Design Ideas Toy Magnet Recall Issued Due to Child Ingestion Risk

Nearly 27,000 office and refrigerator magnet sets have been recalled, due to a risk that small magnetic pieces may detach from the products, posing a serious risk for young children who may swallow the magnets and suffer intestinal obstructions. 

A Design Ideas magnets recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on March 6, 2014, involving miniature magnets sold in the shapes of a duck, blowfish and a “splat”.

The products contain a small, detachable magnet that is affixed to the underside. If a child accidentally swallows the magnetic pieces, there is a chance the strong magnetic pieces may attract across the magnetic walls, potentially causing intestinal obstructions, perforations, sepsis, or even death.

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The recalled magnets have the following model numbers and design: Duck with model number 3205121 and 993205114, Blowfish with model number 3205122, and Splat with model number 3205078. The magnets were sold in sets of four or six and have “Magnets” and the Design Ideas logo on the front of the packaging.

The products were manufactured in China under Design Ideas Ltd., of Springfield, Illinois where the Rubber ducky magnets were sold at Nordstrom’s Rack stores, novelty and gift stores, book stores, and art stores nationwide from March 2007 through September 2013 for about $10. The Blowfish magnets were sold at novelty and gift stores as well as book stores nationwide from 2007 through March 2011 for about $10. The Splat magnets were sold at CB2 stores, novelty and gift stores, office supply stores and art venues nationwide from November 2012 to February 2014 for roughly $10.

Toy Magnet Risks

Since the summer of 2012, the CPSC has been focused on the risks associated with magnet sets and toys. Many of products featuring powerful, rare earth magnets, which can be formed into various shapes, have been recalled because regulators have discovered that warning labels do not work.

Last year, a study produced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference highlighted how there have been an increasing number of pediatric ingestion injuries associated with powerful neodymium-iron-boron magnets in recent years.

Researchers found that since 2001, there have been 94 magnets related injuries out of roughly 2,700 ingestion incidents, with the majority of the problems occurring over the last three years, coinciding with the recent increase in popularity of toy magnet sets that often feature various shinny and bright colored shapes.

Of the incidents reported, the average age of patients treated was 4.5 years old. From those 94 incidents reported there have been six children who required immediate surgery to remove the magnets and 10 cases were the magnets had to be removed endoscopically.

In 2012, the CPSC requested that 13 manufacturers issue a voluntary recall for all magnetic ball toys, which feature hundreds of rare earth magnets that can be formed into various shapes. Of the 13 companies notified, only 11 voluntarily removed the products from the market, leading the agency to file rare administrative complaints to force a  Buckyball recall and Zen Magnets recall after the manufacturers failed to cooperate. The administrative complaints are a more aggressive way to force a recall of dangerous products which has not had to be done in 11 years.

The CPSC recommends customers stop using the recalled magnets and immediately put them out of children’s reach and contact Design Ideas at 800-426-6394 or visit them online at to receive information on how to obtain a refund.


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