Open Letter to President Obama

  • August 2, 2012

Today, in our effort to fight the CPSC, we’ve taken out a full page ad in The Washington Post appealing to President Obama and our legislators to help us save our small business. We’ve also taken out half page ads in The Hill, Politico, and Roll Call.




The support shown to us by our thousands of fans, customers and various press outlets has been overwhelming. Now, it’s time to get the attention of the people in Washington. We need those in power to listen to our appeal and to do the right thing. We need their help to Save Our Balls!



You don’t have to live on the Hill to get the inside scoop. See what we’re saying to President Obama and our legislators here, and be sure to visit www.SaveOurBalls.net to learn about how we’re standing up to the CPSC.



Thanks for your continued support. We really do have the best Buckin’ fans in the world!


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Open Letter to President Obama:
Help Our Small Business Be Treated Fairly

 

Dear President Obama:

 

I know that you support small business.

And now I need your help to save ours from being shut down by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).


In 2009, I started our business, creating a product called Buckyballs®, a stress-relieving product marketed online to adults. The national media raved about Buckyballs® and from a two-man startup we became the most popular adult gift brand in just three years.Our business exceeded every expectation an American entrepreneur could have had.

Now, the CPSC has sued us, alleging our products are defective because sadly a handful of children, out of millions of units sold, have found and misused them. What is particularly unfair is that the CPSC preemptively contacted our retailers and intimidated them by asking them to “volunteer” to stop selling our products, effectively dismantling our retail business in just a few days. The CPSC issued a press release that most retailers and the general public interpreted as saying that our products had been banned, when in fact they are still perfectly legal to sell. And the CPSC did this all before even legally serving us with their lawsuit.


We never had a fair opportunity to defend our products, company, or safety program.


Over the past two years, the CPSC didn’t dispute that our products had the proper warnings or safety program in place and even acknowledged that our products are safe for adults and should not be given to children. In fact, they have commended us for our warnings, safety program, and educational website: www.magnetsafety.com. But suddenly, the CPSC says that warnings aren’t good enough anymore and they simply want us to go out of business, thereby eliminating the jobs of our employees, sales reps and some retailers.


The same agency that relies on reasonable warnings for many other products in the marketplace now believes the American public can’t be relied upon to heed the warnings on our products.


The CPSC can’t have it both ways.


Our products have five warnings repeated on the packaging and instructions.


This absurd contradiction would seem to undermine the CPSC’s reliance on warnings for numerous other products that cause far more injuries and even deaths every year. Products such as balloons, button batteries, ATVs, fireworks, drain cleaners, detergent pods and many, many others that are potentially harmful yet remain for sale with warning labels.


Not only does our vigorous safety program work, but it surpasses that of many other products and industries.


We do not understand why our products, marketed exclusively for adults and with so few injuries, have suddenly been raised to the very top of the CPSC’s action list to become the target of the first litigation of this type filed in 11 years.


It feels unfair, unjust, and, well, un-American.
We will fight back vigorously. But we sure could use your help.


Our adult customers and online community of hundreds of thousands of supporters love our products and don’t want them taken away by the CPSC.


We ask for your help in ensuring that our products are treated just like any of the thousands of others regulated by the CPSC that are potentially harmful if misused and yet are allowed to be marketed, so long as they bear a proper warning label.


It’s just not right, Mr. President.
Thank you in advance for anything you can do to ensure we are treated fairly.


Respectfully,

Craig Zucker
Co-Founder & CEO, Maxfield & Oberton






Cheryl
Thursday, 8.2.12 @ 11:47 am
Everyone knows Buckyballs is for office use, for relaxation. Otherwise, Marbles and jax would have to be banned too.
Coleman Jones
Thursday, 8.2.12 @ 3:25 pm
This is GREAT! I'm behind you 100%. Let's see if the public's voice is still strong enough to make a difference in Washington D.C. Here's another petition for you Mr. President: http://www.change.org/petitions/us-cpsc-cease-magnet-prohibition
Jenelle
Thursday, 8.2.12 @ 4:11 pm
Way to go! I absolutely love Bucky Balls! They provide hours of fun. The warnings are clearly placed throughout the product inside and out. I was so upset when I first heard what the CPSC was trying to do to Bucky Balls. This is not right. According to numbers it is basically 1/1000 of 1% of Bucky Balls sold that found their way into children's intestines. That's hardly even measurable! I stand behind you, Craig Zucker!! I hope that you win this battle.
Mel B
Thursday, 8.2.12 @ 4:36 pm
This issue is as old as the hills. Government control of children being children is hopeless. Louisa May Alcott published "Little Men" in 1871. Anyone remember the bean story, about the mother who told her children, "Don't let baby fall out the window, don't play with matches, and don't put beans up your noses?" "Now, the children had never dreamed of doing that last thing, but she put it into their heads, and the minute she was gone, they ran and stuffed their naughty little noses full of beans, just to see how it felt, and she found them all crying when she came home." "Did it hurt?" asked Rob, with such intense interest that his mother hastily added a warning sequel, lest a new addition of the bean story should appear in her own family. "Very much, as I know, for when my mother told me this story, I was so silly that I went and tried it myself. I had no beans, so I took some little pebbles, and poked several into my nose. I did not like it at all, and wanted to take them out again very soon, but one would not come, and I was so ashamed to tell what a goose I had been that I went around for hours with the stone hurting me very much. At last the pain got so bad I had to tell, and my mother could not get it out the doctor came. Then I was put in a chair and held tight, Rob, while he used his ugly little pincers till the stone hopped out. Dear me! how my wretched little nose did ache, and how people laughed at me!" and Mrs. Jo shook her head in a dismal way, as if the memory of her sufferings was too much for her.
Jessica
Thursday, 8.2.12 @ 5:43 pm
I'd not purchased any of these (due to the price) until this stupidity from the CPSC. You're totally in the right on this. Unless they're planning to sue the Treasury and Federal Reserve to stop minting coins, as well, they're just flat out being moronic.
Mike
Saturday, 8.4.12 @ 1:36 pm
In spite of warnings, children get their hands on household chemicals, (1.2 million times per year) so I guess this means they'll get rid of Drano next? Last month a 4yr old was killed playing with a gun, which happens about 500 times a year. Oh yeah, using this same logic, we need to get rid of pools and bikes (210 deaths and 1500 deaths respectively), children's vitamins (51,000 overdoses in 2008), Legos (57 deaths), scooters (3 deaths in 06), stuffed animals (2 deaths a year from small children falling into their pile of stuffed toys and suffocating), tricycles, balloons, nails...the list of things ahead of Buckeyballs, is nearly endless. This is an outrageous, egregious over-reach and must be stopped.
Carl M.
Saturday, 8.4.12 @ 1:40 pm
I guess that Maxfield &Oberton need to get the same lobbyists as the big pharmaceutical companies that somehow get away with making medicines that look and taste like gummie bears!
David
Saturday, 8.4.12 @ 9:45 pm
I think this is funny.... SAD, but funny how the gov want to regulate everything for "safety". I'm an automechanic, I deal with parts a lot smaller than these every day, should we stop making cars because kids can get hurt? a wait... how about electronics cuz a kid MAY decide to take a bath with a tv! come on! when are we going to say enough is enough... people and parents need to use common sense IN LIFE, not remove every little thing that can hurt someone.... I think some people should just live a a bubble inside a bunker and let the rest of us LIVE LIFE!
Lenny
Monday, 8.6.12 @ 1:05 am
If the cpsc had their way we would be communist. True, little children can't read labels, little the letter said: things like bleach and fireworks level of safety and warning as opposed to buckyballs is actually measurable
Robert
Monday, 8.6.12 @ 4:23 am
I just want to know when they are going to put us all in plastic bubbles with regimented schedules and feedings so we can't hurt ourselves. On a serious note I own 2 sets of bucky balls and want to nab some cubes and bars. but I keep my bucky balls far far away from my son, The warning labels on and in them were more than enough a to scare me plenty and for me to know I didn't want any of those risks. They now reside in a drawer in my desk at work where I enjoy them when I need to let my brain decompress from projects.
Aron
Friday, 8.10.12 @ 12:54 pm
Fight the good fight!
David Danforth
Friday, 8.10.12 @ 9:05 pm
I was given to understand that adults in this country had the right to think and decide for themselves. As long as we are given a reasonable warning of the risks we are allowed to purchase many product that are dangerous is misused or allowed to get into the hands of children. In point of fact there are countless injuries every year from product misuse every year by both adults and children. The Point is that as long as their is proper labeling to warn of the potential hazzards these products are left on the shelves for adults to purchase. When and if children are injured it is the adult who purchased the product who is held accountable.not the manufacturer or vendor. Why is buckyballs being treated differently? I believe it is for fiscal and political reasons. This is wrong and a clear violation
Dennis
Friday, 8.17.12 @ 6:03 pm
Will the CPSC now require warning labels on household electrical outlets and natural gas range knobs?

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