Saturday, October 2, 2010

Refurbishing a boxed doll: Henshin Super Chibimoon

I really like fixing up beat up old Sailor Moon items. Not only is it a frugal way to add good looking items to your collection, but it adds an extra element of creativity to the hobby. I recently found a rare Henshin Super Sailor Chibimoon doll for a great deal. It came in a condition similar to this:

The former owner stated she had wanted to fix up the doll, but didn't have time for it, so I decided to take the task up and restore it. I prefer the aesthetic of boxed items, and while I could just let her wear her accessories and let the extra stuff sit in the bottom of the box, Chibimoon looked kind of lonely in that big old box by herself. So I decided to try and replace what was missing.

First, I fixed up her hair. This time, I just boiled her hair (dunk the doll's hair in boiling water for about five seconds, then take it out and brush it) to make it smooth and straight, and then tied it into pigtails with new elastics like these. You can get these in the hair accessory section of any drugstore or Wal-Mart for fairly cheap. I use them on all my Sailor Moon dolls. The older rubber bands the dolls come with tend to dry up and sometimes leave gummy residue on the dolls' hair, so I usually get rid of them.

Next, I googled some MIB Henshin Chibimoons to check out what the set originally looked like. It looks like this. So obviously, I'm missing a few pieces: the bows and flowers, a heart decal for the henshin dress, the twinkle bell, the gold headband (how come I can NEVER find these? Even gloves don't get lost as often!) and the pink shoes, which I don't actually see included in the pictures I've found so I'll ignore them. Another detail I'm ignoring: her shoulder pad thingys need to be replaced.

I decided to start by bagging up the accessories I did have. I used baggies from craft store items like beads and gems, which are pretty much the same bags that hold Sailor Moon dolls' accessories. She had her gloves and choker, so I bagged those up and put them in the box. I thought Henshin Chibimoon needed a crystal carillon and gold headband more than my other dolls, what with that big, empty box. I have a couple of loose ESM dolls around, and one kindly donated her headband (which I put in a smaller baggie after taking this picture); then, I took the Crystal Carillon from my Bandai Asia Super Chibimoon, since you can't really see it in the box anyway. I also found some tie wraps and plastic to hold the doll in place in the box.

Next, I took a trip to the craft store. I bought a square of felt and cut out a heart shape to fix up the casual dress. I also got red ribbon with gold trim from the Christmas isle to sort of match the bows that are supposed to come with the dress. I even put some velcro on the back. The flower accessories I figure I will never find and I don't want to wait until I come across a perfect alternative, so I just got something I thought was kind of close. I have no idea how I would get a plastic blister like what the doll is actually supposed to come with, so I found a piece of plastic, cut it, then glued some velcro on so the bows and flowers can be removed.

And that's pretty much it! If you're doing something similar and are stuck on where to get accessories, I would try asking around the Livejournal community serasell (link in the sidebar, must join to post) and see if anyone has something. I sell doll accessories there sometimes too. Here's the finished result:

Other notes: I think it's kind of strange that they bothered to make to bodice out of a special material and add velcro to her henshin accessories when she has a full dress that goes over it anyway. In comparison, the Henshin Super Sailor Moon has a skirt that goes over the bodice and casual accessories that attach to it, but it's still part of the casual outfit. The bodice and shoulder wings on these fukus are made out of pretty crappy material tbh. I'm glad they got their act together for the Beauty Change dolls. Of course, overall, I really love this doll, and I'd love to add a boxed Henshin Super Sailor Moon doll to my shelf someday too!


~CyCyN~ said...


I love it that you're a "hands on" collector!

This was pretty interesting! Believe it or not, I've never thought of this before. I mean, we get this idea that toys are this untouchable immaculate object and all it's parts and components should remain so as well, but stuff like the rubber band is so true! Those bands are full of fail and it's no fun having to brush the sticky residuals out of the doll's hair.

All the tiny changes made a HUGE difference in the esthetic overall look of the box, it's now a completely displayable item, instead of the way it looked which was... well... you got this sense of abandonment.

Loved this post! Interesting side hobby of the collecting hobby, hope you show us more little tips like these.


Holly said...

Wow, thank you! I was actually kind of surprised how well it worked out, lol. I see a lot of people fixing their dolls' hair or finding accessories for her, but I never really see people trying to fix up the boxes they come with. Although sometimes there's not much you can really do, but even just standing a doll up straight or tiewrapping her to the box can make a big difference, I think.

Sometimes when I get already MIB items I take them out, but them on my shelf, and think to myself "now what?" LOL.

larrymcberry said...

Great job on refurbishing on the henshin chibimoon