1. Guides
  2. Operation Restoration: A Detailed Guide on How to Fix Loose Action Figure Joints

Operation Restoration: A Detailed Guide on How to Fix Loose Action Figure Joints

Jun 20, 2024

Action figures hold a special place in many hearts, symbolizing our favorite characters from comics, movies, or video games. However, over time and through regular use, these treasured collectibles can become less lively due to loose joints.

This issue may appear challenging, but there’s no need to worry! Restoring your action figure’s original vigor is easier than you might imagine. Our guide will explain the process of fixing loose action figure joints, enabling your once drooping and static figures to regain their dynamic and flexible stances.


In the following content, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of identifying problematic joints, applying step-by-step techniques to rectify them, and even exploring advanced fixes such as silicone shock oil.

We’ll also address frequently asked questions to establish a solid foundation of knowledge and guide you toward a future of successful action figure maintenance.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn to identify and fix loose joints on action figures using a step-by-step guide
  • Explore advanced solutions, such as silicone shock oil, for maintaining action figure flexibility
  • Gain a deeper understanding of action figure maintenance through frequently asked questions

Identifying the Problem

Reasons Behind Loose Action Figure Joints

Loose action figure joints can be a result of several factors that are essential to understand before attempting any fixes. Most loose joints occur due to:

  • Usage and Degradation: Frequent manipulation of the action figure puts stress on the joints, causing the plastic to wear out and loosen over time.
  • Temperature Changes: When exposed to fluctuating temperatures, the plastic in action figures can expand and contract in response to heat and cold, ultimately leading to loose joints.
  • Production Issues: In some cases, action figures might come with loose joints directly from the manufacturer because of quality control shortcomings.

Before embarking on any joint-fixing journey, it is crucial to have all the required tools and materials on hand. These may include:

  • Pliers
  • Small screwdriver
  • Clear nail polish or floor polish
  • Tissue paper or cloth
  • Silicone shock oil (for advanced fixes)

Easy Steps to Fixing Loose Joints in Action Figures

Step 3.1: Identify the Problematic Joint

First, determine which specific joint is hard to loose by carefully moving each joint one at a time to locate the one requiring attention.

Step 3.2: Careful Disassembly (If Needed)

In some cases, it might be necessary to disassemble the part containing the loose joint. Use a screwdriver or pliers gently to avoid causing any permanent damage.

Step 3.3: Polish Application

Using a small brush, dip it into clear nail polish or floor polish, and apply a thin layer onto the loose joint. This aims to increase the joint’s thickness by adding an additional layer.

Step 3.4: Drying Time

Allow the action figure to dry for several hours, making sure not to move the joint during this period. This will help the polish set in effectively.

Step 3.5: Assess the Joint

Once the polish has thoroughly dried, test the joint to see if it has become firm enough. If not, consider applying another coat of polish and repeating the process until the joint reaches the desired level of friction and tightness.


Advanced Fixes: Silicone Shock Oil

In cases of severely loosened action figure joints, silicone shock oil, commonly used in RC vehicles, can be an effective remedy. The application closely mirrors the nail polish technique. Gently apply a minimal quantity of the shock oil to the problematic joint, let it dry, and then evaluate any improvements.


Advanced Fixes: Silicone Shock Oil


Frequently Asked Questions

Are these methods applicable to all action figure joints?

Although these techniques are generally widely applicable, there could be instances where they may not be appropriate, particularly for vintage or highly valuable figures. Consulting an expert is always recommended.

What should I do if the joint becomes too tight after treatment?

If the joint tightens excessively post applying nail polish or silicone shock oil, gently remove the surplus using fine sandpaper with caution to avoid harming the action figure.

Is it safe to use other oils or adhesives for this procedure?

Preferably, use clear nail polish, floor polish, or silicone shock oil, as these options pose less risk to your action figure’s plastic material. Employing unsuitable substances might lead to unwanted results, such as discoloration or further loosening.

How can I keep action figure joints from loosening initially?

It’s difficult to entirely prevent loose joints due to natural wear and tear. Nevertheless, gentle handling, avoiding extreme temperatures, and proper storage can aid in preserving the joints’ durability over time.

How can I tighten loose joints in my action figures?

One simple method to tighten loose action figure joints involves applying several layers of clear nail polish. Move the joint between each coat to ensure it’s not stuck. Allow the nail polish to dry before testing the joint’s tightness.

What can I do to fix broken toy limbs?

To fix broken toy limbs, use an appropriate adhesive such as super glue. Brands like Loctite, Bob Smith Industries, and Gorilla Glue offer reliable superglue options. Apply a small amount of glue to the broken parts and hold them together until the glue sets.

What household items can I use to fix loose joints?

Household items like clear nail polish, freezer paper, or PTFE tape (Teflon tape) can be used to fix loose joints. Apply multiple coats of nail polish if needed, insert a small piece of paper behind the joint, or wrap a ball of a thin layer of PTFE tape around the joint to tighten it.

Are there specialized products for repairing loose action figure joints?

Yes, there are several products designed specifically to repair loose action figure joints. One such product is Krazy Glue, while others include various types of super glue made by Loctite, Bob Smith Industries, and Gorilla Glue.

How do Play Arts Kai and Mafex address joint issues?

Play Arts Kai and Mafex figures use unique joint designs to improve articulation and durability. Some of these joints use a ratcheting mechanism or additional materials, such as metal, to ensure a more stable and reliable connection between parts.

What methods can I use to loosen stiff plastic joints?

To loosen stiff plastic joints, try using a hairdryer to gently heat the area around the joint. The warmth will allow the plastic to expand slightly, making it easier to move. Alternatively, place the action figure in the freezer for about 30 minutes, as this can help reset any stressed plastic and make it more pliable. Always exercise caution when heating or freezing action figures to avoid damaging them.

Closing Thoughts

Addressing loose joints in action figures can be a simple process that yields satisfying results. Equipped with the right tools and a patient approach, it’s possible to restore the possibility and dynamism that initially made these figures appealing.

Caring for action figures properly and handling them gently ensures their longevity, so don’t lose hope if a loose joint occurs. Simply refer back to guides and videos like this one on fixing loose action figure joints, and continue enjoying your role as an action figure collector and restorer.

This guide is intended to be informative and beneficial for both experienced collectors and newcomers alike. The world of action figures offers endless opportunities for collecting and enjoyment, so carry on exploring it with confidence and enthusiasm.