Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing

Discussion in 'Japan Toys' started by Madmax405, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. Madmax405

    Madmax405 Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    NYC
    Name:
    Max
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Not sure if this is the right sub-forum, but I'm looking for some advice from those more experienced than myself. I am having an issue with my Ice Erosion Molly from Instinctoy. I do not mind having to reach out to them for a replacement, but I would prefer this to be only after I have exhausted all other reasonable options. However, I have heard of a lean issue with many pieces in this run. Their pieces are usually high quality, so I'm not sure how this went unnoticed.

    When I first unboxed her, she could already not stand flat on her two feet. The vinyl on the back/legs/feet is extremely soft and the way the sculpt is designed puts a lot of weight on the back. She kept leaning further and further backwards, so I tried to reset the posture with heat. I heat up the base for approx 2 minutes, and then pushed her forward so her feet were flat on the ground and held in place ~8 mins while it cooled. At this point I thought it was fixed as she was standing flat on her two feet again. Previously, if I pressed down on her foot, the wobble was more than obvious. Now it was gone, and I had thought that all was fixed; but, I was wrong.

    When I looked at her yesterday, she couldn't even stand up anymore. Not just a little lean, she wouldn't stand period. I repeated the process of heating, pushing forward while cooling two times more, and she is back to normal, for now. But, I am worried in two days she will be falling over again. Does it sound like I am doing anything wrong, or is there any advice or tips I can follow to give this toy a better chance? Or, does it sound like no matter what I do, that this piece will always be doomed to keep leaning further and further backwards? If this is the case, I will have no choice but to ask for Instinctoy's help.

    Any and all advice is appreciated with thanks, Max
     
  2. evom

    evom S7 Royalty

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    Messages:
    3,877
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    sounds like the vinyl is too soft for the design of the sculpt.
    just get some "museum tack" and stick a little piece under each heel and then set in place on your shelf.
    I have a few toys that need that to stand.
     
  3. Madmax405

    Madmax405 Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    NYC
    Name:
    Max
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely consider this depending on how the next few days turns out with my second attempt.
     
  4. smurph

    smurph Comment King

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,170
    Name:
    Sam
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    If the vinyl was extremely soft out the gate, I'm not sure any further attempts at heating will produce better results...

    Seconding evom's suggestion (even if this particular issue is eventually resolved). A jar of this stuff is a must-have for those wobblers in the collection. A little dab goes a long way.

    https://www.amazon.com/Ready-America-33111-Museum-Clear/dp/B0002V37XY
    *disregard the 'glass & crystal' bit. Works great with vinyl figures and have yet to see any adverse effects, even on those with paint under the foot.
     
    Brooklyn_Vinyl likes this.
  5. Madmax405

    Madmax405 Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    NYC
    Name:
    Max
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Thank you for the second opinion and product suggestion! I'll let you know how it works out
     
    smurph likes this.
  6. mondocoyote

    mondocoyote Comment King

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,250
    Location:
    Chigasaki, Japan
    Name:
    Brian
    flickr:
    bbunting
    Instagram:
    thegalaxypeople
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Sometimes vinyl gets stretched coming out of the molds. In all but the most extreme cases the the vinyl still retains a 'memory' of the correct mold shape, and heating up the vinyl should correct the distortion. However the vinyl does have to get really hot for it to work. I use a heat gun for any correction, and heat it to the point where it's very soft. It's a fine line though, because vinyl will burn if you overdo it. The lean should repair itself without any need to hold it in position.

    I should point out that I'm generally only doing on my own blank toys. Not sure how hot the paint on an 'ice erosion molly' can get before it starts to take damage. I do have a couple of wonky astro-mu minis that I fixed with this method though. Amazing how long the the vinyl memory is!
     
    smurph and Madmax405 like this.
  7. Waterbear

    Waterbear Comment King

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,157
    Location:
    Hiding in your toy chest
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    A couple of tips that could help.

    The vinyl needs to be really soft/hot for you to have a shot at permanently changing the stance. Just soft enough to fix for the moment will not cut it at all. It needs to be VERY soft but at the same time you need to avoid outright melting the thing. Also don't just heat the feet and count on that fixing the issue. Heat the legs entirely and adjust the whole figure how you want it to be. Seeing the actual figure you are talking about it does look very back heavy.

    Second tip is to get it in the position you need it to be and make sure it stays that way for DAYS not just minutes. For example I love Grody Shogun stuff but the legs are often too close together to stand well. So I heat the legs and body until it's really wiggly and stick a pencil between the legs and put a little weight on the top of the figure to make sure it's not leaning too far back or forward. Then I leave it that way for about a week. Works perfectly. In the beginning I did the same process and only left it like that until it completely cooled and it would always warp itself back in a few days. So the longer you keep it forced into a perfect position the better off you are.

    If none of that works you just need to decide if you are cool with a toy that doesn't stand well or if you want to try and get your money back. It's a personal choice of course and I don't like when my toys don't stand properly but there are some that I love so much it doesn't bother me.
     
  8. Madmax405

    Madmax405 Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    NYC
    Name:
    Max
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Again thank you for your advice, I appreciate everyone's ideas and when this is all said and done, I will let you know how it turned out.

    I don't mind if it doesn't stand perfectly, but I mind if it doesn't stand at all. Luckily, I do not think it will be a problem for me to get a replacement... But, I don't want to go that way unless I have to. Like I said, I hear many have this issue so if it happened twice I'd just feel silly.

    Returning it outright is not something I'm considering at all as I own every single toy in that specific Instinctoy colorway, lol I can't take away such beauty!

    I have one question for u @Waterbear.. the legs apart with pencil in the middle seems like common sense. But, as someone in an apartment with only basic tools, how would you go about keeping this large toy pushed down in the forward position for longer than i would hold it?

    Also, how hot do I go? I am comfortable heating up sofubi to swap parts but I'm not very experienced in much more. I was heating all around for 2 mins with my hair dryer on hot and high. I am not even sure if doing it for any longer would make it even softer, what do you think? Would a hairdryer be enough for this? I don't own a heatgun, and I don't have access to one anymore either (without just buying of course).

    Thanks!!!
     
  9. Waterbear

    Waterbear Comment King

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,157
    Location:
    Hiding in your toy chest
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    A hair dryer is just fine. It works like a heat gun but takes longer. I heat vinyl until it's a little too hot to handle without burning my hands. That is a hard guideline to explain but it's what I find works best.

    As far as keeping the toy in position you can hold it for a few minutes until it hardens and then just put weight on top of it. The weight will totally depend on the toy itself. I often use paperback books carefully placed on the top of the toy. Sometimes just 2 or 3 little books. Sometimes 3 or 4 big hardcover textbooks. It all depends on how much weight you need.
     
  10. smurph

    smurph Comment King

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,170
    Name:
    Sam
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Had some issues with a funky-stander some time ago, and a trusted source explained the same about vinyl memory (and the hairdryer I was using might not be generating enough heat to activate it). He recommended picking up a Hangar 9 gun, and I will the same.
    Throwing more money at your situation might seem less than optimal, but much like museum gel (or a blacklight), a solid heat gun is one of those relatively (compared to what we spend on toys) inexpensive collecting peripherals thats usefulness far outweighs the cost.

    https://www.hobbyzone.com/building-supplies/covering-related/tools-and-paints/HAN100.html
    (at risk of sounding like a sponsored ad, Amazon carries them too)

    If you do pick one up, the "low" setting is more than enough to get the job done. No issues with painted toys thus far (knock on wood) either. How soft/flexible you want to get the vinyl is really of a matter of intuition.

    Any idea if Molly is Japanese vinyl or other?
    Whether or not that has any bearing on vinyl memory, I couldn't tell you... still seems a relevant question to ask, all things considered.
     
    Madmax405 likes this.
  11. Madmax405

    Madmax405 Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    NYC
    Name:
    Max
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    @smurph thank you for your advice and sorry I missed this comment.

    I think all instinctoy is made in Japan but I cannot be sure as they do not stamp on the foot as such.

    I will DM you if you don't mind to help me select a heat gun from amazon (I have prime so it's just easier).

    Thank You, Max

    PS: I ordered the museum tack today and can try that too!
     
    smurph likes this.
  12. JoeMan

    JoeMan Mini Boss

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,109
    Location:
    NY
    flickr:
    splurrt
    Instagram:
    splurrt
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Just watch the heat gun indoors, the one time I tried to use one I ended setting off fire alarms.

    Believe it's made in China, Chinese vinyl has a tendency to be softer and more problematic in that regard.
     
    foto junkaay and Madmax405 like this.
  13. Madmax405

    Madmax405 Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    NYC
    Name:
    Max
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Thank you for your input Joe, I will keep it in mind.

    Interesting to hear it is made in China. Regardless, I've never had bad experience collecting their products, and friends I've spoken to with the same piece are doing fine. Guess I am an unlucky duck :razz:
     
  14. Vombie

    Vombie Vintage

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    7,557
    Location:
    VA
    Name:
    g
    Instagram:
    autumngloaming
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    I get a pot. Towel underneath
    Hairdryer.
    A measuring cup with ice water.

    Heat the figure. Shape. Stand in pot. Stabilize shape with one hand, or use both.
    Pour ice water in, or have a friend do it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
    AgentRavage likes this.
  15. Madmax405

    Madmax405 Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    NYC
    Name:
    Max
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Two months later I am finally ready to update and share my success!
    Thank you to @Vombie , @JoeMan , @smurph , @Waterbear , @mondocoyote , and @evom for all your advice.

    I had ended up purchasing both the museum tack and the recommended heatgun. But since I am moving now and wanted a more permanent solution (at least at first tries), I did not use the museum tack yet. I started with a certain amount of heat for a certain duration, held it in place for a certain amount of time, and then propped it up to let it set for a certain amount of time. In the beginning I was able to notice it starting to tip over after about 1-2 weeks again, but now it has been a month and it is still standing straight up.

    What finally worked for me was heating it up for 3 minutes on low heat, holding it in place for 15 minutes, and then propping it up against the wall (leaning forward) for about 2 weeks. I am happy that this is all it took and that my piece is now standing straight up, and really appreciate all the advice. The heat gun recommended to me by Smurph seemed to have been an excellent choice. I am happy it didn't get to the point where I needed to heat it up on high, or try the ice bath, but I guess those would have been the next logical options (or cutting my losses and using the tack).

    Anyway, MISSION COMPLETE, and again, thanks to everyone who helped me out with your useful advice.
     
  16. zindabad

    zindabad Toy Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2017
    Messages:
    318
    Location:
    New York
    Advice/Help with reshaping sofubi posture while standing
    Awesome stuff. You're making me want to try reseating a few of my toys just so they stand completely flat :D
     

Share This Page