Why do your Action Figures have Sticky Plastic?

Do your action figures have sticky plastic?

Have they been stored or displayed for a long period of time?

What can you do to protect them and prevent this from happening again?

If you have any action figures that have been kept in sealed boxes or baggies for a long period of time you may notice that they have become “sticky”or “tacky”to the touch.

This can also be a problem with figures that have been on display.

But what causes it and what can you do about it?


The cause of this stickiness or tackiness is the plasticizer that is used the manufacture of action figures. Over long periods of time this plasticizer begins to vaporize.

The plasticizer is added to the PVC, which is the main material used in their manufacture, to make it softer, therefore the more plasticizer added to the PVC the softer the PVC becomes which also means the more it is likely to sweat. 

This also means that figures that use softer plastics or PVC are more prone to this stickiness than figures that use harder plastics or PVC.

Also if their stored in sealed containers, baggies, boxes, MOC or MIB (Mint on the Card or Mint in the Box) then the plastic can’t breathe and the vaporized plasticizer cannot escape and will cling to the figure causing the stickiness or tackiness. 

Unfortunately this is a natural process and all your figures will at some time become prone to this, although depending on the materials used in the manufacturer of your figures and taking the right preventive measures they should surpass your lifetime!


So what can I do?

There are several fairly simple and basics preventative measures you can take:

1) If they are stored in bags or boxes make sure the air can circulate and the plastic can  "breathe".

2) If stored MIB (in their original packaging) make sure there is a breather hole in the "bubble".

3) Store or display out of direct sunlight OR direct artificial light as this can accelerate the breakdown of the plastic and cause discoloration and bubbling.

4) UV light/rays are harmful so anti-UV screening, display cases etc will help to protect them.

There are also a few more procedures and preventative measure you can take periodically to substantially slow down this process if done on a yearly basis:

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