on the package? Have the common sense not to buy Buckyballs for any kids under six that aren’t really, really smart.

    If your kid is still playing with Fisher-Price crap then you obviously shouldn’t buy Buckyballs for them, because if that kid swallows more than two, or is around magnetic things, they’re gonna need a trip to the hospital.

    That right there is common knowledge. If you can’t put together in your brain that those magnets are strong enough to have an attracting force even through a stomach, then you shouldn’t be around them, let alone be buying them for children that are too stupid to not know whether to eat them.

  16. jazzy says:

    Yea its been about a month when i accidentally swallowed 2 of them and im guessing they hace already taken the route to exit because i didnt feel any pain it my body so i guess they didnt separate thank God nothing happend and im okay

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