9 comments on “The Mission To Restore And Protect Continues

  1. This product has really good reviews, if it can just clean the Joe’s then its worth it, but I really think that this product will help in the long run. I just picked some up on Amazon and I am going to try it out on some of my Joes as well. Thank you for the review!

  2. I’m interested! How did you go about cleaning your figures? Just spraying a washcloth and wiping each part down or submerging them? Cool blog!

    • Hi Bill! thanks for stopping by and the kinds words – sounds like you and I have have a lot in common. I’ll try to answer your questions:
      PS, I don’t have the luxury of not knowing what became of my collection (I had 109 guys, way back when). I sold most of them to the kid next door. The rest didn’t survive 4th of July 1994. My friend’s BB gun and a box of fireworks proved to be too much for them. Among the casualties, 1987 Payload, helmet, backpack, “arms” and all.”

      I think many collections saw their demise in similar fashion, ah to be a kid again.

      What do you do to “buff and shine” figures? – I’m interested! How did you go about cleaning your figures? Just spraying a washcloth and wiping each part down or submerging them? Cool blog!

      I take my time with each figure I get. I start by un-assembling the figure and check screws for rust. Next, I submerge all pieces in warm soapy water for a minutes and then use a soft bristle toothbrush to remove oil and years of dirt and grim. I then reassemble the figure and replace the O-ring. I then do paint touch ups if necesaary, and finally I polish the figure using a micro fiber cloth and this stuff:

      https://nowbacktogijoe.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/the-mission-to-restore-and-protect-continues/

      Good luck man!

  3. Bill,
    I used a micro fiber towel, sprayed the 303 into it and then wiped down my guys. Then I used another towel about 1-2 minutes later to wipe off the 303 to try to clean the Joes and vehicles. The 303 did a pretty good job cleaning them up. I was very surprised how shinny they were! What shocked me was how well it restored the plastic on the vehicles! It really helped clean them and make them shine. The cockpits and the plastic canopies on the Skystriker, Rattler, Tomahawk, and trouble bubbles were hands down amazing after wiping them down with 303. My Tomahawk has a lot of small scratches and while it didn’t knock that out it did take care of a large amount of the “Fog” the plastic had. I am trying to complete a whole collection of 1982-1992 GI Joe’s. To me getting them to look as good as I can is always a plus and with 303 I felt that it was worth it! My APC looks great, the whole front end looks almost new the plastic windows shine and the plastic is almost silky smooth to the touch. This product also works wonders in the car on leather and on the plastic/ rubber dash. Very happy with this product! I don’t think you will be disappointed with this.

    Josh

    • No problem! Make sure to look up other articles under the “restoration” to get more cleaning tips, And thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hello,

    First of all, a big thank you for the amazing articles about restoring your Joes and my apologies in advance for this rather long comment. Even though this article was posted almost 5 years ago, it helped me a lot.

    I would also like to ask some additional questions, if you don’t mind.

    I decided to follow your advice regarding the 303 Aerospace Protectant, a product that is not that well known over here in Belgium, Europe. But thanks to the internet I was able to easily find it at car specialized stores. 🙂 I’m quite excited about the first results. Not only does it add some extra, but not too much either, shine to your figures, but it also seems to cover up some discolorations. Now, on to the questions.

    – You’ve been using this for quite some time now (your article was written in 2012). Can you tell me anything about the long lasting effects as far as you’re concerned? No regrets after 5 years? No side effects? I’m pretty confident, as I’ve come across quite a couple of collectors who seem to use this product for their toys and action figures, but it never hurst asking.

    – How often do you apply the product to shelve figures that see little action (IOW, that just stand their on their little stand) and are out of the sun in a relatively dark room? The instructions on the bottle say to re-apply once every 5 weeks, but considering the amount of figures I have, that would be downright impossible. I usually go through my whole collection once a year, which keeps me busy for a couple of months. My idea would be to re-apply the product once a year.

    – Have you ever applied the product to clear surfaces, such as canopies? In your experience, is it safe to use on those? And while I’m at it, what about decals and stickers?

    Finally, maybe you can give me some advice or tips. My USS Flagg is setup in a separate room. The deck is covered with a whole bunch of Cutter and Steel Brigade figures. Cutter figures can still be found at relatively low prices (as few people use them as troopers). Most of the Steel Brigade figs, I managed to purchase over the years at relatively low prices (some of today’s prices are simply outrageous). Of course, these did rarely come complete (thank you Marauders Inc. for solving this though) and not always in the best of shapes. Cutter often suffers from a broken crotch and Steel Brigade troopers seem to have a knack for elbow cracks. Little you can do about that. But I’ve also noticed that the light blue color has a tendency to yellow/discolor. With Steel Brigade troopers it’s limited to the upper arms and neck. This probably happened over the years. There’s no direct sunlight on them and the room is well ventilated, but there’s still air contact of course. Still, it bothers me. I refuse to stick them away in baggies somewhere in a dark box (and even that doesn’t always seem to be a guarantee from what I’ve read). After all, where’s the fun in that and what’s the point in having like a 100 troopers, if you put them away somewhere where you can’t see or enjoy them. Now, I’ve tried out the hydrogen peroxide treatment (the 12% hairdresser gel formula works quite well in combination with a UV lamp) on a couple of figures, but with mixed results. This works really well for white and grey figures and even on some others such as Deep Six (version 2) or Wet-Suit. But the light blue is a real pain in the butt. In the end you manage to get rid of the yellowing, but you have to treat them for so long (6-7 hours), that the other untouched colors start to fade as well (the SB elbow and skin tone of Cutter’s lower arms), which is not the point of course. Any tips of suggestions here? In the meantime, I’ve decided to treat the remainder of the SB and Cutter figures with 303 Protectant. I hope this will keep them from further discoloring and keep the untouched ones safe. A nice extra is that it also seems to partially cover up the discoloring. 🙂 I wish I had discovered this protect a couple of years ago, but little you can do about the past (I still regret selling my vintage Star Wars figures as well about 25 years ago 😉 ).

    Thanks & take care,

    Erwin

    • Hi Erwin,

      Please allow me to thank you right back for taking the time to write! the blog unfortunately never really found an audience so it fell to the wayside after a while so you can imagine my surprise when I got your email! Now, on to your questions:

      You’ve been using this for quite some time now (your article was written in 2012). Can you tell me anything about the long lasting effects as far as you’re concerned? No regrets after 5 years? No side effects? I’m pretty confident, as I’ve come across quite a couple of collectors who seem to use this product for their toys and action figures, but it never hurst asking.

      I’ve been faithfully using 303 for more than 5 years now and I’m happy to report that I have not seen any adverse effects on anything I’ve applied it to. I don’t just use 303 on GI Joe vehicles and playsets, but also vintage Star Wars, MASK, Transformers, Ghostbusters, Captain Power, MUSCLE mini figures, Battle Beasts. Basically, anything that need UV protection, polish and shine.

      How often do you apply the product to shelve figures that see little action (IOW, that just stand their on their little stand) and are out of the sun in a relatively dark room? The instructions on the bottle say to re-apply once every 5 weeks, but considering the amount of figures I have, that would be downright impossible. I usually go through my whole collection once a year, which keeps me busy for a couple of months. My idea would be to re-apply the product once a year.

      I keep my figures in temperature controlled room with no exposure to sunlight and I’ve changed every single light bulb to LED bulbs to virtually eliminate all UV exposure. My collection is housed behind glass in Ikea Detolfs and Bestas to minimize dust. I dust often with both compressed air and swiffer dusters. Given all those precautions, I re-apply 303 every 16 months or so. If I re-applied annually, I would be spraying nonstop! hahaha

      Have you ever applied the product to clear surfaces, such as canopies? In your experience, is it safe to use on those? And while I’m at it, what about decals and stickers?

      I have used 303 to clean Skystrikers, Phantom X19s, Tomahawks, Night Ravens, Ecto 1’s, and have experienced no adverse effects on any clear surfaces whatsoever. I’ve also used 303 to clean polish stickers but the trick is to use it sparingly, you don’t want to saturate to the point that a sticker might start to fall apart due to the moisture.

      Finally, maybe you can give me some advice or tips. My USS Flagg is setup in a separate room. The deck is covered with a whole bunch of Cutter and Steel Brigade figures. Cutter figures can still be found at relatively low prices (as few people use them as troopers). Most of the Steel Brigade figs, I managed to purchase over the years at relatively low prices (some of today’s prices are simply outrageous). Of course, these did rarely come complete (thank you Marauders Inc. for solving this though) and not always in the best of shapes. Cutter often suffers from a broken crotch and Steel Brigade troopers seem to have a knack for elbow cracks. Little you can do about that. But I’ve also noticed that the light blue color has a tendency to yellow/discolor. With Steel Brigade troopers it’s limited to the upper arms and neck. This probably happened over the years. There’s no direct sunlight on them and the room is well ventilated, but there’s still air contact of course. Still, it bothers me. I refuse to stick them away in baggies somewhere in a dark box (and even that doesn’t always seem to be a guarantee from what I’ve read). After all, where’s the fun in that and what’s the point in having like a 100 troopers, if you put them away somewhere where you can’t see or enjoy them. Now, I’ve tried out the hydrogen peroxide treatment (the 12% hairdresser gel formula works quite well in combination with a UV lamp) on a couple of figures, but with mixed results. This works really well for white and grey figures and even on some others such as Deep Six (version 2) or Wet-Suit. But the light blue is a real pain in the butt. In the end you manage to get rid of the yellowing, but you have to treat them for so long (6-7 hours), that the other untouched colors start to fade as well (the SB elbow and skin tone of Cutter’s lower arms), which is not the point of course. Any tips of suggestions here? In the meantime, I’ve decided to treat the remainder of the SB and Cutter figures with 303 Protectant. I hope this will keep them from further discoloring and keep the untouched ones safe. A nice extra is that it also seems to partially cover up the discoloring. 🙂 I wish I had discovered this protect a couple of years ago, but little you can do about the past (I still regret selling my vintage Star Wars figures as well about 25 years ago 😉 ).

      Ah yes, the great discoloration debate. In addition to Cutter and SB, Spirit and Shipwreck also suffer from the same extreme fading. In my research I’ve read multiple theories on what causes it, everything from skin oils, to UV exposure, to temperature, to fire retardant Hasbro added to paint mixes during production, and even more on how to prevent/treat the problem with no clear winner. Everyone’s miles seem to vary depending on condition and environment. be really careful when working with peroxide gel, that stuff can do a nasty number on figures. Only use gel in extreme situations and only with white plastic. For anything else you want to stick to over the counter liquid peroxide (3%-5%) and sunlight. One recommendation I can make with liquid peroxide is to try the the non submersion method. Instead of completely submerging toys in peroxide, place something the toy can sit upon in the container you will fill with peroxide (Ive seen people use lego) and only fill with peroxide BELOW the toy. Cover with plastic food wrap and place in sunlight. The fumes will make the toy “sweat” out the yellowing. in bad cases, multiple treatment might be needed. If that doesn’t work for ya, move on to the submersion method.

      I hope I’ve answered your questions effectively and wish you the best of luck with your results! Thanks again for writing and don’t be a stranger!

      Cheers!

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