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Yellowing bubbles - observations

Discuss vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars toys from the 1977-1985 era.
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OTB Records
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Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby OTB Records » Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:57 pm

Hi all,

Yellowing bubbles! Probably been talked about numerous times before so please forgive me if I'm going over well trodden ground.

I've so many things to ask so I hope members don't mind if I do so via questions:

1: When was it first noticed that bubbles were turning yellow?
2: Is it inevitable that once a bubble starts yellowing then it will continue to get darker until it is brown?
3: Is it safe to say that if a bubble hadn't started to yellow after say 15 years then it will never go yellow?
4: What seems to be the contributing environmental factors that contribute to yellowing - heat, moisture, cold etc.?

I know what I am asking is along the lines of: "How long is a bit of string", but I would be interested to know what collectors think.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby Mr. Bob A. Feet » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:34 pm

OTB Records wrote:Hi all,

Yellowing bubbles! Probably been talked about numerous times before so please forgive me if I'm going over well trodden ground.

I've so many things to ask so I hope members don't mind if I do so via questions:

1: When was it first noticed that bubbles were turning yellow?
2: Is it inevitable that once a bubble starts yellowing then it will continue to get darker until it is brown?
3: Is it safe to say that if a bubble hadn't started to yellow after say 15 years then it will never go yellow?
4: What seems to be the contributing environmental factors that contribute to yellowing - heat, moisture, cold etc.?

I know what I am asking is along the lines of: "How long is a bit of string", but I would be interested to know what collectors think.

Thanks in advance.


I'm no expert in fact a newb but I don't think it takes long at all as I've seen plenty of "new" modern line card bubbles already turning yellow but I guess it's mainly environmental (sun!?) and I guess the plastic used as some lines seem to be more prone to yellowing than others but I've read on here that someone has had two cards side by side and thus exposed to the same conditions and one turns while the other doesn't!

I think the best bet is to use some sort of UV protection which should in theory prevent any yellowing or further yellowing if it has already begun but it is an oddity indeed and one thing that crossed my mind is maybe the colour of backing card behind the figure? probably not but hey with the yellow backing it does look somewhat less apparent at least :D
Last edited by Mr. Bob A. Feet on Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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x-pack
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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby x-pack » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:35 pm

From what I know its caused by certain plastics exposure to light.

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby maxf » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:49 pm

I think it is to do with the grade of plastic used. Certainly cases of potf figures have been opened and bubbles inside had yellowed.

Very few 12 backs have yellowed bubbles and they were produced before the major oil price hike in 1979.

Sunlight will also yellow a bubble (and fade a card back) but it isn't the sole factor.
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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby pizzathehutt » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:39 pm

I can remember seeing carded figures with yellow bubbles on the shelves when Jedi was in the cinema so it doesn't take long that's fo sho!
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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby edd_jedi » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:23 pm

One of the first MOCs I ever bought was a Palitoy ROTJ Logray in 1994, and that had a piss yellow bubble even then. So it was definitely well under 10 years.

Personally I don't think anything is 100% safe, plastic will degrade eventually whether it takes years or decades. So I think anybody paying a massive premium for clear bubbles is wasting their time.

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby jedisearcher » Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:06 pm

I've got a screwdriver set and the cover on that has yellowed. It's old, but not as old as some of the MOC's. Without having the ability to recreate the actual plastic used for the bubbles, I don't think we'll ever know what's making them yellow.

Some figure are more prone than others though, so perhaps on some level the chemical reaction between figure and bubble contributes to the other factor of the poorer quality of the later plastics (not only do they yellow, they're also much more brittle, so chemically they're deteriorating and becoming more unstable).
WTB thread - most Palitoy 30b's and 3 debut 45a's: http://www.starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17224

Memories from a 1980s Toy Shop: http://www.starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24289

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby tiefighterboy » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:30 pm

I have had star cases turn yellow and become brittle. Cheap ass plastic.

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby palitoyjunky » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:58 am

It's a very interesting subject for many reasons including purely cosmetic, the fact that premiums will b paid for MOCs with crystal clear bubbles and even being a factor in identifying a fake MOC ie perhaps a POTF MOC with a crystal clear bubble :?: :!: Saying that there are still MOC POTF out there with v clear looking bubbles :)

Another interesting study regarding yellow bubbles is Kenner v Palitoy :idea:
Now it's a general acceptance that there are far more Kenner MOCs out there with yellow bubbles than Palitoy particularly with later MOCs-the most blatant being POTF v Tri-logo. I think it needs to b noted that in terms of numbers far more Kenner MOCs exist compared to Palitoy period :!:
A great fact for us collectors is the 12, 20&21 backs seem to b least affected, I personally have only seen v few and we are talking a bubble tinge not full blown yellow/brown :D Again overall the SW cards are prob least in number compared to all Empire and Jedi and again looking at Empire and Jedi I have seen far more yellow bubble Kenner MOCs compared to Palitoy so being a Palitoy collector am happy :lol:

So as to diff types of plastic again the biggest diff comparing Kenner to Palitoy is the POTF v Tri-logo. The Tri bubble is so much thinner compared to most other bubble types and some Palitoy Jedi MOCs also have the Tri bubble type.

Maybe environment is a factor and diff counties have diff kinds of weather.
Sunlight can defo affect a MOC horribly ie the awful fading that can happen and indeed bubble and figure yellowing. Then again I know one ex big time collector who had his POTF packed away and they were packed away back in the day mint with crystal clear bubbles only to b unpacked years later showing yellow and even brown bubbles :!:
Looking for mint sealed or unused Palitoy Empire.

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby OTB Records » Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:16 pm

Very good points 'PalitoyJunky'. Bit worried about what you said about perfect MoC figures being stored for years for them only to degrade and even self-destruct :o I know these pieces were only made as toys and not manufactured to have any longevity. However, collectors today are paying serious money for pristine figures. Are they just expensive time-bombs?

Also the AFA thing bothers me. Okay they grade a figure on a certain day but just because they mount it in an acrylic case doesn't stop it deteriorating. In fact I wonder if this 'slabbing' of MoC figures only adds to potential deterioration? Think about it - yellowing bubbles are down to chemical reactions and fumes/gases given off by the plastics, card, paper etc used. Surely adding more chemically reactive substances to the equation (such as AFA cases - glues and plastics used) this will exasperate the situation!

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby maxf » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:23 pm

OTB Records wrote: I know these pieces were only made as toys and not manufactured to have any longevity. However, collectors today are paying serious money for pristine figures. Are they just expensive time-bombs?


Pretty much! But then collectors will pay well into 5 figures for a decent Andy Warhol Polaroid which will fade to pinky white in a short time, as they have a limited life. Thats madness, IMO - at least at the end of a MOC figure's yellowing process you'll still have a moc figure and nice cardback... it will just look like the figure has been smoking 30 a day for the last 50 years ;)
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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby jedisearcher » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:02 pm

OTB Records wrote: Are they just expensive time-bombs?


Sorry but that's just scaremongering. Where's the evidence?

Show me any evidence of figures self-destructing in any significant number. And this, despite being 40+ years old and being sent all over the world, many of them multiple times.

I can't even think of one example of someone on a forum posting that a MOC has spontaneously destroyed itself for no reason so why some people think it's all going to happen imminently is beyond reason.

It's just not happening :P
WTB thread - most Palitoy 30b's and 3 debut 45a's: http://www.starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=17224

Memories from a 1980s Toy Shop: http://www.starwarsforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=24289

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby Dublinjeff » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:20 pm

Interesting thread. Great read!
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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby theslider » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:52 pm

jedisearcher wrote:
OTB Records wrote: Are they just expensive time-bombs?


Sorry but that's just scaremongering. Where's the evidence?

:P


Interesting you should say that but the evidence is there in the non-sonic welded carded figures! They've literally blown up!

Like any collectible they need to be stored correctly. In a temperature and light controlled environment a carded figure could last a thousand years!
Need the following Palitoy carded/reseals:

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Re: Yellowing bubbles - observations

Postby Stargeezer » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:11 am

Also 12 Backs are prone to yellowing ive have seen a few and once saw a 12 back R2 with an almost sunset yellow bubble...

Seems tri logo's are not to prone to yellowing, but they have the fragile bubbles...
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