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Repairing Vintage Kenner Figures ?
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 4:03 pm    Post subject: Repairing Vintage Kenner Figures ? Reply with quote

So I was hoping some of my fellow collectors might have some advice or suggestions. Ok not really a collector so much as these are toys I have had since childhood that survived. I recently started moving all of my figures from the boxes they were thrown into and have jostled around in for many decades moving on the tour of the northeast. Today I was sorting those figures and trying to associate accessories with figures.

I discovered my Han Solo in Hoth snow outfit has head the head come off. From what I can see there is still a peg on the base of the head and a hole in the neck, but I am reluctant to try to force it back into place for fear of doing damage. This was one of a handful of figures I intended to keep.

Does anyone have experience or knowledge on fixing heads on these old Star Wars figures from the 80's? Is it even possible?

The only other figure I have with a broken head is an original Princess Leia that broke back when I was a child. Since her head is missing, she is beyond repair now.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Repairing Vintage Kenner Figures ? Reply with quote

In the late 90s, I made a custom figure where I put a Mon Calamari head on a Rebel pilot's body and painted the orange flight suit green, making a Mon Calamari fighter pilot. I think I used some kind of model glue and paint (my girlfriend at the time was artsy so she supplied me or advised what to buy). I do not remember what kind of glue was used, but it was effective. The figure is still standing on my bookshelf, and I can pick him up by his head without it falling off. But of course, the head no longer turns since it was glued on facing forward. I wish I could be more helpful, but I guess this is just confirmation that what you want to do it possible if you are ok with the head no longer turning once repaired.

KageRyu wrote:
I discovered my Han Solo in Hoth snow outfit has head the head come off. From what I can see there is still a peg on the base of the head and a hole in the neck, but I am reluctant to try to force it back into place for fear of doing damage. This was one of a handful of figures I intended to keep.

Reading this induced traumatic childhood flashback. Han Solo is my fave SW character and the 1978 Han Solo was one of my first few SW action figures. I was getting ready for elementary school one morning and Mom caught me trying to take Han and Luke. She told me to not take any toys to school, but when she wasn't looking I stuffed them into my pockets and smuggled them passed her. At school I reached into my pocket to pull out Han and his head popped off. I tried to glue his head back on with Elmer's, but of course that didn't work. I was sad. I should have listened to Mom!
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were to try to go the glue route I would likely have to use a 2-part epoxy. I know that various super-glues, hobby glues, and testors model glue do not fair well with the type of plastic Kenner made these old figure out of, nor does Zap-Gap. I would prefer not to glue, and still have the head turn-able. When I have some time I will consult some collector video and source and see if I can find anything.

I also found several of My G.I. Joes had the crotch piece break, which is further aggravating.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and...
BAM!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCPDGMvwKqk

Figured I'd place that here for other collectors with similar issues. If I ever find Leia's head, now I know a way to make a decent repair. Just need to get some Lego Axel-pegs.

Another head repair on a Biker Scout
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf9gVyZNqFw
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. Maybe it wasn't model glue. I was a Lego kid who never made models, so what do I know? It very well could have been super-glue.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know my dad had used some type of super-glue to fix the broken Leai, and she was fixed multiple times and kept re-breaking (the glue did not hold well). I have used 2-part epoxies on various plastics and Styrofoams (which melt with superglue) in my wargaming hobbies, so I figure that would be the best glue if I did glue.

However, I just ordered some of those Axel Pins and am going to give that a go. For the record, I do not intend to use a power drill or dremel - I intend to use a Pin Vise drill which will allow much finer control. I am quite familiar with it from my model building kitbashes and wargames figures.

Watching some other videos from that creator makes me think of how cool it would be to make custom Star Wars figures for gaming from unwanted, broken, and damaged Star Wars figures. I used to do it all the time with G.I. Joes when I was younger, but those were comparatively easy, just needed the right sized screw driver and some patience and the right figures to mix. I never tried with Star Wars figures because they were not made to come apart... but now I have some methods... I just need to figure out what type of Paints are safe (I had bad experiences with Testors paints degrading the plastic when I tried repainting one of the Death Star Troopers into a rebel fleet officer).

Obviously, these types of repairs or modifications will negate collector value of a given figure and should only be done for personal use and display.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the custom figure's glue-job may not be play-worthy, but I made him for display-only. I'm a total amateur but went through a very brief custom figure-making phase one year. I had no books and no instruction, other than some general art advice from my girlfriend who had never had any action figures. I just figured it out (pun intended), but I only made the one "frankenstein" with parts from different characters.

The others were only painted. I turned an Ackbar figure into a Mon Cal Rebel SpecForce officer (with a tan top and blue pants). A Mon Cal Jedi was an easy one I made by taking a Mon Cal fleet officer, then putting a brown cloth Jedi robe on him and getting a lightsaber to stay in his hand. Oh, and I also made Ponda Baba with a cybernetic hand in honor of him being an entertaining nemesis to a PC in one of my campaigns.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a related note, my stepdad was reorganizing the garage and stumbled across the storage trays from my old Kenner Action Figures Collector's Case. They were being used as storage for a screw & nail collection. The case itself is long gone, but the trays themselves are in good shape: not broken, with some minor rust stains from metal nails and the like.

I have no use for them, but they're currently going for $12-$15 on eBay, so if any Pit members are interested, I could probably cut a deal.
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Last edited by CRMcNeill on Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But what is he going to do with all the nails and screws?!

I never had a vintage action figure case, but I still have my 1997 Millennium Falcon Carry Case that came with the heroic-proportioned Wedge figure. I use it to store all my loose figures not on display.
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CRMcNeill
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2022 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No idea; he apparently has alternate plans. And the only conceivable use I can see for them would be for someone who has the vintage case, but with damaged trays. The complete cases are going for ~$100 right now.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah the trays are still useful for restorations! PLENTY of cases without trays floating around Electronic Bay's dot com.

Whill how did the Han drama play out? Did you ever fix it?

When we were kids X-Wing Luke lost his head, my mom glued it back with model glue but it couldn't turn and the join didn't last. Nowadays, being an experienced modeler, I would have drilled a hole into his neck (both body and head holes), and then made a steel pin using a small nail or something, gluing with super glue not model glue. It still wouldn't turn but it would've kept him play-able.

Generally speaking nowadays I won't repair or restore anything unless it's in a way that can be undone. That's the art museum guy in me. We all had horror stories of ways people had ruined antiques by "repairing" them.
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KageRyu
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the broken Han.
I picked up some of the needed pegs to fix him, but as of yet have not sat down to fix him. This is in part due to the state of my living situation. I currently do not have a place to sit down and work on hobbies or projects because I am in my family home following my Father's death, and he was a hoarder. Though I have been working to clear it up, it is slow going as it is a large home and I have no help. It is also why I have been selling off a lot of my collectibles, as they are getting ruined in storage.

I am trying to make a push to get some room before winter as I can not take another year like this. Hopefully when this is done I will have space and time to actually do the repair and post results.
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TauntaunScout
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KageRyu wrote:
I had the broken Han.
I picked up some of the needed pegs to fix him, but as of yet have not sat down to fix him. This is in part due to the state of my living situation. I currently do not have a place to sit down and work on hobbies or projects because I am in my family home following my Father's death, and he was a hoarder. Though I have been working to clear it up, it is slow going as it is a large home and I have no help. It is also why I have been selling off a lot of my collectibles, as they are getting ruined in storage.

I am trying to make a push to get some room before winter as I can not take another year like this. Hopefully when this is done I will have space and time to actually do the repair and post results.


My condolences.

If the hoarder is deceased though, you should really just chuck everything. Dollars to donuts, if you accidentally throw away some valuables, you still profit by simply binning the lot in a couple weekends and giving the house a good cleaning. I speak from grim experience.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KageRyu wrote:
This is in part due to the state of my living situation. I currently do not have a place to sit down and work on hobbies or projects because I am in my family home following my Father's death, and he was a hoarder. Though I have been working to clear it up, it is slow going as it is a large home and I have no help. It is also why I have been selling off a lot of my collectibles, as they are getting ruined in storage.

I am trying to make a push to get some room before winter as I can not take another year like this. Hopefully when this is done I will have space and time to actually do the repair and post results.

You've referenced your situation before but I am sorry to hear more about it. I'm too attached to my collection of books that takes up five 6' bookshelves, one entire wall of a room. I have several boxes of comics, a moderate collection of vinyl records, one big tote full of unopened action figures, a shelf of movies, and a couple CD shelves. I really have slowed down my collecting, and I try to go through stuff to see if there is anything I can part with every now and then. My goal is to not die with too much stuff. I've watched a few episodes of hoarder shows on TV, yikes. Best wishes at tackling that giant mountain of work.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TauntaunScout wrote:
Whill how did the Han drama play out? Did you ever fix it?

No, it never got fixed. The only glue we had in the house (or I had at school) was Elmer's, and that didn't work. I didn't know of the existence of other glues, but even if I did my parents wouldn't have bought it for me because they would have asked what I wanted it for, which was repairing a toy that I broke at school after my mom told me to not take it to school.

I don't remember what happened to Han but I imagine it got thrown away. I don't remember if I ever got a replacement of that figure, but I'm pretty sure I eventually got a Bespin Han after TESB came out.
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