Disclaimer: I, Becca, the owner of The Kenner Blythe Guide, am not responsible for any damage done to your doll(s) by following these methods. As an avid, longtime collector of Kenners, I have noticed that some methods work well. I will list those here. However, you must understand that I cannot be held responsible if an error occurs. These dolls are old and have been stored in various ways. What works for one doll, may not work for others.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL.
These lovely dolls are 44 years old.
Please keep that in mind.
Once again, what you do to your dolls is not the fault of me, Becca, the owner of The Kenner Blythe Guide.
That being said, I have experienced success in cleaning and restoring my dolls with some of these methods. If I have not attempted them, I will only list them if I firmly believe that they will work. This is not an extensive guide but rather some basic information about restoration that I hope to add more to later. I have tried to add links, when available, to photos or videos demonstrating various methods. If you have or know of some other great methods or more photos I may link to demonstrating some of the below listed methods, please contact me. I would love to add more to this list.
–Puchi Collective explains this beautifully. I HIGHLY recommend this post for any beginner who is looking to begin the clean up process.
-I use baby shampoo to remove dirt gently.
-Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can be used but AVOID using it on the doll’s make up. It will remove any make up.
– I use Q-Tips, gently, to help remove some facial dirt.
Scalp Goop Removal
-Due to chemical reaction from scalp and faceplate, not melting.
-Use an X-Acto knife to carefully trim along faceplate very, very carefully. Go slow!
-Use acrylic paint with a little extender added and a tiny paint brush. See Puchi Collective for more info. I would not recommend sealing unless you do not wish to remove or be able to remove lip color later.
-Stencil (template) can be used, like this one.
Scalp removal & attachment
-Carefully remove scalp, don’t break off pegs of hard cap if possible, use pliers to puts tabs on top of head together and slide off hard cap
-Put hard cap in scalp, lining up pegs of hard cap with holes in scalp, and snap back on
Securing hair plugs
-Remove scalp first, make tiny knot inside scalp (can use thread to create knot), use Aileen’s glue to secure knot. Michelle has a great description here.
-Eyes: open doll, cover chips with painter’s tape, and carefully sand yellow off with high grit (super fine or ultrafine) sanding sponge/paper. Example to show tape over eyechips.
*Toothpaste overnight (avoiding make up apply whitening toothpaste to face, place damp paper towel on top so it doesn’t dry up, leave for a while and check later. Can be repeated. Example here.)
*Whitening strips (similar to toothpaste, some sanding may still be needed)
*Sanding (use 2000 grit paper and then finer grit as you go on)
*Retr0bright (homemade solution, apply for a few hours and repeat multiple times, putting it in UV light/sunlight helps)
-A nail block can be used to help restore the shine to eyechips
-Goo Gone can also be used to help restore the shine to eyechips
-To separate the body/remove limbs, briefly soak body in very warm water to warm up the plastic first and carefully and slowly take doll apart. If using a modified Takara body for lower torso replacement, you may need to cut upper torso open to remove it.
-Arms: Takara arms fit Kenner body
-Legs: Ashton Drake Galleries Blythe legs may fit, I’ve read this before but cannot find the source
-Lower torso replacement: modified Takara lower torso and legs (file down peg until it fits in a Kenner). Another option is to use a combination of a Takara lower torso and arm, as seen here and here. The peg from the Takara is removed and the peg from the arm joint is glued and screwed in to be used instead.
-Full body: Takara body with neck modification, neck whittled down and zip tie added to top of neck to create joint so head does not slide off
-Open head, use screw and washer to rebuild neck then re-attach head
Hair de-frizz treatments
-Foam rollers method (comb hair, put hair in large foam rollers for a few hours or overnight; can use Revlon dual conditioner for synthetic hair to help soften it)
-Ribbon method (in sections, twist hair and wrap ribbon around each section, leave overnight)
-Flat iron method (use fabric softener soak to help defrizz and separate hair first, keep hair wet and put flat iron on lowest setting, test a hidden section of hair first and if no melting, carefully flat iron small sections, leave doll standing while hair dries)
–Hair serum method
–Comment thread of various methods
-Partline: Crisscross plugs at partline
-Bangs: chunky bangs crisscross like partline, wispy bangs thatch through the front row of plugs
-Use dry chalk pastels, grind up into a fine powder, use cotton ball (or clean finger) to apply to cheek, gently rub on in circles. See Puchi Collective for some great photos of how to do so.
Melt marks & facial scratches
-Both can be gently sanded away using high grit sandpaper (ultra fine), in circles, until mark is gone
-PLEASE go slowly with this
-Can remove some shine, see next tip to help buff it back
Buffing face to add shine
-Use old t-shirt or piece of soft cotton cloth, rub in circles gently on face
-Can be done after removing melt marks or scratches
Body crack repair
-Loctite with clamp: apply and clamp, let set and dry
-Epoxy: apply small amount, let set for whatever time product states, clamp together and let dry/set