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Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Discuss vintage Kenner and Palitoy Star Wars toys from the 1977-1985 era.
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Snaketibe
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Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Snaketibe » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:07 am

I posted a reply in this thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33000 about a Prune Face figure of mine which turned yellow all by itself without any help from UV, smoke, moisture, dirt or any other obvious cause. Pomse2001 suggested I start this thread so people can upload pictures of any figures of theirs which have become 'sick' and yellowed, despite being kept in apparently perfect conditions, so here it is!

First up, said Prune Face. It's the light green leg variant shown on the right below, next to a dark green leg version for comparison. The one on the right had a perfectly correct coloured torso when placed in my display cabinet 22 years ago. However, recently when I removed it to check the COO, I discovered to my dismay that it had yellowed badly beneath his cloak. I don't smoke, the figure had been exposed to no sunlight or other UV source, I use dehumidifers in the house to keep the moisture down, and have certainly looked after the figure as well as I could have, short of sealing it under an inert nitrogen atmosphere in a dark box of silica gel.

Prune Face 01.jpg


Mind you, if you think that's unfortunate, try this next one on for size. This Yak Face was pristine when placed in a plastic bag and that inside a box in a cool dark, dry place 22 years ago. I recently dug out my spare figures and found his right torso had started turning yellow, and at the shoulder this appears to be creeping onto his back as well :-(... To coin a phrase... bugger!

Yak Face 01.jpg

Yak Face 02.jpg

Yak Face 03.jpg


Does anyone else have any similar tales of woe with well looked after figures discolouring all by themselves? If so, please post pictures so we can all commiserate together :-)
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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby bosk70 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:16 pm

I must admit that one theory that intrigued me for the cause of this was mentioned on a retro blasting vid some time ago where I think he put forward a theory that overhand ling i.e. the sweat etc. from hands over the years of play, building up on the plastic and producing a chemical reaction. Obviously this would be the theory in the case where the figs had not been heavily exposed to sun light and other climate issues.

I suppose even moc figs have been handled during production so they may suffer too if this was found to be a cause of this issue, other than the usual frosting etc. where the plastic and oil sticky-ness of the plastic, naturally breaks down over the years. Think a lot of this is all theoretical :)
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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby MarkG » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:04 pm

Last time I had a look at my Yak he had a slight tinge on yellow to his body...and he's been in a acid free bag, in a box for the last 25+ years...

Poor Chewbacca was getting green limb syndrome 20+ years ago... so it's possible some figures are more prone to it too.

Age gets the better of us all anyway... so our 'toys' are aging with us..
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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Mini99 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:13 pm

MarkG wrote:Last time I had a look at my Yak he had a slight tinge on yellow to his body...and he's been in a acid free bag, in a box for the last 25+ years...

Poor Chewbacca was getting green limb syndrome 20+ years ago... so it's possible some figures are more prone to it too.

Age gets the better of us all anyway... so our 'toys' are aging with us..


Mine must look ancient :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Snaketibe » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:19 am

MarkG wrote:Last time I had a look at my Yak he had a slight tinge on yellow to his body...and he's been in a acid free bag, in a box for the last 25+ years...

Poor Chewbacca was getting green limb syndrome 20+ years ago... so it's possible some figures are more prone to it too.

Age gets the better of us all anyway... so our 'toys' are aging with us..

I'm sure you're probably quite right about some figures being more prone to it, or at least some COO variants of some figures (not that I could tell you which ones!). Chewie famously had his 'green-limbs' variant at least back in the 90's, and possibly earlier, and that surely must simply be discolouration / degradation rather than a bona fide plastic colour difference between the shade Kenner used for his torso and that used for his limbs. Why the hell would they deliberately make a Chewie with green limbs, for god's sake? Even back in the early 90's when some collectors started banging on about the green-limbs Chewie I wasn't interested; it was clearly degradation then, and it still is today... Of course you could argue that if only one or two COO Chewbacca variants are the ones whose limbs turn green through degradation, then perversely by definition, a green-limbs Chewie genuinely is a true variant!... It's just not one that I personally want.

Mind you, most of us are quite happy to stick a purple-smocked Ugnaught in our cabinets, when they almost certainly are simply blue ones which have decayed / discoloured / degraded over time (I don't recall ever seeing a purple smocked Ugnaught carded, so perhaps it's an oxidation process in his case?). And some (most?) Squid Head cape colour variants may very well be caused in a similar way. My point of course is that some colour degradation 'variants' are actually treated as mainstream variants by most collectors... I just don't count unevenly yellowing Prune or Yak Faces as being ones... Or green-limbed wookiees ;-)

Sadly of course if colour degradation is, as I suspect, ultimately the fate of almost all Star Wars figures, then enjoy them as they look today... they'll never look as good again :shock:. It also makes the current trend for rocketing prices doubly eyebrow-raising, given that you could spend a fortune on a pristine loose figure today, only to have it turn yellow before your eyes within a few short years like almost every POTF coin card bubble has (my own formerly crystal-clear POTF carded Romba's bubble is looking decidedly brown and sorry for itself these days :-(). So love your figures today, for tomorrow they might make you hate them ;-)

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Pomse2001 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:54 am

It could be interesting to get pictures of the coo of the figures that get added to this thread to see if it is the same coo variants that get the same
spots, yellow body etc. etc.

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby xbomber » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:04 am

Liver spot Leia. HK coo.
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This 'lower end' collector has 2 VCJs, 2 mint yaks (one graded) and one near mint blue snag. Not bad for a 'lower end' collector! lol

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Pomse2001 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:27 am

xbomber wrote:Liver spot Leia. HK coo.


Damn this is the first leia with spots that I have seen :shock:

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Dare » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:09 pm

I'm new to the forum but thought I'd share the HK coo Leia Hoth figure I have in my loose collection. As you can see from the pictures it also seems to be suffering with brown spots in the plastic. The figure does have a lonely existence separated from the rest of my set. :?
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If it's a Fett I'm interested.... :wink:

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby AL_Bundy » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:15 pm

Has any one tried this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpucrWSm3UQ , although I would not try it on a Yak, leave it for a beater.
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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby jayums » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:58 pm

:shock: now sat watching my nice minty loose run on the shelf, sobbing as they imperceptibly yet inevitably degrade into a yellow plastic mush :cry:

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Pomse2001 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:38 am

AL_Bundy wrote:Has any one tried this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpucrWSm3UQ , although I would not try it on a Yak, leave it for a beater.


There was a thread about it on the forum some years ago where some members tried it. I do not know if they are still white :?

see the link viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7435&hilit=peroxide

and on this link it does not always work :( viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19060&p=265797&hilit=peroxide#p265797

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby edd_jedi » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:51 am

I don't buy all this preservation bollocks. Yes of course keeping a MOC out of direct sunlight will stop it fading or out of a damp loft will stop it warping, but other than that I really don't see what people think they can do to stop the natural degradation of plastic. Keeping things in the dark, fresh air, climate control, all a complete waste of time IMO.

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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby tobedesu » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:16 pm

My childhood Hoth Wampa which had been in the loft for over 30 years in its box, in another box, in a plastic bag.
It's yellowed but not bad at all for a well-played with toy.

I personally think that these toys, displayed or packed away, should easily last at least another 30 years.
Obviously if they're displayed in a cabinet in a room that gets hours of sunlight a day then fading and/or discolouring will occur.
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Re: Figures That Yellow, Even When Looked After

Postby Mr. Tie » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:29 pm

xbomber wrote:Liver spot Leia. HK coo.


I had a few vintage snowtroopers that got a lot of brown spots on their arms and legs. And this was only 10 years after I had bought them new as a child. It also appeared on the Lobot figure and some of my stormtroopers :roll: I don't own them anymore, sold them at last... :D
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