As you might have heard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is working hard to ban those sets of tiny magnets after a handful of reports of them being swallowed by children who then require surgery to have them removed. But it turns out that companies like Zen Magnets and Buckyballs might still be able to sell their products if the magnets are sold individually.
The CPSC is working to ban collections of high-powered magnets, and to get around that regulation Zen Magnets is introducing a series of brightly colored polymer covered Neoballs that are sold individually. At ten cents a pop consumers can buy as many as they want. But if they happen to buy 216 of them, the company will throw in a convenient sliding tin container to hold them all.
It's kind of like a company getting around a country's blank media tax by recording a tiny bit of imperceptible sound first—technically, they're not selling blank media. But whether or not this approach will work in the long run remains to be seen. The CPSC can more than likely change the wording on the ban to totally block the sales of these magnets. After all, it's not like you can go out and legally buy individual lawn darts after they were banned. [Neoballs]