Yes, it's a natural result of the plastic having aged. It's really unavoidable, and some figures utilized paint that made the condition worse (I'm thinking here of Clamp Champ, Snout Spout, Roboto, Randor and several of the Horde and Snake-Men figures.) It seems like the worst offenders are the ones that came out towards the end of the line, which may or may not be a coincidence.
Being curious, I just took all my stickies off the shelf to examine them, and 90% of them were manufactured in Mexico. The other 10% were Malaysian. None of the Taiwanese figures seem to be affected.
Use rubbing alcohol to wipe clean. It will degrease. The sticky feel should gone after several wipe.
First it will prevent the legrubbers from getting porous!
It will remove the plasticizer without damaging the paint on the figure.( alcohol could mat it)
It will easily remove the red on the silver of Robotos legs as example.
Donīt use it on the Sorceress body cause it will remove the printed pattern on her chest and donīt use it on King Randors face. I used it on every vintage figure except the Laser Lights and the giants.
Sorceress pattern and Randors face were the only placess i noticed a detachmend of painted stuff.
The other figures will be like new but you have to repeat the procedure once a year. It does not prevent/remove yellowing or the black dots unfortunately.
We have some chemists on the german forums and they told us that it would replace the lost plasticizer in the plastic on.
We have also one guy who experimented with hydrogen peroxide <H2O2> to bleach yellowed figures and he achieved some good results, without damaging the figure.Attachment 75488Attachment 75489
Some guy bleached the battle tram from the eternia playset successfully!
The Thread is here but in german: http://www.planeteternia.de/cgi-bin/...D=64388;Page=1
I have a Malaysia Beast Man that has the stickiness problem. Shame, because he's in very good shape otherwise. Neither of the two Taiwan Beast Men I've had has the problem.
It must depend on what plastic was used, because only his armor, head and limbs are sticky. The crotch and chest are fine.
I have used a few different methods.
Goo-Be-Gone: I have tried this, BUT if you have the slightest scratch on the figure in any place, the goo-be-gone will start to remove the paint from around the scratch. It does however work well for the paint rub marks left by other figures.
Peroxide: This too, peroxide is a "whitener" by nature, thus the use in some whitening teeth cleaners as well as a cheap-o hair blonding agent. It cleaned off the stickiness, but on some (mainly the dark colors) it left them with the look of a tad bit duller finish. To note, while a good cleaning agent, it didn't do as well as goo-be-gone for the minor paint rubs from other figures.
Alcohol: Rubbing alcohol has been my most used method. It not only cleans the stickiness, but also sterilizes it....so if you are iffy about who you got them from, it's a good anti-bacterial for that. I have had good luck with it, but use quick strokes and wash it with water after so the alcohol doesn't soak in.
Silicone Spray: I use this AFTER cleaning....also with small quick strokes more to "beautify" the figure's finish after cleaning. In most cases it "kind-of" brings back the original luster and makes the colors "pop" more.
The best thing that I have found though (for lightly sticky or lightly soiled---meaning dusty or mildly dirty(mud etc.)), is to use DAWN dish washing liquid and hot water (unless your figures have lights or metal components). DAWN is a grease cutter, so a good soak and washing in soapy DAWN dishwater does the trick for the most part on lightly sticky or lightly soiled figures. The reason I capitalize DAWN is just becasue I have tried other dish detergents and none of them work as well in my experience.
I hope this helps. I haven't tried the previously mentioned 409 or any other household cleaners, mainly because the chemicals used in them could damage the toy. Maybe not right away, but over time it certainly could with the chemicals breaking down the plastic or the coatings. Just be careful using goo-be-gone or peroxide or alcohol because too much will damage the finish or soak in and damage it slowly long term. If you try the bleach route, be sure to use color safe bleach unless the product you are cleaning is all white. I used bleach once on a hockey stick (where tape covers it on the blade) and it made it white, but also made it look discolored compared to the rest. So....
If its all white, you could use bleach. If it is free 100% of scratches you could use goo-be-gone. Peroxide will get rid of the sticky but depending on the quality of plastic it could leave it dull looking and dull to the touch. Alcohol is a good sanitizer, but as with anything not dish soap or water, it could also break down the plastic if you expose the toy to it for too long.
Liquid Wrench.....best thing for sticky legs,pesky marks & it get's the red off of Roboto & Two Bads legs & feet.
Here's a question: Is breaking down plastic toxic? Should toddlers be walking around with sticky Buzz-Offs in their mouths?
That's a great question MLHumble. I've been putting together a loose collection for my baby boy who doesn't know he's gonna love He-Man yet. Never thought about that.