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Author Topic: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?  (Read 329 times)

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Offline MintyMyndi

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Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« on: January 13, 2021, 06:57:46 AM »
I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in the Dollhouse, but decided that here was a better place... I mean, they are fantasy horse toys, right? Maybe somebody's turned one into a My Little Pony character... I don't know.

What I do know is that I saw the cheapest one I've seen and scooped it up... The seller ripped a hole in space-time just to send it to me! I ordered it Friday or Saturday and it came Monday, which isn't a bad deal at all.

The TL;DR is that I want to know how much hair I need for her and what my best bet is to get it in there.

She's one of the original ones- Rainbow Brightstar, one of the first pair, if it matters- and she's missing a major component which allows her to poop. That's fine by me- I just think the doll's adorable! I like to think I saved some kid from the disappointment- I saw a ton of the singing ones which were obviously repackaged Christmas gifts for sale at the same time, so some kids really do want that feature! I'm thinking about putting in some sort of lights or sound activated by her bellybutton instead, and also replacing her feeding/rocking switch with wings of some sort. She'll be getting a new look, too, but I haven't decided just how far I'm going with it.

One one hand, the hair she has isn't great quality. I'd compare it to some G4 reboot pony hair. It's filthy, too- the brush I'm using to gauge the viability has black marks on it, so there definitely needs to be a wash at some point. It's also shedding like crazy, so I don't know how well it will hold up! I don't know the hairtype, let alone how well it will respond to defrizzing. And there's just. SO. MUCH. HAIR. I defrizzed three G1s last defrizzing session, and I totally killed my thigh muscles since I use my knees to hold the pony to free up my hands. A whole Poopsie unicorn? No thank you! If I were to reroot her, I'd know she'd be getting quality hair and I could choose whatever colors I want. I'd also be giving her a tail- it weirds me out a bit that she doesn't have one to begin with!

On the other hand, it'd take so much hair to reroot her. It's be expensive, time-consuming (though I would be less tempted to finish in one sitting than defrizzing), and her thick (but still soft) plastic would complicate things. I don't even know how to get inside her head! That's actually the reason I made this thread, since, despite my best efforts, I've yet to completely disassemble the doll. I can't find any instructions for customizing these, either, though if you want to make one from an LOL doll, you're very well covered!

There are four screws in the doll's back, which, when removed, don't seem to allow the doll's torso to come apart. I've come to the conclusion that the halves are glued, but I have been able to pull hard enough that the seams come apart just enough to be visible until I let go. The "butt panel," as I'll call it, opens to allow the mechanism's container (the piece mine is missing) to be removed and cleaned after each use, and the panel itself can just be popped off at the hinge. Internally, there are four screws holding the mechanism in place, and once you remove them, the internal panel can be removed (it's really hard to get it out, though!) and you get a lot of tiny pieces which are the ones that allow the bellybutton to function. I lost the spring, but it shouldn't be a problem for me- I have no clue where it was to begin with! I have the bellybutton, the only externally visible piece, so that's okay. The butt panel also has a removable part held in by two smaller screws, which I did take off, but I don't know the exact function it serves!

Once the unicorn is in this state, there's nothing else I can figure out to do. I might be able to pry the head off of the neck "joint" (the head doesn't turn) by sliding an X-Acto knife between the vinyl and the hard plastic, but my track record with that thing is pretty bad. My rerooted Triple Treat hides her neck seam with her luxurious, poofy locks, and none of my knife bites have scarred, but I'm not going to attempt that if there's an easier way.

Does anyone have experience with these? If not, could you help guide me if I were to provide pictures? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help, and thanks to all who read my latest novel!

EDIT: I have thought about just making a wig, but the horn and ears complicate things. I think I'd prefer a reroot. It'd be hard to remove all the hair without opening it- I've come to the realization that the ears are not only separate pieces, but they have rooting underneath them! Why are these things such a pain?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 05:46:26 PM by MintyMyndi »
Here's my ACNH creator code. I thought I might share it, since I have quite a few pony designs.
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Offline starrynights

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Re: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 12:53:29 AM »
Hey, I have disassembled a lot of toys and repaired mechanisms and stuff. My expertise is with furbies and I've never had one of these but I can try to help out if you'd like.
Also - with the wig, It's not too bad making holes. I got a soft cap wig for my Hujoo Freya, tried to put it on and marked where the ears go, and then folded the wig in half and cut there and now it goes on great.
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Re: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 02:52:24 AM »
Sits in this thread waiting. I see them when I thrift sometimes but I never picked one up, I'll pick one up next time and have a blast tearing it apart.
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Offline Pokeyonekenobie

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Re: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 08:11:03 PM »

There are four screws in the doll's back, which, when removed, don't seem to allow the doll's torso to come apart. I've come to the conclusion that the halves are glued, but I have been able to pull hard enough that the seams come apart just enough to be visible until I let go.


My experience with disassembling toys/video game consoles is that usually there is a hidden screw somewhere that is the key to the whole thing.  Take apart all screws you can see, even the ones that don't seem to be holding it together.  Sometimes something is hiding that last screw.  Sometimes it will be under a small plastic plug that blends into it's surroundings.  If that's the case you just have to pry it up to reveal the screw and you can just slip it back into place after you've put the screw back in.   

If the seams really are glued, you should be able to take a blade and slice through them.  Though from the sounds of things you'll need someone to pull the halves apart so you can see the seams while you cut.

Offline MintyMyndi

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Re: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2021, 03:57:51 AM »
I've been staring things down for a while, and I think I've figured out the anatomy. That said, I've yet to actually take it completely apart. This'll make more sense with pictures, but I'm such a procrastinator... If all else fails, I'll draw a horrible diagram in MS Paint.

So the doll's head is vinyl or a similarly soft plastic; I'll be calling it vinyl. It's pretty thick, too; I shoved in a pushpin and despite being able to fully penetrate the head, it was tricky! She's gonna kill some needles for sure. The ears and horn are separate vinyl pieces which fit into holes in the head and are glued down. As previously stated, there are hair plugs under the ears, so they'll have to come of for hair removal. I've worked the glue off of the edges of the ears with a butterknife, but they still don't want to budge. The muzzle and irises/pupils are also separate pieces, which I don't think are structurally important; the eyes can probably be replaced by a skilled resin crafter, and probably not by a person whose sole completed custom is an alt reroot! The eyelashes are less rooted and more under the eye pieces, so they may be tricky to remove... I'm still gonna try, though! Mine's lashes are pretty funky!

If you flip the doll over to see the bottom of the head, you'll see how it connects to the body. The vinyl actually ends about half an inch from the neck itself, being glued (very strongly, I might add) to two hard plastic halves of what I believe to be the mouth cavity. If you curl a pipe cleaner and stick it in her mouth, you won't get very far since it has a ceiling, likely connected to this neck joint! It's not perfectly round; it has a flat side in the front to ensure the head goes on correctly.

Sandwiched between these two pieces is the actual neck. On mine, it can turn barely enough to be visible, so I'm hoping that there is a possibility for articulation. This is probably the main reason she won't just split in two! I don't have her mechanism completely removed, either- the chest still harbors the feeding/rocking switch.

I tried to pry with a butterknife after my mother expressed concern about the X-Acto blade breaking. I didn't get very far. If I can get the head vinyl to separate from the hard plastic, I may be able to get further. Next step is trying heat!

Also, for amount of hair, her head circumference is roughly 15 inches, so you should buy four times the Barbie amount from your hair shop of choice. Her hairline is pretty high and rooting pretty sparse, so you'll likely have some extra! The factory length is roughly eight inches.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 04:03:01 AM by MintyMyndi »
Here's my ACNH creator code. I thought I might share it, since I have quite a few pony designs.
MA-2882-9995-3504

Offline starrynights

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Re: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2021, 06:30:09 AM »
I've been staring things down for a while, and I think I've figured out the anatomy. That said, I've yet to actually take it completely apart. This'll make more sense with pictures, but I'm such a procrastinator... If all else fails, I'll draw a horrible diagram in MS Paint.

So the doll's head is vinyl or a similarly soft plastic; I'll be calling it vinyl. It's pretty thick, too; I shoved in a pushpin and despite being able to fully penetrate the head, it was tricky! She's gonna kill some needles for sure. The ears and horn are separate vinyl pieces which fit into holes in the head and are glued down. As previously stated, there are hair plugs under the ears, so they'll have to come of for hair removal. I've worked the glue off of the edges of the ears with a butterknife, but they still don't want to budge. The muzzle and irises/pupils are also separate pieces, which I don't think are structurally important; the eyes can probably be replaced by a skilled resin crafter, and probably not by a person whose sole completed custom is an alt reroot! The eyelashes are less rooted and more under the eye pieces, so they may be tricky to remove... I'm still gonna try, though! Mine's lashes are pretty funky!

If you flip the doll over to see the bottom of the head, you'll see how it connects to the body. The vinyl actually ends about half an inch from the neck itself, being glued (very strongly, I might add) to two hard plastic halves of what I believe to be the mouth cavity. If you curl a pipe cleaner and stick it in her mouth, you won't get very far since it has a ceiling, likely connected to this neck joint! It's not perfectly round; it has a flat side in the front to ensure the head goes on correctly.

Sandwiched between these two pieces is the actual neck. On mine, it can turn barely enough to be visible, so I'm hoping that there is a possibility for articulation. This is probably the main reason she won't just split in two! I don't have her mechanism completely removed, either- the chest still harbors the feeding/rocking switch.

I tried to pry with a butterknife after my mother expressed concern about the X-Acto blade breaking. I didn't get very far. If I can get the head vinyl to separate from the hard plastic, I may be able to get further. Next step is trying heat!

Also, for amount of hair, her head circumference is roughly 15 inches, so you should buy four times the Barbie amount from your hair shop of choice. Her hairline is pretty high and rooting pretty sparse, so you'll likely have some extra! The factory length is roughly eight inches.
I have removed the eyes from poopsie minis - the eye and the top part holding the lashes come off on their own when you remove them - you can pop them out from the inside.
Heat will definitely help! I tend to hold a lighter to my xacto knife until its scorched and it cuts hard plastic like butter then - as long as you don't mind removing some scorched plastic left over from where you cut.
You may want to try putting her head in boiling water - may make the hair frizz though.
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Offline MintyMyndi

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Re: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2021, 06:21:55 PM »
I've been staring things down for a while, and I think I've figured out the anatomy. That said, I've yet to actually take it completely apart. This'll make more sense with pictures, but I'm such a procrastinator... If all else fails, I'll draw a horrible diagram in MS Paint.

So the doll's head is vinyl or a similarly soft plastic; I'll be calling it vinyl. It's pretty thick, too; I shoved in a pushpin and despite being able to fully penetrate the head, it was tricky! She's gonna kill some needles for sure. The ears and horn are separate vinyl pieces which fit into holes in the head and are glued down. As previously stated, there are hair plugs under the ears, so they'll have to come of for hair removal. I've worked the glue off of the edges of the ears with a butterknife, but they still don't want to budge. The muzzle and irises/pupils are also separate pieces, which I don't think are structurally important; the eyes can probably be replaced by a skilled resin crafter, and probably not by a person whose sole completed custom is an alt reroot! The eyelashes are less rooted and more under the eye pieces, so they may be tricky to remove... I'm still gonna try, though! Mine's lashes are pretty funky!

If you flip the doll over to see the bottom of the head, you'll see how it connects to the body. The vinyl actually ends about half an inch from the neck itself, being glued (very strongly, I might add) to two hard plastic halves of what I believe to be the mouth cavity. If you curl a pipe cleaner and stick it in her mouth, you won't get very far since it has a ceiling, likely connected to this neck joint! It's not perfectly round; it has a flat side in the front to ensure the head goes on correctly.

Sandwiched between these two pieces is the actual neck. On mine, it can turn barely enough to be visible, so I'm hoping that there is a possibility for articulation. This is probably the main reason she won't just split in two! I don't have her mechanism completely removed, either- the chest still harbors the feeding/rocking switch.

I tried to pry with a butterknife after my mother expressed concern about the X-Acto blade breaking. I didn't get very far. If I can get the head vinyl to separate from the hard plastic, I may be able to get further. Next step is trying heat!

Also, for amount of hair, her head circumference is roughly 15 inches, so you should buy four times the Barbie amount from your hair shop of choice. Her hairline is pretty high and rooting pretty sparse, so you'll likely have some extra! The factory length is roughly eight inches.
I have removed the eyes from poopsie minis - the eye and the top part holding the lashes come off on their own when you remove them - you can pop them out from the inside.
Heat will definitely help! I tend to hold a lighter to my xacto knife until its scorched and it cuts hard plastic like butter then - as long as you don't mind removing some scorched plastic left over from where you cut.
You may want to try putting her head in boiling water - may make the hair frizz though.
Honestly, at this point, I don't think the hair could get much worse if I tried! The problem is seeing if I have a nuke-able container large enough to submerge this massive melon, this colossal cranium, this... Okay, I'll stop.

I did pull out her eyelashes, since they were just glued; they're less like false lashes for human use and more like those fake craft feathers you get at Dollar Tree. The base of them is probably the same material as the core of those feathers. I kinda like her without them, but false lashes are cheap if I end up missing them!

EDIT: Things started okay with the boiling water, but as you may have guessed, things have gone a bit awry. I blame myself for being impatient. But first, let's talk discoveries.

The limbs fit over joints onto the body, not between the halves as I previously thought; they pop off easily with a little heat, so I recommend removing them so they're not in the way. With them off, the only thing preventing the body being split is the mouth cavity/neck joint pieces.

The "esophagus box," as I'll call it, is a rectangular piece with a hole in the middle for the doll to "swallow." It's a separate piece from the body, but it doesn't want to go anywhere; the feeding/rocking switch is inside it, sticking out a slit in the back close to the neck. I just barely can't get the body halves far enough apart to slip the switch through. If desperate measures need to be taken, I'll just break the switch part to allow the rest through.

The glue where the vinyl meets the plastic on the head extends further than previously assumed, with a bit of the "floor" of the inside of the head being glued as well. Cutting and prying need to be performed at odd angles.

The vinyl ears are glued onto plastic pieces that are attached to the head. I didn't try very hard to get those off since it seemed tricky. The horn seems like the easiest thing on the head to remove, but I still haven't succeeded!

And, finally, the muzzle piece may well be attached to the mouth cavity and need to come off to decapitate her. I tried, but it's about as easy as everything else! I gotta hand it to MGA- these things are built like tanks!

Now for what's gone wrong... Where to begin?

Well, first of all, the neck joint is open enough that it lets in a ton of water- not just into the mouth cavity, but the head as a whole. I hope it doesn't mold, since I couldn't get the horn off to let it breathe.

Remember how I said that work on the neck joint requires odd angles? Well, I somehow didn't notice that I was scratching the heck out of the chest! I'll try to smooth it out, but let's just say I'm glad that I was planning on dressing this thing. I also managed to scratch the muzzle a bit.

Speaking of being glad, I was planning on removing the horn's glitter, painting it white, and replacing the glitter with iridescent glitter. This is relevant because the glitter fell off in chunks!

While prying away at the esophagus box (before I realized how deep it went and that it had the switch in it), I managed to chip off a piece, which went flying and stung me on the bridge of my nose... perhaps unicorn disassembly requires safety goggles! I also bent the back piece a bit, which is just great.

And now, for the part that's, to me, the worst: I ruined her eyes. They apparently didn't like the heat, the moisture, or the combination of the two and the image on the back of the clear iris piece cracked. Best case scenario I can acetone it off and paint a new one. It sucks, too, because I tried for a second to pop one out, but decided I didn't want to risk scratching the image... Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, though; I wasn't totally in love with her eyes as-is, but decided I'd deal with them. Now I can't do that without making up some reason she has lightning in her eyes (and no, it doesn't look as cool as it sounds)!

Oh, and the hair doesn't seem to be damaged, so that's good, but MGA have warned not to get the hair wet... I wonder why? Perhaps it will explode at midnight tonight; with the way things have been going, I wouldn't be surprised! I am going to reroot her, though. And she's gonna be the prettiest dang unicorn the world's ever seen! Or not. But either way, I'll continue forward, but I need a beak for a bit!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 09:38:24 PM by MintyMyndi »
Here's my ACNH creator code. I thought I might share it, since I have quite a few pony designs.
MA-2882-9995-3504

Offline starrynights

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Re: Rerooting/disassembling a Poopsie unicorn?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2021, 02:57:21 AM »
What a struggle! A test of patience.
If I were at this point I'd just go crazy cutting/melting things and gluing and sculpting/sanding over it in the end...but I'm not the patient type. :P
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