Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Doctor Lui Lui Lui

One morning, while waiting for my wife to finish up in the bathroom, I decided to kill some time and fiddle with my latest toy purchase. So I walked over to the shelf and grabbed my KFC King Gorilla to play around with. For someone who has been collecting Transformers for over 10 years, randomly transforming them from robot to vehicle and back shouldn’t be such a big deal. Unfortunately, when it comes to quality and stability, especially with 3rd party Transformers, not all toys are created equal.

Breakage is something most collectors experience from time to time, especially when it comes to Transformers that require a lot of hands on manipulation to well...transform. And no matter how careful you are, sometimes due to poor quality and construction, it is inevitable.

So anyway, as I was saying, I had my King Gorilla in hand trying to transform him from gorilla to robot and this happened.

Needless to say I was pissed and I decided to air out my frustrations on Facebook. And almost instantly, I was flooded with comments from fellow collectors with helpful suggestions on how to fix my Transformer. Now while the most common solution seemed pretty straightforward, I personally lacked the skills and the tools to actually execute it. So I turned to a friend to help me out.

Now Lui is a fellow collector and one of my oldest friends dating back almost 30 years! And for the past few years he has been honing his skills in woodworking, leathercraft, restoring old knives/tools, and occasionally makes a custom knife or two. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask for his help on this.

As it turned out, it was the right call as Lui quickly patched up my Transformer. And when the other hip panel inevitably broke off as well, he fixed that one too. And just like that, I had my very own toy doctor!

Anyway, last week I was fiddling with another of my Transformers, the 3rd party Aerialbot Air Raid by Zeta Toys. Now when he was first released, he came with a rather ugly head, which to their credit, Zeta recognized and sought to remedy by including a *slightly* better looking replacement with a later toy. Anyway, when I got the new head, I immediately attempted to replace the old one which entailed unscrewing it open to properly remove from the neck ball joint. Unfortunately, the screw head stripped making the removal of the screw rather impossible (yes I know there are ways to remove a stripped screw head, but as I mentioned before, I lacked the proper skills and tools to do so).

Given the low EQ that I had, I proceeded to try other unconventional and questionable ways to remove the head.

Now before I continue, I’d like to first say that at this point, I had not had one night of quality sleep for about a week since my new baby daughter was born...so I was definitely not thinking clearly. So please excuse my obviously stupid attempts and solutions to removing the old head.

So first up, I concluded that I would have no use for the old head, so I figured the best option was to just break it open. I figured the plastic wasn’t the best quality so it would crack open easily. I was wrong.

First I tried to pry open the head using a small flat screwdriver. That didn’t exactly work and I actually ended up wounding myself when I applied too much force making the screwdriver slip and slice into my thumb (it was a small wound...but still).

With that method shot I decided to literally crush his head using a vise clamp. In case you’re wondering why I have a vise clamp, I bought one years ago when I was heavily into customizing 25th anniversary G.I.Joes. It’s a handy tool for popping open their glued bodies. Anyway, as hard as I tried, the plastic just wouldn’t crack. It flattened up quite a bit...but it would not crack.

At this point I was rather frustrated and so I just took a hammer with the intention of just smashing his head open. Unfortunately...that proved to be the downfall as not only did it not work, my hammering caused the actual neck ball peg to break of completely ...and that was that.

Of course, ironically, after the neck peg had completely broken off, the screw in the head finally gave out and the head broke open ...FML.

So I decided to put in a call to Dr. Lui and the rest is history. A week later, Air Raid was back on my shelf proudly with his new head.

To be continued...