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Thread: What causes blisters to yellow?

  1. #1
    Court Magician
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    Yellowed Bubbles

    Hi,

    Can anyone say for sure what causes MOTU and other carded figures' bubbles
    to yellow? I know UV resistant cases are available to protect them but is it the likes of smoke and direct sunlight that's responsible or are there more/other causes?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Skeletje
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    Hello,

    I think it's the exposure to light that is the main cause. It doens't have to be direct sunlight but just regular daylight can make them turn yellow in time.
    I don't think smoke has anything to do because if that was the case a good cleaning product would able you to wipe it off.
    The best you can do I think is to keep your carded figs in a dark place, that's the best way to prevent yellowing of the bubbles.

    And yes those uv cases will help but if you can trust them 100% is still a question.

    Greetings Skeletje!

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior Dr Bo's Avatar
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    For bubbles I don't know, but I know that paper yellow due a form of acid contained in the wood use in the paper fabrication.
    It's a really light acid, but it is this who cause paper to turn yellow with time. Of course sunlight cause the paper to turn yellow as well, but some paper can do it by their own due to the acid they contain. Some paper have now balanced acid ratio in order to be kept longer, but cheap paper usually don't. Notice how fast a newspaper will turn yellow.

    Maybe some similar reaction is also involved on some bubble material, which could explain how figure that stayed in boxes for years have yellow.
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  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior
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    From what I read,temperature also is a factor.

  5. #5
    Court Magician
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    Thank you all for your input!

  6. #6
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    I'm sure smoke can play a factor. Both my parents smoke and it was a tough job to get a "smoke screen" off the TV and it is still there. I think the plastic would absorb the smoke...
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  7. #7
    Refreshing Midwinter's Avatar
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    Most people hit the nail on the head - direct sunlight will cause photodegredation (the main cause for discoloration)

    Most new toys (not sure about the MOTU packaging) has "plasticizers" (this is what you smell when you open a new toy) , and over time these will evaporate and leave the plactic defenseless. At this point you need to take care of things that are platic be it a figure (Extendar - mine is turning green) or the casing if the figure is still MOC.

    The way I have come to understand it - the figure or packaging may have been exposed to UV rays years earlier and will not manifest any signs of discoloration until years later (kind of like Skin Cancer - you may have had exposure to UV rays when you were young, but not have any effects until you are very old, or the same with eyes - cataracts are caused by early years of sun damage)

    Hope this maybe helps.
    In Midwinter, the heat from the oven baking my Shrinky Dinks is all I need!

  8. #8
    Court Magician
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwinter
    Most people hit the nail on the head - direct sunlight will cause photodegredation (the main cause for discoloration)

    Most new toys (not sure about the MOTU packaging) has "plasticizers" (this is what you smell when you open a new toy) , and over time these will evaporate and leave the plactic defenseless. At this point you need to take care of things that are platic be it a figure (Extendar - mine is turning green) or the casing if the figure is still MOC.

    The way I have come to understand it - the figure or packaging may have been exposed to UV rays years earlier and will not manifest any signs of discoloration until years later (kind of like Skin Cancer - you may have had exposure to UV rays when you were young, but not have any effects until you are very old, or the same with eyes - cataracts are caused by early years of sun damage)

    Hope this maybe helps.
    Thanks for the info! I hope they don't get cancer and pass away.. A putrifying MOC just wouldn't be the same

  9. #9
    Refreshing Midwinter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVE-OR
    Thanks for the info! I hope they don't get cancer and pass away.. A putrifying MOC just wouldn't be the same
    Yes, your local hospital might not admit an ill Fisto in their care.

    I wish there was a way to reverse the effects of this discoloration, but it appears as of yet noone has found a way to help.
    In Midwinter, the heat from the oven baking my Shrinky Dinks is all I need!

  10. #10
    Court Magician
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midwinter
    I wish there was a way to reverse the effects of this discoloration, but it appears as of yet noone has found a way to help.
    Agreed, that would be great. Shame

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior
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    What causes blisters to yellow?

    Is it sunlight, heat, warmth, etc?

    I've been looking at buying vintage MOC characters, and does a yellow blister due more damage to condition than say dinged corners, veins, price stickers?

  12. #12
    NA mini-sub Supporter ! Arkangel's Avatar
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    yellow plastic is caused from light exposure or smoke, i dont know about heat but i can tell you heat and cold will make the bubbles crack, speaking from the tongue of an (unfortunate) experienced man.

  13. #13
    Eternian Arashikage King Kahn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithfuchs View Post
    Is it sunlight, heat, warmth, etc?

    I've been looking at buying vintage MOC characters, and does a yellow blister due more damage to condition than say dinged corners, veins, price stickers?

    sadness.....sadness by not being opened is what caused a bubble to yellow
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  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior
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    light, smoke, age.

    plastic degrades over time, it's a fact of life.

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    The Cerebral Assassin hhhelmsley's Avatar
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    Is just the time.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior Mr. Prozac's Avatar
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    Just the old '80's plastic degrading over time, unfortunalely.
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  17. #17
    The One He-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King Kahn View Post
    sadness.....sadness by not being opened is what caused a bubble to yellow
    Seriously, I think it is so sad when someone opens a figure that has been in it's package since the 80's. I can understand if you want to open something made today over keeping it packaged but to open something that has survived that long is horrible!

  18. #18
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior okydoky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King Kahn View Post
    sadness.....sadness by not being opened is what caused a bubble to yellow
    Funny...
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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior
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    So if it is inevitable with age, how can you still find some with clear bubbles? There has to be a way to stop the yellowing, right?

    Keith

  21. #21
    Bringer of death joeybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithfuchs View Post
    So if it is inevitable with age, how can you still find some with clear bubbles? There has to be a way to stop the yellowing, right?

    Keith
    Yea just open it..

    That stops the yellow..

    I think mattel made these knowing they were going to be torn open by all the young kiddies. I dont think they knew at the time that there was going to be a huge demand 25 years later, for figures to still be sealed. The might have used a better plastic process? Im not sure.

    I know plastic isn't too fun to work with, I worked at a plastic injection mold company for a while, You throw out or re-use more parts than actual good ones being made.

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior
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    Opening the figure isn't an option for me guys..I already have a complete loose collection from when I was a kid!
    I'm now looking at getting a MOC for each figure as well, and was just curious why some have yellow, but others don't.
    So I figured that there had to be a way to preserve the bubbles?

  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior
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    Yellow Bubbles

    Don’t we all hate when the bubbles in our collection develop that yellow color, bathing our figures in the familiar urine-tinted glow. Does anyone have any ideas or advice on how to keep vintage moc bubbles from turning yellow? Is it true shielding them from light helps?

    I fear it is inevitable that all the bubbles on the vintage line will eventually yellow. Someone please tell me I’m wrong.

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior beastor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greyskull View Post
    From what I read,temperature also is a factor.
    Yes heat definitely plays a role in plastic breaking down. This will even effect the newer figures. I had a clone wars trooper in my car for about two years. He was not exposed to the sun but the car would get really hot over the summer. Now he is just as yellow as my old Storm Shadow figure.
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