Have you ever been woken up in the middle of the night by a crashing sound that gets your heart racing for as long as it takes to realize the sound came from some of your displayed figures falling over? Well, it is that time of year again. Phoenix hasn’t reached 100 just yet, but we’re close. Warmer days mean plastic gets soft. For most action figures its not much of a problem. But some figures are made of an already soft, flexible plastic. This means when the temperatures rise, these figures fall! What can be done to help? The following is a recipe to alleviate this problem and the general issue of figures that have difficulties standing…
Its usually pretty predictable. Out of all the figures in my Justice League case Dove will be the first to fall. Others that share the same body mold tend to be problematic. Every now and then, however, a figure that I’m not expecting will bite it. This morning it was Mr. Miracle. He took the other New Gods with him.
If you’re like me, it really gets under your skin when a figure has trouble standing. It didn’t take me long to learn that if you heat up a figure’s plastic it becomes soft and malleable. The first figure I decided to experiment on was a Star Wars Bespin Has Solo. I took the Han Solo and held him above a candle flame long enough for his legs to soften. I then repositioned his foot and ankle so he’d stand better. After doing this I noticed his boots were very shiny. Yes, they had started to melt. Lesson 1: Heating with an open flame is not the best method! Here a recipe for a better way:
Gather your tools: One dish towel, one microwave safe measuring cup, one bowl large enough to fit a figure and both your fat hands.
Heat 1 2/3 cups of water in microwave for 3 minutes or until boil.
Fill bowl with cold water and 2 handfuls of ice.
Remove boiling water from microwave. Grab figure by head and submerge all limbs needing adjustment in boiling water.
Keep in boiling water until small bubbles form around figure. (According to the U.S. government this is not considered torture.)
Once plastic is soft remove from boiling water, realign problem limbs carefully and gently submerge in cold water. You will feel the plastic begin to stiffen immediately. Hold in water until plastic feels rigid. Remove and test the adjustment. Repeat process if you’ve over or under compensated.
Finally, dry figure with dish towel.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor and an uninterrupted night’s sleep!
Unfortunately, there are figures that are just stubborn and need repeated treatments. Others will learn their lesson with one adjustment. This is the method that works for me. Please post any alternate tips and tricks!
Alright, who’s next?