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Author Topic: what is smooze/pindot/age spots? (let's ditch the term 'pony cancer' y'all!)  (Read 846 times)

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Offline pinkkittywinks

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I prefer to be specific about a flaw rather than use a blanket term such as "pony cancer" so it's pindot, age spots (the larger brown spots) or regrind :)

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Offline Nemesis

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On the topic of acne cream/benzoyl peroxide... I have never used it on a pony unless said pony was white to begin with (and that was just one case). However, I HAVE used “Remove Zit” on non-pony dolls rather extensively: Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, and other vintage dolls that were in severe need of some spot removal. It worked beautifully, but I’m concerned by the talk of the benzoyl peroxide treatments “leeching” or “spreading” to other dolls/ponies/toys.

Could someone please explain that to me? How does it happen? :wonder:

Offline kestral_kitsune

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On the topic of acne cream/benzoyl peroxide... I have never used it on a pony unless said pony was white to begin with (and that was just one case). However, I HAVE used “Remove Zit” on non-pony dolls rather extensively: Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, and other vintage dolls that were in severe need of some spot removal. It worked beautifully, but I’m concerned by the talk of the benzoyl peroxide treatments “leeching” or “spreading” to other dolls/ponies/toys.

Could someone please explain that to me? How does it happen? :wonder:
if i remember right ,it  continues to work on the one that it was applied to, so next thing you know that  pony you've used it on as a rather large yellow splotch slowly growing and there's no fixing that damage. and it will just continue to leech the plastic and dye out of the toy. I know its an issue with soft vinyl toys like mlp specially colored ponies but it also affect white ponies as well.

the going on other toys just make sure the toy that was treated with the removezit/benzoyl peroxide stuff isn't touching another toy/clothing as it could effect them.

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Offline Nemesis

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On the topic of acne cream/benzoyl peroxide... I have never used it on a pony unless said pony was white to begin with (and that was just one case). However, I HAVE used “Remove Zit” on non-pony dolls rather extensively: Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, and other vintage dolls that were in severe need of some spot removal. It worked beautifully, but I’m concerned by the talk of the benzoyl peroxide treatments “leeching” or “spreading” to other dolls/ponies/toys.

Could someone please explain that to me? How does it happen? :wonder:
if i remember right ,it  continues to work on the one that it was applied to, so next thing you know that  pony you've used it on as a rather large yellow splotch slowly growing and there's no fixing that damage. and it will just continue to leech the plastic and dye out of the toy. I know its an issue with soft vinyl toys like mlp specially colored ponies but it also affect white ponies as well.

the going on other toys just make sure the toy that was treated with the removezit/benzoyl peroxide stuff isn't touching another toy/clothing as it could effect them.

Good advice, thanks!

So is the softness of the vinyl a big factor? For instance, a G1 MLP is quite a bit softer than the head of one of the aforementioned SS or RB dolls. I haven’t noticed any problems in the dolls I’ve treated, and it’s been over a year now.

I’m always loathe to use harsher products to clean dolls or toys, but I had come into ownership of a bunch of 80s dolls that looked like they’d been used as mold farms. :facepalm:

Offline Baby Sugarberry

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Why acne cream is so devastating on ponies remains undetermined, but I wouldn't use an unreliable metric like 'softness' to determine where it's safe or not.  Long term damage can take weeks, months, even years to show itself fully.  The consensus is acne creams are not safe for any ponies, ever.   Even on white ponies they cause yellowing and discolouration eventually.
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Offline Nemesis

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Why acne cream is so devastating on ponies remains undetermined, but I wouldn't use an unreliable metric like 'softness' to determine where it's safe or not.  Long term damage can take weeks, months, even years to show itself fully.  The consensus is acne creams are not safe for any ponies, ever.   Even on white ponies they cause yellowing and discolouration eventually.

Yikes! I’m glad I only ever used it on a pony that one time... She hasn’t shown any damage over the years, so maybe I lucked out. Either way, I won’t be doing that again.

I would be interested in understanding why benzoyl peroxide seems to work so well for some dolls, but is devastating to others... I’ll be doing plenty of research on every (non-MLP) doll I’m considering using it on in the future.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 03:06:48 AM by Nemesis »

Online Shaz

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I would be interested in understanding why benzoyl peroxide seems to work so well for some dolls, but is devastating to others...

I'm intrigued by this as well. I was reading a book about vintage doll restoration and it cheerfully recommended using benzoyl peroxide to clean dolls, which surprised me given that I had read so much about how bad it is for ponies. I wonder what makes dolls different? I think I will avoid using it at all just to be on the safe side!

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It may be that the dolls have some different element in the plastic relating to their colouring.

It is true this can take years to show up. My sister had what was a mint Daisy Dancer as far as we knew, but turned out that when she came down from storage a year or two ago, she had patches on her stomach which had clearly been acne creamed or something like it int he past. Naynie had her about 18 years ago, she went into storage fine about ten years ago, and came down 2 years ago like that. Fortunately for some reason she had got totally separated from other ponies so no risk of infection, but she now lives with a Care Bear on my sister's chair so that she can't infect anyone else. Fortunately for her as well, the damage is mostly on her stomach and covered by her hair. Also, Naynie isn't condition obsessed, so Daisy Dancer still has a home and is still loved. But because Naynie also numbers Mainsail among her precious childhood ponies in her room, Daisy Dancer is quarantined.

It doesn't just affect blue ponies but they seem to be the worst.

I would definitely keep any dolls that have been treated with this chemical away from ponies just in case. Also, recommending it probably comes from the fact that it isn't always clear which items will react badly to the stuff and how long it might take. People here also spent years recommending this as a mark removal method until the damage began to show some several years later.

I never use any chemicals on my ponies bar dilute soap and water, because I don't know what of the chemicals people are using now may also ultimately damage the plastic and cause breakdown. Unfortunately this is one of those trial and error things where the error is extremely costly.

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Offline Nemesis

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Scary stuff. :shocked:

In the case of the Strawberry Shortcakes I was working with...  there weren’t many options. Mold spots had basically consumed half the dolls’ bodies in some cases. The Remove Zit fixed all of that, though I’ll now be keeping a close eye on the them... :/

I’m mostly wondering how the effect can spread from doll to doll, though? Physical contact? Mere proximity?

Offline Baby Sugarberry

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I'd conjecture that it has something to do with the physical structure of pony vinyl vs. smoother plastics, like SSC doll bodies.  We know pony vinyl takes to dyes and stains like a duck to water, and that it has micropores, as evidenced by the prevalence of pindot.  Surface applications don't remain on the surface of ponies.  They sink right in and make themselves at home, so even after you wipe off the acne cream, there's still some that's invaded the plastic and continues to work?  It could also be a delayed chemical reaction, or a combination of both.
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Offline Raindrop

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Benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient in the acne creams mentioned) is a chemical that acts like bleach, in that it chemically reacts with the pigments in pony plastic to remove the color.  Because its structure is compatible with plastics, it is absorbed easily into pony plastic and can affect the coloring over time.  The changes aren't apparent immediately, so I would be curious to know if it is genuinely safe for other types of plastics/toys, or if collectors/restorers in other areas have just not become aware of potential problems as soon as the pony community has.  ETA: It is also possible that the effects of benzoyl peroxide are more noticeable in MLP, which uses a broader range of bright pigments than most dolls, which are often primarily skin-toned.

Has anyone else noticed that age spots tend to develop particularly (although not exclusively) around glitter symbols?  To me this lends credence to the theory that they are just the plastic breaking down in many cases (rather than mold, although it is possible that some spots are due to mold).  I wonder if something in the glitter or the glue is a chemical catalyst for a breakdown in the plastic structure, and/or or the formation of compounds that cause a brown stain.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 08:06:18 PM by Raindrop »

Offline Nemesis

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Has anyone else noticed that age spots tend to develop particularly (although not exclusively) around glitter symbols?  To me this lends credence to the theory that they are just the plastic breaking down in many cases (rather than mold, although it is possible that some spots are due to mold).  I wonder if something in the glitter or the glue is a chemical catalyst for a breakdown in the plastic structure, and/or or the formation of compounds that cause a brown stain.

I have definitely noticed this... Of the few ponies I own that exhibit spotting/discoloration, most have it on or near a glitter symbol. In a few cases, it even looks like the spots have “eaten away” the glitter/paint, creating a swiss cheese effect. >_<;

I usually paint over the spots with microglitter and Mod Podge, which works very well aesthetically. Now that you bring it up, though... I do wonder if the traces of metal in the original glitter could have been the cause of the discoloration in the first place (like “green ear” in vintage Barbie being caused by a reaction between her vinyl head and metal earrings).

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@Raindrop, when you said that, I immediately thought of Starshine who is a major candidate for this and for glitter issues. Sunlight as well. These are ponies with large areas of glitter on their symbols so you may well be right that it relates to the glue or glitter reacting with the plastic more quickly.

I think we're still always in such unknown territory. The ponies are going to continue to age as we go forward. We don't know yet what other changes may take place.
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Offline lockette

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"cancer" is definitely not even an accurate comparison, even leaving out how it's a bit insensitive (I personally don't care but I understand how it's off-putting to a lot of people)

this is still absolutely in poor taste but as far as the mold that can spread between ponies, "herpes" would be a better slang term.

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