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Author Topic: Doll care: Tips and Tricks  (Read 5789 times)

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Offline BlueChaos

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Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« on: March 08, 2015, 05:05:05 PM »
A thread to share your doll care tips and tricks! Please share your dolly care knowledge.

I was dusting my doll shelf when I noticed Purrsephone was looking pretty nasty with dust caught in the glue/gel holding her hair in place. I though about how to get it out to get her looking nice without taking the chance of accidentally washing out her painted on hair stripes. Then I noticed the can of air on my computer desk, the stuff used for blowing dust out of electronics. I gave a couple of blasts and her beautiful black hair is pristine again!

Also, here's a list of useful threads, courtesy of Melissa
I've compiled some of the more important issues... more to come.

I think my white doll is turning yellow!
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I think my doll has glue head/glue seepage!
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Official MH Eye Wonk Discussion Thread!
Official EAH Eye Wonk Discussion Thread!

Contact Mattel for defects or broken dolls: http://service.mattel.com/us/ContactUs.aspx
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 05:23:42 AM by Melissa »

Offline Morieris

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 06:06:48 PM »
I really do keep meaning to buy one of those...

I found that for at least a wavy look of very soft curls, it's a lot easier to wrap freshly flattened hair around a paintbrush and spin the brush a bit and pull it out than to fiddle with pins and straws.

Offline Ghoulish_Delight

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 06:37:55 PM »
I've got a couple:

If you have a doll whose leg is loose (like, to the point where you can twist it all the way around), take a long, clear rubber band (like the ones used to secure the doll in the box), cut it in half, and just wrap it around the joint under the knee a couple of times until the leg is secure; then double-knot the two ends. My mom suggested this when I had a Lagoona doll with a funky leg.

Another tip I have is to use wig shampoo and conditioner on doll hair. I use the Revlon brand texturizing cleaner and conditioner, and it makes doll hair soooo soft! And it gets rid of any of the hair gel that was originally on the doll (and you can kinda see some of that residue in the solution).

And that's all I have so far. If I know any more, I'll post 'em here.

Offline Melissa

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 07:17:32 PM »
I've compiled some of the more important issues... more to come.

I think my white doll is turning yellow!
Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.

I think my doll has glue head/glue seepage!
Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.

Official MH Eye Wonk Discussion Thread!
Official EAH Eye Wonk Discussion Thread!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 01:18:42 PM by Melissa »

Offline MissEllie

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2015, 08:37:34 AM »
If you don't want to buy wig shampoo, plain ol' detergent works wonders to get glue out and make their hair soft as can be!

Offline Cherryfox

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2015, 09:29:04 AM »
Use a toothbrush to brush your dolls hair, its way more effective and doesn't damage the fibres. A damp toothbrush will tame flyaway hairs a treat.

When sewing for dolls using a sewing machine, pop a piece of tissue paper under your work to stop it getting chewed up in the machine. Always hand sew seams on dolly clothes before machining, pins are too bulky for doll sewing.

Offline InFamous Monster

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 10:06:31 AM »
Frankie's having a bad hair day. And the worst part is, she's never had more hair than before she grew to 17 inches. Her hair is beautiful and silky, but so fine that the slightest amount of handling (not even necessarily handling her hair, just Frankie herself, moving her around) causes a lot of flyaway hairs (she's very subject to static electricity). Even after you've carefully brushed her hair with a damp (not wet) toothbrush, it looks good but as soon as it's dry and she's touched again causing her hair to move in any direction, here come the tangles and frizzies.

Part of her problem is she hasn't had a profession haircut, so even when her hair is as straightened and neatened as possible, you can see hairs of various lengths instead of nice even lengths. I'm a little afraid of doing a strictly-by-eyeball "Snip snip here, snip snip there, and a couple of tra-la-las" because I've never had to cut hair before, not to mention hair that isn't going to grow back. Plus she has a little pony with some kind of tiny rubber tie with a small ponytail to keep the hair on top of her head even and straight-back. If I took that out, I don't know that I could get it tied back the way it was. Is there no other solution but to carefully snip stray hairs one at a time, after washing, straightening, and drying?

It doesn't look like her hair's dirty or anything, but I'm thinking it couldn't hurt to wash it, as long as I don't damage it with harsh soap or something. Regular people shampoo or a mild solution of dish detergent? Condition or not? Some say never, some say use fabric softener instead. Some say to get that smooth silky look (or to prepare prior to styling) soak in boiling water for a few minutes, then carefully brush out tangles a little at a time, careful not to pull too hard and snag -- bit by bit, bottom to top. Worried that boiling water might be too harsh for such fine hair (might be fine for thicker doll hair), and also don't want to get Frankie's lovely makeup and other decaled stitches and stuff near water too hot?  What about ironing hair (sounds maybe worse!)?

Advices?  She's my One And Only.

Offline Taxel

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2016, 02:42:04 PM »
The hair washing thing is really just down to preference, I think. Different people swear by different stuff. I prefer to use a normal human shampoo with no dyes on all my toys, including many types of dolls and My Little Ponies. I've never had any issues with it in the years I've been using it. Before that I used an even cheaper shampoo that never caused any issues but I wanted to switch to dye-free just to be on the safe side.

Boiling water is the usual go-to for hair styling. Straightening, curling, whatever style needs setting can usually be done with boiling water. It doesn't work on every hair type but in general it works well. I've never used actual boiling water, just really hot water, and that seems to do okay. I'm not sure what type of hair Frankie has or if it works alright with boiling water.

Using a straightener can be done on some hair types (I've seen people use it to restore vintage MLPs) but its super dangerous as far as hair treatments go. It can easily melt the hair if you're not careful (and sometimes even if you are). Frankie shouldn't need straightener help since she's just been owned by you, if I remember right.

A leave-in product might help but I've never used them so I don't have any advice. I've just sort of accepted that certain dolls, like my Frankies and Spectra, will just go nuts in the tiniest breeze.

Offline InFamous Monster

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2016, 03:38:15 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts on that, Taxel. I was wondering whether the Frightfully Tall ghouls had a different type of hair (finer) than the standard scale MH dolls, and I know there is some variation between different dolls in the standard scale line - for example, I know that the Save Frankie Freaky Fusion doll that comes with the Recharge Chamber has a different type of hair (thicker and straighter) made especially to enhance the static electric effect, so her hair will "stand on end" (it works pretty impressively, actually, from what I've seen). I actually thought that FT Frankie, being larger, would have thicker (not finer) hair. I'm not sure if the hair is the same thickness with FT Ula and Clawdeen, and as I mentioned, I only actually own FT Frankie, so I really have no other MH dolls to directly compare her to.

On the hot water (I think you are right, very hot water is better than actually boiled) is tap water okay? Some say to use distilled water, because it's actually pure H20 with nothing else in it.

Offline Taxel

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 01:41:34 PM »
I think FT and original sig Frankie have very very similar hair. My Sig has had glue seepage for years so its hard to be positive but her hair was always wild, much like my Picture Day Spectra (very fine, silky smooth, loves to dance around for no reason). FT Frankie's hair has a purple sheen in certain lighting, which original sig doesn't have, so its at least a little different. I think they just did their best to replicate the sig ghouls' hair. I have sig and 17in Draculaura as well and their hair is very similar too. I don't know if its the exact same but its pretty close, imo.

I always use tap water but I'd say that depends on what water in your area is like. If you have extremely hard water it might be a better to use bottled or distilled water. (Our water is pretty mineral rich and hard, so it may not be the best idea to use it, but I haven't run into any problems yet.)

Offline InFamous Monster

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 07:14:05 AM »
I think FT and original sig Frankie have very very similar hair. My Sig has had glue seepage for years so its hard to be positive but her hair was always wild, much like my Picture Day Spectra (very fine, silky smooth, loves to dance around for no reason).

I'm probably being overly fussy because I never expected their hair to be as prone to static electricity as it seems to be. Whenever you look at all the stock photography it it perfectly coiffed, but I guess you'd expect that. When I really look at people's dolls in YouTube videos, unless they are just carefully posed on a shelf on on their stands (after obviously having their hair brushed neatly into place), if the dolls are being handled or moved around, you can see it starting to get unruly pretty quickly.

I'll try the hot water method and see it that doesn't manage to get the hair to cling together to itself a little better. Maybe once it's relaxed and dries in that position it won't have as much of a tendency to have flyaway stray hairs.

Offline LadyoftheWheels

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 03:03:51 PM »
is there a how to on the cornstarch method? like how do you apply it? wouldn't cornstarch get thick when you wash it out? I really don't want to use baby powder because it's inconclusive if it's safe or not
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 05:25:01 PM by LadyoftheWheels »

Offline queenofsticks

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2017, 08:35:36 AM »
What are the best hair ties to use? Not just for hair, but for keeping shoes/purses/etc attached to the doll? The goody brand clear hair elastics decompose after a short period of time, and I stupidly tossed the ones that came with my dolls.

Offline DogMom

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2017, 09:40:22 AM »
is there a how to on the cornstarch method? like how do you apply it? wouldn't cornstarch get thick when you wash it out? I really don't want to use baby powder because it's inconclusive if it's safe or not

I used to buy a 'natural' baby powder, forgot whether it had cornstarch but I never had a problem with it getting gummy or thick on my skin. Brand might've been Jason? No talc.

My tip: Dolls with 'loose hips' that have elastic (not peg) joints can be tightened by giving each leg a complete hip twirl once or twice. Think 'airplane propeller'. Go opposite directions with each leg...you're basically taking up slack with the twirls, like a rubberband toy plane. But not TOO much, or the elastic could snap or come unstitched.
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Offline paladinheart

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2017, 11:32:35 AM »
If you need to store your dolls make sure the faces aren't touching faces, shoes aren't touching shoes, and faces aren't touching shoes. Their shoes and heads seem to be made of a similar material, which means the paint transfer very easily! This is how a lot of the dolls end up with spots on their faces, missing paint, strange spots on the shoes, etc.. Make sure you put separate dolls with a layer of plastic bags between each layer (although cloth might be better).

I don't think this is as much a problem with newer dolls (since there's no paint on the new shoes, and new shoes seem to be made of a different material), but it's better to be safe than sorry!

Offline AllHallowsEve

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2017, 03:31:19 PM »
Is it best to leave the tags in the heads to percent damage?

Offline Melissa

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2017, 03:52:04 PM »
Is it best to leave the tags in the heads to percent damage?
Head tags can be taken out easily without damaging the head. Just use pliers and pull them out. The hole left should be minimally small.

Offline Ted

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2017, 06:29:27 PM »
Is it best to leave the tags in the heads to percent damage?
Head tags can be taken out easily without damaging the head. Just use pliers and pull them out. The hole left should be minimally small.

I take it this is about the white plastic strings that attach the head to the cardboard. If so, what if they don't come off even with an amount of force that slightly warps the head (temporarily)? Am I, as a MH newbie, just too squeamish, or are there exceptions to the above rule? I'm speaking of a Scarrier Reef Clawdeen.

The same doll (and many of her doubles on the shelf) also has one underarm whose plug/ peg (proper term?) won't go all the way into the upper arm, making the elbow joint more prone to breaking. The plug has already started to "whiten" after just a handful of poses. I can't try out how the other underarm fits in the same hole because that other one doesn't come off at all (or again I'm too squeamish). Anyway, before I try to import replacement arms, can someone please explain if it's more commonly the plugs that are too long, or the holes in the upper arms that are too short?

Third question: did "13 Wishes" Howleen possibly come in two series with slightly different face molds? One slightly more rounded, one slightly more long-ish and more pointed chin? I did read in a MOTU forum that face molds could supposedly change/ become loose during production runs, so if I'm not mistaken, maybe it wasn't even intentional. Or are photo angles/ lenses and silk screening variations playing a trick on me?

Edit - I just realized the third question is probably off topic in this thread. Sorry, please ignore that one until I find a proper place to repost it, or send me a PM if you have an answer.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 06:32:45 PM by Ted »

Offline nassib

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Re: Doll care: Tips and Tricks
« Reply #18 on: Yesterday at 05:51:55 AM »
I normally pull the head pegs out as far as they go without much force and then  trim the pegs as close to the scalp as possible. Then gently push inside the head the remaining plastic. I do this to avoid tearing the scalp because I'm too a bit squeamish.

The under arms should enter correctly. Is it possible that there's something in the inside of the upper arm not allowing the peg to enter fully?

I don't think there's any variations on Howleen but what also influences is the country doing the doll. They tend to have variances between one another. There are 2 main countries that Mattel uses
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