Saturday, January 4, 2014

Twist Around Heads Made Easier

Q&A with Sergio!

Sergio comments, "I want to swap a Twist Around Head, from its stiff body to a articulated body that had a Twist Around Head too, but I don't know how, the head pops out every time."


These are some of the thrift store Twist Around versions I have. They are all produced by Mattel even though the middle one is a Disney character. If you are using a GI Joe then I cant help you with that. Assuming you are using Mattel, we'll keep going. FYI, Sergio, I know you already know a lot of what I'm about to say, but for those that don't, I'm going to be a bit detailed.


When you pull the head off of a Twist Around you should expect for the neck and shoulder seams to open a little bit. Someone had previously tried to take this guys head off too harshly and cracked his throat in the process. Super glue is the only fix I can think of for this if you want to save the body.



Once you get the head off, you'll find that some neck openings have a single ring or in Ken's case, a double ring.


You'll also see that each head has a plastic prong inserted into its base. That plastic prong is the reason why your head keeps popping off. The plastic actually sits below the rings of the neck. If you don't angle it right and apply enough pressure when putting the head back in, you wont make it past the ring(s). The good news though, is that you don't need the plastic prongs at all, because the protruding vinyl at the base of the head fits snuggly into the neck and will actually stay in place until you tug it out.


You can remove the prongs by putting the plastic section between your teeth and twisting the dolls head in a circle while pulling it at the same time. But now my teeth are sore, so if you don't want to do that, then use pliers, lol. The Disney guy's prong was glued inside his head so I had to use pliers on him and just broke off the outer ring of plastic.


If for some reason you want to leave the prong in there, you can always use an Xacto to whittle it down some, but taking it out is so much easier in the long run.


Now you can quickly swap Twist heads as much as you want. Just make sure you angle the head into the opening and then twist the head backwards as you push it in and you'll be good to go.

In case you have High School Musical heads, they are a different story:


Their necks are much smaller than an adult and when I pulled off this guys head, the prong stayed inside the neck.



Needle nose pliers got it out with some tugging.


However, the prong on the black HSM kid was glued inside his head. I pulled his head out as far as it would come and then just gently angled his head back and forth until the base of the prong broke inside the neck hole and fell into his body. If you have a blow dryer, it might be easier to get it out, but my way worked regardless.


You can now put the HSM kids onto adult bodies, however, again, they are smaller so they are going to look funny at the neck and vice versa if you put an adult head on a HSM body, like so:


Happy body swapping!

Older related posts:

Put a Twist Around Head on an Articulated Neck
Pump Up Your Ken Tutorial
We Can Rebuild Him

34 comments:

  1. Thanks for this tutorial Muff! I haven't done much head swapping with Kens, but one of these days...

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  2. I try to pry the seam open before removing the head. I use a knief or something to start it to open. Some of the older Kens don't have a prong piece ( I'm thinking prior to 1985). My Brad doll doesn't and my sun tanned men doesn't. Their necks only have the one ring. As you might guess I have a lot of heads and bodies floating around here. I must fix that. Anyway, all the Disney dolls that Mattel made have prong pieces. I was going to try to put a HSM head on a Skipper's friend Kevin's body but he is an outty if you consider Ken an inny. I like the Man Behind the Doll for info but they don't list this type of info.

    I have some newer Joe's that I'm having difficulty replacing their heads which is a first. I thinking there must be something different about them. I'll give them a good hard look.

    BTW, I don't like the prong pieces and remove them eventually from my boys.

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    1. Ms. Leo, I've got way more ladies than dudes so I'm not as familiar with the history of the guys. I only have 2 GI Joe that I got from the thrift store but I'm making no attempt at removing their heads because if I crack them then I'm screwed with no back ups. Okay, I admit to giving their heads a good yank to see how they were put together but I chickened out.

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  3. Hola, quedaron muy bien con este cambio, gracias por el tutorial, un beso.

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    1. De nada, Lindaivette y muchas gracias por visitarnos.

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  4. Great tutorial! I really like the HSM guys on the bigger Ken bodies. Thanks for this tutorial. I may try it one day. I ave always wanted, but was afraid of breaking something.

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    1. Georgia Girl, I hope to one day find an articulated black body in the thrift store. I know I can buy one of those tru types on line, but meh. I thought once I found one I would give it to my black Basics guy, but maybe the HSM guy will get it.

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  5. I have to laugh! Only a doll lover/collector would understand. LOL Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Grandmommy, we doll collectors are a funny lot. Or so my family tells me. wonk. ^__^

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  6. YAY! Thank you so so so much Muff! You're efficent, learnitive and smart as always :-) My attempts were on Mattel male dolls, I have some old G. I Joe, but they stay as they are. Thank you again!!

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    1. You are welcome, Sergio! You know I like fiddling with the dolls to see what's what, lol.

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  7. Hello from Spain: This tutorial is very useful. I always have trouble changing the bodies of the boys. Your changes are fabulous .. Keep in touch

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    1. Hello from cold Florida, Marta! Glad that the tutorial might help you with some later body swapping.

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  8. I always love your tutorials :)

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  9. Hi and thanks, Muff, for this tutorial. My older guys are almost begging for new bodies, lol.

    Aside: I LOVE your photos. The clarity of them, the details shown, the humor - how some of the guys cover themselves as if to say, "Cover me privates!" while others seem to declare, "Let it aaaaaaaaaaalllllllll hang out." - the sequence. Thanks for sharing your tips in such a fun fashion.

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    1. Dana, my eyesight aint what it used to be so I completely rely on my camera to know what it's doing, lol. I do admit to taking LOTS of shots and then picking the clearest once I get it on the PC.

      I do try to cover the guys and gals business when their arms will allow because I'm a bit of a modesty nut. Sometimes I forget or it will look weird for one to cover themselves because they can and leave the ones who cant showing all their bits.

      I actually think that a lot of my tutorials and tips would be better viewed as video, but I don't have a newer camcorder than can focus as you move. My regular photo camera and iPhone can take video of course, but since they cant auto focus all I get is a fuzzy mess. Since I have to stick with still photos, I try to make a cohesive post with some detail pics that I hope are easy to follow.

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    2. LOL. gotcha. When straight arms have hands that are Palm-to-Side (PTS), the dolls can cover themselves better than when they are Palm-to-Rear (PTR). Arms with elbow joints cover better than straight arms. Thanks.

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  10. Hey Muff there is some stuff called Krud Kutter its used for paint remover but I found out it can also loosen the glue in the seams of the doll once the glue is loosened you might wanna pry it open with an xacto knife or flathead screwdriver and it should pop open. I believe it could work on this post and a few of your older projects. I found the stuff at wal-mart but ic ant remember the price it should be in the paint section.

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    1. Jay, I've heard of Goo Gone, but not Krud Kutter. I see that it's on Amazon for $6.88. I'll have to compare the price next time I go to Walmart. I would like to be able to open up a doll's body so I can get the arms out without cracking something in half. Good looking out!

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    2. Thanks for that info JustJay. I've used Krud Kutter for cleaning. Nice to know I can possibly open up the bodies, completely.

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    3. Alright Jay you told us what to use to open the bodies what do you use to close them back up.

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    4. @ Muff No problem I havent done a lot of experimenting with but im sure you'll figure out a 1000 ways to use this stuff. Also try submerging the body in the krud kutter w/ water to for awhile to see if it will pop open itself. just a thought

      @ Vanessa Your welcome and yes its awesome as a paint remover

      @ Mustitwait im not sure i would go with muff and say super glue but im not totally 100% sure

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  11. We should just call you "lifesaver". This is another wonderful post that I will use immediately. I have a few heads that keep falling off.

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    1. Vanessa, it's my pleasure. You know I like messing with body parts

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  12. Interesting and useful tutorial. Thanks for showing it!!

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    1. Hi, Ana, thanks for saying so. ^__^

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  13. I came back after doing a google search on swapping Ken heads. :) I was going to try to swap a Disney dude with a fashionista dude, but have decided against it after viewing this tutorial.

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    1. Hmmm, Roxanne. I don't have a for really real Disney male. Just the ones by Mattel, so I don't know how they compare.

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