Hallmark eschews goofy battery in lovely new hand-cranked greeting cards


Paging Mark Frauenfelder: You're going to love these new hand-cranked motion-and-sound greeting cards from Hallmark. (I think I love them, too! Someone needs to shoot us a video of one in action.)

Animated Automata Greeting Cards with Sound [DugNorth.com]

Update: Wayne "Mas90Guru" Schulz from Gear Diary has a video!

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  1. From the website:

    “When the crank is turned the cartoon party-goer characters on the front of the card move in inappropriate ways”

    Oh dear! That is certainly a new avenue for Hallmark to turn in to.

  2. please check your facts before posting and put a link to the real product’s page. THERE IS NO HALLMARK CARD LIKE THAT.

    1. We trusted that Dug North, who said he actually purchased the cards, wasn’t full of shit. And since he’s a person with a real name and not a whiny anonymous yahoo, I’m going to stick with “They’re real” until we hear differently.

  3. How do you feel now, huh, Anonymous? Huh? Not so anonymous now are you oh right you still are.

  4. Joel,

    Thanks for backing me up, man. Solid.

    I couldn’t find much about the cards online — even at Hallmark’s site. I see from another comment that they have trademarked them as “Spin-a-majigs”, but I can’t find that anywhere on the card itself. The back of the cards say they are from “Innovations from Hallmark”.

    There is another very nice card that shows an island scene with hula dancer and ukulele player.

    There are also several designs that utilize the little crank for motion, but have no sound unit. They are also worth checking out.


    Dug North

  5. I’m confused why Dug North described the motion on the front of the card as inappropriate, it seems innocent to me. But what does the punch line inside the card say? (I can’t make it out in the video.)

    Hallmark seems to be saying that the humor inside the cards may be “slightly inappropriate”. For example: Valentine’s Day Spin-a-majigs – Grandma

  6. Hi Bavi H,

    Oops! That is a typo. My post should have read “move in appropriate ways”. I’ll fix it. Thanks!

    The inside of the party scene card says: “Party like you mean it today!”. I don’t have the Peanuts one, so I don’t know what that one says.

    All the Best,

    Dug North

  7. That seems pretty loud for something without a battery. DugNorth.com doesn’t claim there’s no battery, either. I suspect that the crank only turns the animated bits, and the sound is battery powered.

    Anyone want to post a disassembly? Please?

  8. FX,

    I totally agree. It is loud. I believe the card does have a battery. When the crank is turned — even the least bit — the music starts. It continues to play a moment or two beyond the turning, but not for long. I suspect a timer circuit is in there.

    There is resistance when you turn the crank but it’s minimal. The crank feels like it is connected to the mechanics that make the cards move, but not to any tiny generator.

    I’m reluctant to take mine apart, but if nobody else does it in the coming weeks, I will.


    Dug North

  9. the card named “soul bossa nova “is the best card ever i can’t find them anywhere.the innovations are hard to find

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