Magnet Wars, part 2

Buckyballs surrender:

You've heard about our ongoing battle with the CPSC. Due to their baseless and relentless legal badgering, we've sadly decided to stop production of Buckyballs and Buckycubes.

We still have a few thousand sets in stock, but once we sell through those, they're gone for good.

Also they're still being sued by the Buckminster Fuller estate:

Maxfield & Oberton moved to dismiss all causes of action, claiming among other things that Buckyballs are named after a carbon molecule, not Buckminster Fuller. In 1985, scientists named a newly discovered molecule Buckminsterfullerene after its resemblance to a geodesic dome. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh held a hearing on the issue last week and upheld most claims Monday.


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7 Responses:

  1. Will says:

    We've hoarded them at the office. I have about 2000 myself and there's several thousand more around. It does take about 1000 for them to fun. It's not just Buckyballs, either, their superior clones are gone, too.

    There's always Canada, but I see there's now a premium for Canadian magnetic balls.

    • jwz says:

      Yeah I've got around 600, I guess? And they're really not much fun, more like "just irritating". E.g., I just thought, "I wonder how many I have, I'll make a 10×10×10 cube and see" and trying to that was actually the opposite of fun and I gave up.

      • Will says:

        Yeah, there are a lot of tricks to making things go together, and you do have to resign yourself to the natural state being more like a stress ball. I went a little nuts with the trying different shapes, although they do lean towards euclidean shapes:
        The torus in particular was maddening.

  2. Patrick says:

    When Buckyballs announced their initial inventory reduction sale ($5 for the 125 sets), my immediate coworkers bought something like $300 worth. Tearing down and rebuilding the basic cube is nicely soothing in an OCD sort of way, but otherwise? I don't have the patience to build any of the more complicated structures. I got 2 sets for $10, which is about the right value for them.

  3. piku says:

    Meanwhile over in China they go "huh?" and continue to fill eBay with functionally identical spherical magnets for 1/3 price.

  4. Otto says:

    I have several sets, and find them endlessly entertaining, in a rather mindless way. I'll probably buy a few more while they're available and cheap. They're good for gifts-ish.

  5. jwz says:

    You know, I thought about buying some more of these just for the hell of it, since quantity has a quality of its own and more organs means more human, but they're still stupidly expensive! They're charging $40 per set of 216. When I bought mine in 2010, they were $30 per set.

    Apparently this is a special kind of going-out-of-business sale where the price goes up instead of down.

    Amazon seems to have knock-offs that are $10 per set, but it's unclear whether they're exactly the same size as Buckyballs (and if they weren't, that'd be annoying).

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