About a year ago I used this method on a 200x Spin Blade Skeletor figure. That Skeletor was about 13 years old. And blue. It worked quite well so I decided to give it a crack on some vintage Star Wars figures. Now these guys are white, much older and much more yellowed. Would applying the same method yield similar results?
I’m pleased to say it did. In fact it surpassed expectations. Let me talk you through it.
Above is the before image of a rather yellowed AT-AT Driver, a horribly yellowed Stormtrooper and an 8D8 Droid with a yellow shoulder. Yellowing is a result of a number of factors: age, light exposure and plastic type. White, blue and grey plastics seem to suffer the most from yellowing.
Fixing it is stupidly simple.
Grab some hydrogen peroxide from your Chemist/ Pharmacy. HP comes in various strengths. I used the weakest at 3%. You can get 6%, 12%, etc. But be weary of using HP which is too strong.
Next grab a glass jar big enough to hold the toy you want to de-yellow. Ideally it should have a lid. Bang a hole in the lid with a nail because the peroxide will give off a vapour during the process and you need to let that escape the jar.
Put your figures in the jar and fill it with the peroxide until the toys are submerged. Secure the lid. Now the important part: place the jar in a safe, sunlit spot for about 24 hours. Sunlight is the key as the UV light will activate the peroxide and draw the yellow out of the plastic.
You’ll notice, after about an hour or two, small bubbles starting to form around the figure. This means all is going to plan. Now, just set and forget.
Check the jar after a day or so. If the yellow has been removed to a point that you’re pleased with, take the figures out and give them a good clean with warm water and soap. And BAM! Job done.
On both occasions I’ve done this, no paint or stickers were damaged. However, I did notice that the Imperial logo on the right of the AT-AT Driver’s helmet had faded. But that’s the only negative I can detect.
The results are pretty damn good. And I’m sure that if left for another day or two, even more yellow would be gone. I’ve read on some forums that people have tried this on Transformers, specifically that notorious victim of yellowing, Jetfire. Some have left their toys submerged in peroxide for weeks. But it works!
So if you’ve got some vintage toys that look like they’re suffering from a horrific case of terminal jaundice, give this a go. It’ll bring those classics back to life.