Saturday, October 19, 2013

TUTORIAL: Saving Barbie's Neck (during head removal)

Tools needed: One pair of needle-nose pliers.
[Caution: try at your own risk; no method is 100% foolproof.]

Many trakes occur when a head removal [on Barbie] is attempted without careful planning.

Underneath Barbie's head there are two fixtures that must be dealt with: the stop and the grapnel.

Most collectors break the neck assembly after successfully getting the head past the stop upon resistance from the grapnel.
The best approach is as follows:
First, work the head past the stop.
Second, reach between the head and stop [with the needle-nose pliers] and grab the stem of the grapnel.
Now, you can pull the head as hard as you need to. You are pulling against the pliers and not against Barbie's neck pin. Heat will probably help this process, but I have never used it. Worst-case scenario, you will break or damage the grapnel in the process. Where this has happened, my ladies are no worse for wear. I believe the grapnel is a child-safety device because earlier dolls did not have them, at all. If you plan to do frequent head-swapping [and promise to not put these heads in your mouth :-P], you can probably snip the grapnels off, altogether.

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