First I washed the clothes and hung them to dry.
Next the males got placed on the bottom racks,
and the ladies got the top.
There are a lot of dolls without bodies because if they were unarticulated and I knew I wasn't going to keep the body, I removed the heads right away. Once they were all washed though, I did go through and remove every head that would come off so that I could remove prongs and let the dolls dry fully inside and out. I left the dolls on the rack for 3 days. In the meantime, I did some modifications:
A while back, Jay commented that Krud Kutter might be good for opening doll bodies since I had tried in the past to get them open easily and couldn't without cutting them apart. I purchased a large bottle from Walmart and finally tried it.
Krud Kutter can be diluted with water but as I never tried it before I wanted to test the full strength to see what happens. I popped the legs off the doll and placed the torso in the plastic cup. I then put the plastic cup in the plastic bowl. I didn't know if the cup would melt and if it did I wanted it to melt into something else so I would have time to run it to the dumpster.
Unlike Goo Gone which has a orangey smell, Krud does not have a discernable odor. I still wouldn't sniff it though. I checked every hour for 4 hours to see if anything was melting or if the seams were opening. Nothing was happening either way so I went to sleep and the torso was left in the solution for 10 hours.
The Krud did loosen the outer seam glue, but not the glue where the inner pegs are. I had to apply pressure and break those pegs. Only the pegs circled in red are intact, but they may not have been glued shut anyway. Perhaps a longer soak time of 24 hours would weaken the peg glue?
Because I had to use a butter knife to open the body, there is some damage to the seam. It's not that bad, but it's not that cute either. 7 days later and the body and arms don't appear to have suffered any discoloration or chemistry change. I'm not going to close this body, but if I was, super glue would do the trick. I would wash the body the first in a mild detergent and let it dry for at least 10 days to make sure the Krud had dissipated.
The next modification was to these male bodies. Top guy is a Prince Charming body with no arm articulation and bottom guy is Ken with no leg articulation. Let's merge them together! Their torsos are not the same, but who cares? Lining them up at the arm pits, I put a mark across the middle of their chests.
I clamped the bodies into a vise and used a hack saw to cut them in half. Vise came from Amazon and is currently $25.77 with Prime. The saw is from the Midwest Easy Miter Box w/Saw set from Joann's for $14.99 (I used a 40% coupon, naturally.) It's $11.34 at Amazon if you have Prime. I recommend them both.
I smoothed the edges with a metal nail file and then used super glue to merge the halves. Look at all that sweet articulation! Again, not a perfect match, but good enough for me. I'm not going to grind down that slight over hang or fill it with putty because he can just keep a shirt on.
I had previously modified one of my Power Team bodies with a Ken neck. This time I went ahead and outfitted all my Power guys with new necks so I could give a new body to this guy:
Blasian GI Joe! Originally I was just going to whittle down his molded clothing but that was going to be way too time consuming. Trying to use my Xacto was too hard and sanding it with my Dremel would have been more plastic dust than I felt like dealing with.
I tried hard to remove the neck base but then I was all, "eff it," and just ripped his head off. Using the method in this old tutorial, I hollowed out his head with my Xacto and added a cardboard disc to the new neck peg.
Done! Look at all that sexiness. His old body did have some great kung fu grip hands so I tried to salvage them.
It was easy to lop them off with my Easy Cutter and then snip away the rubber. I carefully chipped away the rings on the bottom so I would have a longer peg to insert into his arms.
Knowing what I do now, if I come across anymore kung fu hands, I know not to cut away all the rubber around the wrists. Still, just put a watch and a man bracelet on him and it'll look fine.
Last modification was to this Jasmine. She had purple earrings that were molded to her head. I though they looked like creepy fat ticks so I wanted to get rid of them.
I cut off the backs of the earrings, making sure that I cut below the ridge that formed the mold. It's cool that it left a hollow opening because it will make the flap lay down better.
I super glued the flaps down and held them for about five minutes each. She wont be wearing her hair up any more, but it's still an improvement over having a tick on your face.
That was all the modding I did so now it was time to pack the dolls away. Dolls with bodies will live standing upright in boxes.
I put a cardboard insert between each row of dolls so it will be simpler to take them in and out and they wont fall over. Girls get their hair put in a ponytail 'cause I don't like it when they are messy and unkempt. Tall bodies in back, short bodies in front. I turn their heads to the side so I can view them easier.
I have way less boys so they get to be spaced out and staggered instead of one behind the other. The boy heads without bodies will be stored in their box.
There are way too many girls heads without bodies so they are labeled and will get their own little storage box. One day I hope to find for real cheap, one of those lateral file cabinets that are used to store poster boards. I think that would work great for storing dolls.
This bin in my closet will now house all the extra bodies. The top bin is for dolls destined for the thrift store or for experiments. Second shelf is female articulated bodies which are mostly all Liv. Third shelf contains old Mattel articulated male bodies that don't have any wrist articulation. Articulating those wrists are still on my to do list.
I only kept a few unarticulated bodies to use as mannequins. The rest I made into display torsos in case I ever make a clothing shop. I also kept a bunch of arms to use as display models, for articulating wrists and to use as stunt arms. Stunt arms come in handy when your dolls arms don't bend as far as you want.
"Put Tre-tre on the phone. Who am I? Trick, who is you?!"
For example, let's say you want to have your doll on the phone in a much more realistic pose, instead of how they usually awkwardly look.
"So you just let anyone answer your phone now, huh?"
Rubber band a stunt arm to their real one or to their body and position it how you want it.
"Boy, don't nobody want to hear about your baby mama. Just bring me my money."
Then zoom in or move closer to cut the extra appendage out of view and the pose will look much more natural.
I still have some more mods on my list of a thousand things I want to do, but going through the thrift dolls was the last organizing I needed accomplish. Whew!
Edited to Add:
Thanks to this comment by Jawn Pickles my doll heads are now fabulously housed on a cool spool rack. Behold!
I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!! *twirls*
Thank you very, very much Jawn! As soon as your comment hit my phone I rushed right on over to Joann's and picked one up. I even had a 50% off coupon from AC Moore so this 120 unit only cost me $15 bucks! When I get another coupon I'm going back because they had a small 30 unit one for $9.99 that will be great to house repaint heads that are being worked on. You, Jawn Pickels, are the most awesome person ever!