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Thread: Vintage Kenner A L I E N 18 Inch Figure From 1979 - Can it be repaired?

  1. #1

    Vintage Kenner A L I E N 18 Inch Figure From 1979 - Can it be repaired?

    In January, I moved from Texas to New York. Some things got bumped about a bit on the way, it's unavoidable. But, sadly, when I removed my MISB Kenner ALIEN from the outer box, it's right arm was just dangling by the tie-down. I was (and I still am) devastated by this, especially since it was sealed and I thought I had finally bought this piece for the last time. It was my third and I was so happy with it. I had no choice but to open it and try to examine it. My eyes have been getting really bad in the last year or so, but when I can focus, it doesn't seem that it can be repaired.

    So....

    1. Is anyone here any good at repairing this thing?
    2. Can the tie-downs be removed in a way that they can be used again, or is cutting them the only way?

    Everything inside the joint is colored black, and it looks like a black rubber joint is broken.

    I'd appreciate any insight, as I'm at a loss here and I don't know if I'm going to glue it or what. I'd prefer not to do something that drastic.
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  2. #2
    Can it be repaired? The answer is YES. It took some searching, but I finally came across someone at Mego Museum that inspired the idea of how to fix it. My ALIEN is now back to it's former glory. I'm surprised at how absolutely dead this section of the forums is!
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    It's really sad when the "creative minds" behind something we hold dear are also guilty of its destruction.

  3. #3
    You answered your own question but you did not post here how you fixed it??

  4. #4
    No, I didn't. I didn't think anyone cared.
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    It's really sad when the "creative minds" behind something we hold dear are also guilty of its destruction.

  5. #5
    I'd care to know. That's a cool figure. I don't have one. But I'd be interested in your story.
    Last edited by Scott_Parker; 07-04-2012 at 07:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Well it just so happens that the first repair attempt didn't hold. It was fine at first, and looked good for some pictures, but it ultimately failed. I know what I am going to try next, so it's just a matter of getting to the hardware store.
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    It's really sad when the "creative minds" behind something we hold dear are also guilty of its destruction.

  7. #7
    Okay, I wasn't able to make it to the hardware store, so I bought a package of rubber washers from Amazon.

    Amazon.com: Danco 80817 Home Washer Assortment, 42-Piece: Home Improvement

    They arrived today in the mail:



    It was hard to judge exactly what size I would need from a picture on the Internet, so I figured if I bought a mixed set, it would increase my odds of success. Luckily, this time I was right.

    Here, I'm getting everything ready for the "surgery." The bit of duct tape in the arm socket was part of my first failed attempt at repair. I couldn't get it out of there until I opened up the figure.



    Here are the four screws that literally hold the entire figure together. Once they are out and the halves are separated, everything can come out from head to toe.



    Now, the ALIEN is taken apart and I started looking at the rubber washers. The white string is made of cotton t-shirt material. It is tough, and has a little "spring" to it.



    Here's a quick look at the LEFT arm assembly, as made by Kenner all those years ago.



    And now, the right arm. Let the surgery commence!



    A closeup of the washer I chose, and the string. Note that the washer has a cone-shape. That end will go in the shoulder hole first.




    Simply put the string through the middle of the washer....




    ....And tie the end into a knot. Make darn sure that string isn't going to slip through the washer under tension.



    Put the string into the shoulder hole, push the knot in, then get ready to put the washer in. Be sure the narrow end of the washer's cone-shape goes in first.



    Now, here's why I chose the t-shirt material. Getting the washer into that hole is a very tight squeeze. The t-shirt string flattens with the squeezing of the washer as it goes into the hole. This saves time and any possible breakage from forcing it too hard.



    Once the washer is successfully inside the hole, it will never come out. If you want it out, you'll have to take the arm itself apart, which is not advised. Pull the string tight, and the washer will flatten against the inside of the arm, and you're good to go.



    Here's a quick look at the original left arm assembly and where it goes in relation to the repair.



    I looped the string around the top center post once, then tied it in a knot around the post below. This helps keep tension on the string, and saves you the aggravation of trying to tie the string in a knot right next to the arm, which, trust me, was a futile exercise.



    A wider shot of the work in progress.



    It's important here to maintain a steady hand. You literally have to hold the ALIEN just right to make sure you have enough tension on the arm.



    Once you're ready to put the ALIEN back together, cut the excess string and get all the parts together. This is a bit of a balancing act, so don't get discouraged if a leg or arm falls a time or two.



    Once it's successfully back together, the proof speaks for itself.



    I hope this proves to be useful for someone out there. Please post your comments, stories, etc.
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    It's really sad when the "creative minds" behind something we hold dear are also guilty of its destruction.

  8. #8
    Great job on the repair!

    (Just wanted to let you know that someone actually checks out this section every now and then...)
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  9. #9
    Thanks so much! I know I'm not the only ALIEN enthusiast out there. It was so hard to get the idea of what I needed to do planted. After a long search, someone touched on it at Mego Museum, but there were no specific instructions. So, all that was left to do was take the toy apart and come up with a plan. These toys are just so awesome, but they were made in the "pre-collector" years and they are fragile. That's also why I chose the materials that I did, because that old plastic can react in ways you just don't think of!
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    It's really sad when the "creative minds" behind something we hold dear are also guilty of its destruction.

  10. #10
    Emperor Ian_C's Avatar
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    Awesome work. The vintage Kenner Alien is a figure high on my wants list, but not within the current budget.

    You can do the toy collecting community a HUGE service by forwarding this thread to Tyler_H. He runs a website called toyfixer.com, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't have this fix in there.

    Ian
    Last edited by Ian_C; 07-09-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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