Thursday, May 19, 2011

If It's Indestructible, It Must Be Broken

I have learned the hard way that there is no guarantee that something is truly indestructible.  In reality, it's a matter of opinion.

In the past, whenever I saw an "indestructible" toy, I would usually buy it for Lily.  I was under the naive impression that if the toy manufacturer said it couldn't be broken, than it simply couldn't be broken.

Well, after leaving a trail of broken "indestructible" items in our wake, I have become a little wiser and more discerning in my toy selection.

Take this book series for babies.   Babies, mind you.  Babies who have no teeth.

Anyway, my whole family loves to read.  Being a former teacher, it was also really important to me that my kids learn to read well.  So when Lily Bird came along, I wanted to surround her with books as I had done with her big sisters.  But I quickly discovered that Lily did not simply look at the book and sweetly turn the pages.  She liked to look a little, then tear a page.  Look a little, then chew a little.   Once she discovered that you could actually take a chunk out of a book, even without teeth, that became the thing to do when handed a book.

So when I discovered the Indestructibles line of baby books, I was extremely excited.  Lily could chew to her heart's content and attempt to tear pages all while "reading" a book.  And she still didn't have teeth at this point so it looked promising.

Here's what the Indestructibles website says about what the books are made of:

What are Indestructibles made of that is so durable yet paper-like and delightful for my baby?
Indestructibles are printed on a synthetic material made from flashspun high-density polyethylene fibers (getting technical here, we know). It feels like paper, but liquid water cannot pass through it and it is very difficult to tear. 

At first glance, it sounds great, right?  But look a little closer at the last phrase - "it is very difficult to tear".  And that right there is the telling statement, my friends.  Difficult.  But not impossible.

Especially for a child such as Lily who takes the word indestructible as a personal challenge and puts 110% effort into proving it wrong.

I discovered that if Lily simply sucked on an edge of the book long enough, she could actually tear off some pieces, thereby destroying an indestructible book.

Next up... the Kid Tough MP3 Player.

One of the main selling features of this item?  Here's the statement from Fisher-Price:

Built Kid-Tough to survive drop after drop after drop while also featuring simple controls.

I'll give Fisher Price this much.  It has survived many a drop and is still playing.

But see that cute little microphone attached so Lily can sing along with all her favorite tunes?

It's no longer on ours.  You can actually chew that thick curly coated cord until the mic gives way.

Good news, though.  It still works without the microphone.

So I would say that this is close but not indestructible.

Last, take the OtterBox Defender series of covers for iPods, iPhones, and iPads.  It's like Fort Knox for your electronics.  You would think they were making this to survive a nuclear bomb.

Check out this diagram:Defender Series Info Graphic

And here is a half-front/half-back shot of a case on an iPhone.

iPhone 4 Defender Series Case

I have one of these on my iPhone, Lily has one on her iPod Touch and one on her iPad.

Mine looks fine.

That's because I don't let her near it.

But her cases? 

Well, that nice impact absorbing silicone casing that surrounds the device?  Gone.

That nice little silicone port cover on the bottom of her device?  Hanging by a thread.  Destined to be gone.

It turns out that silicone is a really nice surface for chewing.

Ironically, Lily is not really that much of a chewer anymore.  But squishy cords and rubber-like silicone are just too big a temptation.

The bottom line is that "indestructible" is a relative term.  

Most manufacturers are thinking of things such as, how many times can the item be dropped, can it be submerged, and that type of thing.  

They're not really thinking of kids who are purposefully attempting to remove the very item that is supposed to be offering protection.  

Or children whose goal it is to prove that absolutely nothing in life is 100% indestructible.

1 comment:

  1. Look at it this way....IF you ever do discover something she cannot will be able to give that product a strong endorsment...seriously


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...