The inherent variety of use of plastics is varied, and plastic toys are a good example of that. You can use them in almost anything really – from making spacecraft to human-like toys.
Since plastic has a uniquely durable and flexible construction, it is quite useful in its versatility, but also poses a problem when you are trying to repair it using glue – you will eventually notice that many adhesives have issues with properly bonding or dissolving with the plastic.
That brings to light the importance of getting the right adhesive to handle the task at hand, even when repairing plastic toys. The product you choose should also be meant for that specific type of plastic. The good news is that mending plastic toys is not an impossible task – as long as you know what you are doing. In all our experiences with using different glues to handle different plastics, there are a few that are versatile enough to be useful in a variety of situations, such as the Loctite Super Glue All Plastics, as well as the Surehold SH-302 Plastic surgery adhesive.
All in all, the best glue you can use when mending your plastic toys is dependent on the type of plastic that makes up the toy, although research into the issue leads us to pick the Loctite Super Glue All Plastics as well as the Surehold Plastic Surgery glue as the most versatile adhesives for plastic toys in general.
Is it a good idea to reinforce the repair along with using the glue?
Because toys tend to get very rough play more than other plastic items, it is probably a good thing to reinforce any joints that you can glue again if you can, so that you lessen the chances of the toy part breaking off repeatedly.
You can do this through cutting a thin piece of plastic from a food tray that you can dispose, then glue it behind the break in order to strengthen it while still maintaining its discreetness. When done well, this will result in a much stronger repair job than what the original piece was.
There is another reason for doing a reinforcement, and this is the fact that super glue usually has an extremely strong side-to-side and up-to-down strength, but it also has extremely weak twist strength. If you fail to reinforce the joint that you are gluing using super glue, it will eventually break again – so a strong repair is necessary to maintain the integrity of the joint. This is particularly important in modern plastic toys, because their constitution is weaker than the polystyrene plastic that constituted earlier toys.
A step-by-step guide to repairing your plastic toys
Before starting the repair process, you need to make sure that the surfaces you are joining together are clean, close fitting, and totally dry – water or any moisture will interfere with the gluing process.
- Using the end of a matchstick, apply the surface activator to the parts you are repairing, and then wait for a minute to allow it to dry. This will prime the surface to take in the adhesive more effectively.
- When the activator dries, take the glue, and then squeeze a drop of it on one of the surfaces. Press both surfaces together immediately, and hold it without moving them further until the glue sets in place. Do not worry too much if there is excess glue, as you can remove it when the glue is dry. Most super glue will dry rather quickly, and some even leave a mess-free result that blends in with the rest of the toy – as long as you are careful during application.
- Allow the surfaces to dry for 1 to 2 hours at least. If you want the results to be even better, leave it to set overnight. Replace the cap of the glue immediately, and you can store the glue in an upright position in a cool, dry place.
- Once the glue is set, check if there is any residue. If present, use a knife to scrape it off gently, or you can dip a tissue in a nail varnish remover (ensure it contains acetone for the best results) or a glue remover.
How can I handle a toy part that is severely broken?
- If you are dealing with more than a simple falling out of a part or toy joint, instead handling a toy that has severe breaking and missing pieces, then you can use a flat sheet that a regular 2-part epoxy can bind to easily.
- A very good flat sheet to use is a piece of soft aluminum, which you can get from a disposable pan. After cutting the sheet to the specific measurements you are dealing with, use the glue to attach the sheet to one side of the repair.
- Mix the 2-part epoxy, apply it into the gap, and use a putty knife to smooth it out.
- While the repair will appear to be very crude and untidy when you have done it, you can smooth it out by using some plastic-bond paint, which you can purchase from a hardware store. One of our favorites is the Krylon Fusion, although you can use other equivalents.
Why should you prevent breakage of plastic toys?
With that said, there is a better solution than continuing to fix toys all the time – and that is by preventing the breakage in the first place. While a child may not get that message immediately, you need to remind them consistently of the importance of taking care of their toys.
If you accidentally glue your fingers or something else though, you can take care of the problem by using some vegetable oil. Work it into the area, then peel apart as gently as possible.
Plastic toys are excellent for your kids – but in the event that they break, you can fix them through the use of super glue specially designed for them. Hopefully, this article gives you some tips to help in repairing them, and restoring them to their former glory.