A Guide to Cleaning and Fixing Toys
Health and Hygiene
Cleaning: Battling enemy droids in the driveway is dirty work. Submerge combatants in dish soap and lukewarm water (not hot water, the archenemy of plastic), says Reis O’Brien, an action-figure-collecting expert. (You can also add fizzy denture cleaner.) After five minutes, brush gently with a soft toothbrush, rinse in cold water, and pat dry.
Major mess: For crayon marks and gum, O’Brien rubs on a drop of Goo Gone ($4, googone.com) with a Q-tip. If the figure is painted, “test it first on the bottom of a foot,” he says.
Bent parts: To reset Thor’s crooked ankle, submerge it in hot-to-the-touch tap water for 60 seconds and rebend the now pliable piece. Set it by running it under cold water for 30 seconds.
Limb amputation: O’Brien likes Future Glue Gel (about $1 at hardware stores). Use a tiny drop, then secure the limb with a rubber-band sling to set.
Rubbed-off facial features: Use water-based acrylic craft paint and a tiny brush. But if the disfigurement is major (a lawn-mower injury, for example), embrace it, says O’Brien: “Those are battle scars.”