Saturday, November 04, 2006

MOO Cards - Just How Durable Are They?

I love my MOO Mini Cards (if you don't know what a MOO card is, look here and here). One of the first things that struck me about them was how sturdy they felt. The cardstock is heavy, and the "satin finish" is such that the cards seem almost water proof. I've read posts from a few other MOO fans who've commented on the cards' durability, including one person who lost one for two weeks and found it on the ground, stomped on but still in usable condition, and another one who dropped it in their drink, wiped it off and it was good as new. I decided to put a card to the test and see how well a MOO card could hold up to the ultimate enemy: a six month old baby.

I have to preface this by saying that Alice is our first, so I don't know if this is a normal baby thing, or just something peculiar to her, but the girl LOVES paper. Absolutely loves it. I can give her the fanciest toy in the world but she will always go for a piece of paper or a card first. She's quite the drooler, so normal paper, and even index cards, are usually reduced to slimy pulp within seconds. I figured it would be interesting to see how long a MOO card could hold up to the chewing, scratching, crumpling and tearing that normally occurs when she gets a hold of something papery.

And without further ado, here are the players:

MOO Durability Test: The Card
The Card

MOO Durability Test: The Baby
The Baby

I started off by simply holding the card out to her until she noticed it. She grasped it eagerly. Then came the initial inspection, which involved peering at it and turning it over in her hands a few times.

MOO Durability Test: First Inspection

Shortly after that, she of course had to put it into her mouth. This happened within seconds of obtaining the card.

MOO Durability Test: First Taste

She continued to chew, lick, twist and suck on the card. See? She loves paper.

MOO Durability Test: Gleeful Mangling

I normally have to take paper away from her pretty quickly, because when it starts to get wet she's able to pull chunks off and gag on them. Not good. I gave her 10 minutes with the MOO card and then took it away from her, more because I had satisfied myself that she wasn't going to be able to completely destroy it than because I was worried about her choking on it. This was the result:

MOO Durability Test: Ten Minutes Later

Then I decided that this wouldn't really be a fair test without some kind of comparison. I introduce to you: The Control.

MOO Durability Test: The Control

This is a normal (actually rather nice, as far as they go) business card, formerly belonging to a boss I had some years ago. I've blurred any photos that show details on the front just out of habit, although he was quite the tool so I should be ok with people prank calling him at all hours of the day and night. What can I say? I am nice and I don't hold a grudge.

In any case, Alice licked at it and chewed on it for a little while, but in well under a minute she had torn the card nearly in two, right down the middle.

MOO Durability Test: Under a Minute Later

I'd like to note here that she tried to tear the MOO card, as she does with all paper, by chomping down on it and pulling it with her hands, but it never tore.

After roughly two and a half minutes I had to take the regular business card away from her, because it had gotten to that magic point where it was starting to look more like papier mache in some places, and she was starting to get pieces in her mouth. No choking!

MOO Durability Test: Control After 2.5 Minutes

Here are the cards side by side, for comparison:

MOO Durability Test: Side by Side

So there you have it. The MOO card wasn't able to withstand the forces of Drooly Baby and come through unharmed, but I didn't expect it to. In fact, I didn't expect it to last anywhere near as long as it did, and I really could have let her chew on it longer. I may try that again sometime when I am not feeling quite so impatient, just to see how long a MOO card can last before disintegrating into pieces I'd worry about her swallowing. Regardless, it did a great deal better than the regular business card did. I'm impressed.


After the cards dried, I found myself playing with the MOO card more. The card had separated into layers along the edges, where it got really soaked. I was able to peel off the outer layer on both sides, and ended up with this pretty cool transparency of the image that was printed on the card.

MOO Durability Test: Postscript

I did the same with the side that had the text I had printed on the back, but I won't show that here. :-)


Anonymous said...

Very interesting!

Lydia said...

This is a cool experiment. I worry about what chemicals are in paper, even indistructable Moo cards. But at least she's having fun. I used to eat paper. Maybe that explains the blackout periods. ;-)

futurowoman said...

cool experiment, and i love your presentation ;) it looks like you've created a pseudo-polaroid transparency, too! :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

Ha - that's absolutely great! I love that you used a regular business card as a 'control'.

Mike said...

aahh that's a cute kiddo :)
very nice little experiment

Anonymous said...

That is fantastic, but I have had the pleasure of working within the print industry for several years. There are certainly some solvents used in the process that I'd really rather not ingest. If you saw how quickly they melt a hole through a piece of inch thick acrylic, then I'm sure you wouldnt be allowing your child to suck on them.

That being said, a lot of printers use eco-solvent inks now, ones which fully evaporate before they get to the consumer... I'd estimate that much less than half do however!

Paul Jerry said...

Very funny and very cute!

ferrous said...

very cool experiment & very well executed. love it! :-D