Novelty company fined $70k for selling banned yo-yo waterballs in N.J.

A New Jersey superior court judge ordered toy and novelties company Kipp Brothers to pay almost $70,000 in fines and other costs after ruling the company illegally sold yo-yo waterballs despite a ban on the potentially dangerous toy.

Yo-yo waterballs consist of a rubber ball filled with liquid attached to a rubber cord with a finger loop on its end. The cord can be stretched about 3 feet when swung. When 5-year-old Sydney Blacker of Scotch Plains, N.J. (pictured) played with one of the toys on June 3, 2008, the cord became wrapped around her neck and she suffered strangulation injuries -- including burst blood vessels -- before her mother was able to remove it.

The toy had been banned in New Jersey as of April 2008, more than two months before the incident. The state sued Kipp Brothers, based in Indiana, in June 2009 for selling water balls in the state after the ban went into effect. (The toys are also banned in Illinois and New York.)