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Perils with soft rubber costumes (esp. Hot Toys figures)

5818 Views 23 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  firerailz
Was reading up on the melting that occurs on the Watchman Comedian costume where the plastic vest dissolved and stuck to the body (there is a thread here too), with well known defects in TDK and Kamen Rider, I was wondering how widespread the problem is given the nature of the material used? Some suggested it was caused by the oil they used to make it easier for putting the costume on, I know from my model-building days it was the release agent on making soft plastic pieces, which is the cause?

Known issues I read:
1) Hot Toys The Dark Knight Batman oil leak - issue seems to be fixed with the N.A. (DC) release, or is it less prevalent due to dryer or cooler weather, and storing in air conditioned environment or basement?
2) Hot Toys Watchman Comedian - melted vest
3) Medicom Kamen Rider The First - costume disintegration
4) Sideshow Anakin - melted vest
5) Ironman (all, except Mk I) discoloration in the crotch area (soft plastic)

Others at risk:
A) Hot Toys Jill Valentine Battlesuit?
B) Hot Toys Black Widow?
C) Hot Toys Batman Batsuit Begins Rubberalls - this appears to be the same one used in the earlier release, anyone having issues with that?
D) Hot Toys Batman 1989 is also a candidate, but we won't know until at least next year...

I mentioned 'especially Hot Toys' only because their figures are that much more expensive, the pain that much deeper; the issue applies to all vendors. Anyway, your input is appreciated.
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That's quite an old body and I'd like to think that rubber formulas have come on a bit since then. We'll see what happens to the RM-X and DX bodies over time though......

I would think the HT Appleseed Deunan is also a prime contender - so far mine is holding up, but then again, it's not on display but I do take out from time to time and give it a wipe to make sure the rubber doesn't dry up and living in a tropical climate doesn't help
Yet another thread commenting on Hot Toys' "quality"...and still people keep bashing Very Hot... I've never had a Very Hot uniform melt on a figure.
This has been a problem since the GI Joe Rubber wet suits in the 60's.. Rubber does not hold up well. Rubber in contact with hard plastic will eventually melt the hard plastic items.. I choose not to spend my bucks on 1/6 items that are rubber.. And so for I have been happy..

I have even seen this problem with people storing more recent brands like Dragon, BBI, Hot Toys rubber boots and plastic bits together.

I've been throwing out warnings about this stuff every time one of these threads come up. Hot Toys make good figures I don't think if they are scientists/chemists who have come up with a cure for this.

This has become a greater issue in the last few years, since Hot Toys has started getting into Fan Boy subjects that lean towards Dudes in rubber suits. If you choose to take the risk that is a personal choice, but there is plenty of 1/6 to collect including Hot Toys that you can collect and avoid this issue.
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It's good that we can keep these discussions alive because we won't know the extent of these issues until a few more years have passed. I'm sure the forums will be flooded with discussions of eroded and useless figures in 4 or 5 years.

I have a TDK DX that I luckily found just back in March of 2011. It looks fine with no oil leakage. My only concern with all of the Hot Toys Batman figures is that the rubber outfits are so thin that I know for a fact they will crack and fall apart within a few years. It's impossible for them not to do so. I have resigned myself to simply accept that I have to keep these figures in the boxes and protected from environmental factors but also assume that I will only get to enjoy them for a limited time.
i exchanged my HT briareos rubber suit with the fabric body suit from a batman (was it dc direct brand? cant remember) figure, and though not accurate, id rather a slightly inaccurate suit to an an accurate broken suit....
This probem has been discussed in other fields of modelmaking and collecting that I have been involved in, in particular with reference to the vinyl and rubber tyres on model vehicles diecast and plastic. There seems to be two main problems. Firstly there is the problem of drying out and cracking of these types of material, this is caused by a component of the plastic called a plasticiser leaching out of the plastic over time. This process affects all plastics to some degree or another and is affected and accelerated by an objects exposure to heat and daylight, especially the ultraviolet part of daylight.

The second problem is the interaction between different types of plastics when they are kept in contact with each other. This is most noticeable between polyvinyl type flexible plastics and polystyrene type hard plastics. There actually seems to be a reaction between the plasticiser in the vinyl and the hard plastic. I have seen the tyres of a model car stuck to a CD case it was left standing on, and similiar tyres melted to a goo because of the plastic wheel they were on. I have also seen electrical cable with vinyl insulation that was wrapped around a hard plastic case 'burn' grooves into the case because of this chemical interaction.

So what can you do? Firstly it would in the long run perhaps be best to store plastic items in the dark and air tight containers as much as possible. And if at all possible to seperate flexible vinyl and rubbery plastics from hard plastics like polystyrene and ABS. It is possible to add plasticiser to some plastics, there are products made for restoring the plastic used on cars ( often very exposed to UV daylight ), like Armoral plastic polish and tyre cleaners. This course of action would need some experimentation with models and of course all the effects good and bad would take years to be seen.

Unfortunately as histrionics has said we are living in a plastic world, and no modern plastic has yet to be shown to have a limitless life. Lets face it plastic is mostly used for throw away items, it only gets used for mass produced models because it is convenient and relatively cheap. If you wanted everlasting figures you would have to get them cast in bronze and glass enamelled to colour them, imagine how much that would cost !!??
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Don't use any Armor All products because they are alcohol based and actually suck out moisture in the plastic making things appear to be given a wet coat while in reality it's not. Every time I see somebody use that stuff on their car interiors, without fail, a couple years later cracks appear. So do not use any Armor All or alcohol based products, especially on your Hot Toys! This rubber problem is exactly the reason I sold my batman.
I had read that the dc batman also had issues.. while the abs were released made of hard plastic, some other psrt still continued to leak
I dislike rubber if for no other reason than it attracts dust like crazy and at best it seriously limits what poses you can leave stuff in and at worst seriously limits posing period.
I dislike rubber if for no other reason than it attracts dust like crazy and at best it seriously limits what poses you can leave stuff in and at worst seriously limits posing period.
Yet another thread commenting on Hot Toys' "quality"...and still people keep bashing Very Hot... I've never had a Very Hot uniform melt on a figure.
that's cos VH has never done rubber uniforms?
Yet another thread commenting on Hot Toys' "quality"...and still people keep bashing Very Hot... I've never had a Very Hot uniform melt on a figure.
cause VH only does military figures, they have none of the concerns in chemical reactions/deterioration that HT has to face with the MMS lines. i'd love to see how a VH batman would turn out, i'm that wouldnt have any QC issues :knock
Alex of Toy Haven said it best "Enjoy them now! take them out and have fun with them while you can" (If you keep them in the box they also have the risk of the suit sticking to both the figure and the plastic packaging as well) I'm not sure what the solution is going to be, but I'm 50-50 on the subject. A part of me wishes with the money I spend on these darn figures I would hope they last for ever...but I know most of them will not. I have come to terms with that. :(
cheaper stuff like my Marvel Famous Cover figures are already deteriorating on me and those have been out less than 10 years right? I can't imagine the look on my face in 5-7 years when my Hot Toys figures (rubber bodies and suits) start to do the same. Oh welll...they look great on my shelves today! LOL!
take lots of photos and cast backups of rubber parts. as for rubber suits? sorry, but all you can do is start sewing a fabric replacement...
That's nothing. I think it's a similar reaction of different materials thing. A soft vinyl/rubber/something on a nylon underlayment and the two different materials reaction and cause this:

Medicom Koroshiya 1 by dangercorpse, on Flickr
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Thanks for all of your input so far, and especially unklian who gave such a comprehensive account.

Rest assured, I didn't start this thread to complain quality, but having invested in several of the figures I named and knowing the problem exists, I turned to the collective wisdom of this forum to educate myself and hope to learn what others have as plan B. It's like I woke up that day and remembered I hated these soft plastic parts for a reason.

BeastX, is that wrinkling from keeping a pose over time or something else like weather? Wonder if Jill's battle suit use the same pleather, I don't suppose leather lotion can revive the condition?

Ohh, dedguy, that's pretty nasty!
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