I Gave a Frog a Hip Replacement: How to Repair Your Action Figures

The joy of toys seems to have no age restriction. As a youngster, I’d have Hot Wheels cars ramping off the kitchen table or He-Man launching in the air to make it across a “deadly mud pit.” With a lot of chipped paint on my cars and some scrapes and broken limbs on my action figures, playing with toys was super entertaining for me. A lot of my toys, however, took the beating for my enjoyment.

Nowadays, I am still a kid (just in a bigger body) who has a lot of toys. My appreciation for them has grown and so has my handling (obviously). I have some figures that seem indestructible, but there are a select few that need the slightest bump to break a joint. Throw three young kids into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. They love coming to my office to see my collection, and there are times when they have asked so nicely that I give in and let them play with some of my figures. Ninety percent of the time, they are pretty good, as they know these are “Dad’s toys,” but there have been a few accidents.

I’m a pretty good “think out the box” kind of guy. I usually make a plan to mend or fix things that are lying around. So, you ask, what’s with the title?

Someone call 9-1-1

Well, my daughter was playing with Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy from the Diamond Select Toys collections. It was only a matter of time before Monsieur Frog Legs broke and Miss Pork Chop snapped.

Frog’s leg

Cue the Doc McStuffins theme song music…

I am not a handyman by any professional means, but I do have the odd tool lying around. So with a limited skill set and an overactive imagination, I seem to be able to mend and repair most injuries.

Tools I use

The tools I consider essential for fixing my beat-up toys are:
A drill with a varying drill bit set
A mini screwdriver set
Longnose pliers
Wirecutter pliers
Tweezers
Fast-setting super glue

My operating tool kit

Mr. Frog and Ms. Piggy’s operation

In Kermit’s case, I used the small screw from the nose piece of some Halloween glasses. Working with such persnickety small pieces, you only get one shot. I had to drill a small hole into the hip joint to fit the screw. Using tweezers and a steady hand, I managed to screw the new hip in place and add super glue to secure it.

The size of the screw, it’s pretty small
Post-op

Miss Piggy was a little different. I repaired her by using the glasses arm to secure the leg back in place. (You can see the placement by the X-ray below.)

The glasses arm is on the left

Way of the “exploding knee”

I used the same method to replace Bruce Lee‘s knee. He had snapped it when trying to do the crane kick from the Karate Kid movie. By drilling two small holes into the kneecap and the top of his shin bone, I was able to repair the leg with a nail and still give him a very movable range of motion.

Pre-op
Pilot hole for the drill
Slow drill for kneecap
Inserting new knee into the leg
SUCCESS!

But, in case you are all wondering—all three patients are recovering well and taking to the rehab great.

Are there any of you out there who have gone to painstaking lengths to save a toy or action figure? If so, what creative method and tools did you use to fix your plastic patients, and were you successful? Leave your comments and steps down below.

Sorry, got to go, just got beeped that Superman needs a “ball of the foot” replacement. Nothing that an angle grinder and a three-quarter nail can’t fix…

Man of Steel and nail
Post-op

Cheers.

– Gibbo

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