Dealing with Stickiness on Figures!

I have once again recieved an interesting mail!

Hello! My name is Tii!
I love reading your blog. ^^The other day I finally managed to find and buy Nendoroid Totori after searching for ages! I took her home and opened the box filled with anticipation…. only to find the surface of the figure was all sticky and gross! I guess that because the figure is a few years old, it kind of melted down into the base materials of the figure?

I really want to take her out the box and play with her, but she’s all sticky… is there someway to get around this? (´・_・`)!

I’ve had this experience before!! Σ(゚Д゚;)

When figures are left for a long amount of time, that sticky layer will often develop on the surface of them! I hope there is some kind of solution…
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Let’s check with Tori Bird from the manufacturing team!!

He was the one who made Nendoroid Cure Blossom which was really well recieved by fans of the series! I wonder what he is working on now…!!

But his actual job isn’t the sculpting of prototypes, but in fact the mass-production of all the figures that reach everyone’s homes! (`・ω・´)

Let’s find out from him what causes the sticky figures!

(*The Mikatan filter has been applied to this explanation to try and make this as easy to understand as possible – let me know if you think something is wrong!)

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These are actually super special Mikatan business cards! Each one has my name and email address written on the reverse side – they were actually made for me around 5 years ago, when the GSC offices were still in Matsudo!

Some of them have become all sticky!! (((゚Д゚)))

It’s quite hard to tell from the photo, but I think you should be able to see from the reflecting light that there is a bit of a sticky surface. If you touch it it feels a little gooey too…

The strange thing is that even though all of them were all made at the same time, only some of them were going sticky! I wonder why…?

– Cause of Stickiness –The reason the figures become sticky is because of the plasticizer used when making them. This plasticizer is added to the PVC (the main material used in figures) in order to make it softer – the more mixed in with the PVC, the softer and more flexible it becomes.

However, over a long period of time this plasticizer vaporizes, and when this happens while a figure is sealed up in it’s box the vaporized plasticizer has nowhere to go, and thus sticks onto the surface of the figure creating a sticky layer.

Curse you, plasticizer!! (*`Д´)

But the truth is that I shouldn’t be mean to the plasticizer – it’s the reason we have flexible figure parts on our figures, and it’s apparently also used in order to get hard PVC parts like Nendoroid expressions out of their molds neatly! In other words, the plasticizer is a very important part of figures!

Although I’m also told that there is currently research going on to make soft, flexible parts without the need for plasticizers! The factories in China are constantly using the latest techniques, so let’s hope that this can also be put into practice soon! (((゜Д゜)))

– How to Prevent the Stickiness –・ Don’t leave figures in the sun for long periods of time. (This causes the plasticizer to vaporize faster)

・ Don’t leave figures in sealed boxes for too long. (This includes leaving them in the blister packs!)

 

It seems simple enough, yet I know it’ll be hard!!(゚Д゚;)

I’m sure I can be sure to keep my figures out of the sunlight, but when it comes to the figures in boxes… I have so many of those at the moment!!

But it’s definitely best to open up the boxes and blister packs and let the figure breathe if you really want to prevent the stickiness!

– How to Remove the Stickiness –Make use of a mild washing liquid – the same you’d use to clean things like eating utensils. Note that I can’t guarantee that this method will work for all figures, and there may be unexpected problems or damage to your figures.

You’ll see that I have tested a few methods below, but please keep that in mind that everything you try on your figures is your own responsibility!

(1) Clean with some bubbly washing liquid!

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Making use of a sponge or brush might damage the figures – it’s best to gently wash it with your hands instead!

This should remove any light stickiness from the figure! When you’re wiping off the water after washing, be sure to use a soft cloth instead of tissues.

The reason for this is that if any stickiness is left behind, the tissues will end up sticking to the figure!

(2) Soak the figure in diluted washing liquid!

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Left Side: 10 Parts Water – 1 Part Washing Liquid
Right side: Bubbled up washing liquid

I tried leaving the figure parts in each of these for 12 hours! The results…
Left Side: Almost all the stickiness came off!
Right Side: The bubbles all died away after a few hours.

I really wanted to try the right side method even though Bird told me it wouldn’t work… he was right. 😛

I think that overall, the best method is to first soak it in left hand liquid from (2) and then wash it with bubbles and hands as in (1). One thing to note is that the smell of the cleaning agent might cling to the figure a bit, so if you’re sensitive to smells you might want to keep that in mind!

(3) Clean with a Scouring Liquid/Cream (Caution!)

I used this method on some expression parts and it seemed to work very well at getting rid of the stickiness! The problem with this is that these cleaning liquids usually include an abrading agent which have a very high chance of damaging your figure! They’ll also likely remove the shine on any glossy figures.

It’s not a method I recommend, but it certainly works at getting the stickiness off and having a very clean figure! Whatever you do though, don’t try to clean them using scouring powder, as that will almost definitely damage the figure!
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I tried cleaning one for myself! (`・ω・´)

My GSC Seijin is all nice and clean now!

W-Wow…! The stickiness is completely gone and he looks just as good as new! I can once again give him to someone without being embarrassed about it!!

Figures, like all other things, will unfortunately get damaged or break – nothing can last forever! But you can certainly do a lot of things to make your figures last longer – taking a few steps to make your figures last a bit longer really shows your love for them! ヽ(゚∀゚)ノ

I’m sure a lot of you have a few figures that are sleeping safely in boxes somewhere – at some stage when you have the time, consider opening up their boxes and giving them a little air. The other day I opened up all my older boxes and it was actually great fun to remember all the old figures!
Anyway, that’s all for today!
I hope to see you all again tomorrow!! (・∀・)ノ゛