My Little Pony cleanup tutorial

I love finding cool vintage items, and one of my favorite finds are old toys. Most toys get broken and destroyed by their owners, but a few types show up fairly often in decent shape. One toy I always grab when I see it are My Little Ponies! MLP began in the early 1980s, and was huge throughout that decade. These old pony toys are very collectible, and have a big fanbase of aficionados and collectors.

These ponies are usually intact, but are often dirty, marked with pens or crayons, and have terribly tangly hair. Fortunately, they are fairly easy to clean up and get them looking presentable again. 🙂

I found these two ponies at Goodwill last week. The first one is a So Soft pony named Paradise. She’s a white flocked pegasus, with soft, fuzzy fibers covering her entire body. The mane was tangled, and the tail had been double braided (three regular braids that are then braided together into one). The “fur” was dingy, with some yellow discoloration around one of the wings.

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The second one is an Earth Pony named Sundance, who is white with pink hair. She was dirty and had red crayon on her neck, and two pen marks near her cutie mark. Her mane and tail were also tangled.

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The first step was to unbraid Paradise’s tail. Who knows how long the tail has been this way…possibly years! Don’t try to do any brushing at this point; it’s hopeless and will only cause damage.

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Let the cleanup begin!

The next step is a nice bubble bath. I use warm water and a small amount of dish detergent, and submerge the ponies completely. An old toothbrush is used to gently scrub the bodies to clean off the general dirt. The flocked pony can also be cleaned with the toothbrush…VERY VERY GENTLY! I scrub very lightly in circles until the whole pony is sudsy and clean.

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After a good rinse, the next step is de-marking. Spots like pen marks, crayon, sticker residue, etc can often be cleaned off with rubbing alcohol. I like to take a Q-tip and gently rub the spot until it comes clean, being extra careful around paint applications like the eyes and cutie mark. Unfortunately not all spots will come off, but a good percentage will.

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The red crayon mark on Sundance’s neck did come off with the alcohol, but the blue pen marks on her rump didn’t.

After as much cleanup as possible has been done, it’s time for the most fun part: detangling! (Yes, it’s fun!) Take a small amount of liquid fabric softener (hair conditioner will also work) and saturate the mane and tail with it. I like to put the toys on a large dinner plate as a work surface.

Once all of the fibers are wet and slick with softener, I take a fine toothed comb, which in this case is my cat’s metal flea comb, and gently brush out the hair. I find it easiest to lay the toy down, stretch out the hair, and brush against the surface of the plate. Start at the ends and untangle a centimeter or so at a time, slowly working up the length of the hair to the body. For super tangly knotty hair, you may have to do this strand by strand.

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After some patient and gentle brushing, the hair is untangled! As you can see, Paradise’s hair still has some waves in it from the braid. These will straighten out over time.

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After a light rinse to remove the excess softener, the ponies are set up on a shelf to air dry. After they are completely dry, the hair is smooth and untangled, and can be easily brushed!

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And here are the final results:

Sundance:

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And Paradise:

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Here are some before/after comparison shots:

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Pretty cool, huh? 🙂

These two were actually in fairly good shape for their age. I’ve seen some toys with hair so tangled it’s literally just a ball of knots! But this method has worked every time.

I’ll be ready the next time a pony or two shows up!

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

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Thrifting finds 10-3-15

I found a few cool things while thrifting today!

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The best find was a set of 2 original 1980s My Little Ponies. One of them is a white Earth pony with pink hair and a circular heart cutie mark, and the other is a white flocked pegasus with bright red hair and palm trees on her butt. I’ll have to hit up the collector sites to figure out their names and dates.

I love the finished cross stitch of the name KELLY, accented with cute Precious Moments style characters. I’ll get it cleaned up and nicely framed, and maybe it will make a cute Christmas gift for some little Kelly out there. 🙂

The purse is a cute beaded clutch from the 60s-70s. It has a small stain on the back, but I’m pretty sure it will clean up just fine. The three hearts are 80s Syroco style plastic wall hangings. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll sell them vintage as-is, or repaint them in prettier colors (perhaps pink and white, or two shades of pink?).

I also found a little pack of glue sticks for 10 cents. I love finding crafting supplies for next to nothing!

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Flock of Butterflies

What’s better than one pretty butterfly? A whole flock of them!

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I always grab vintage butterfly wall hangings when I see them at thrift stores or yard sales. Usually it’s just one or maybe two, so I save them up until I have a nice set of matching pieces. Today I decided to organize my collection and see if I have any matches to put up for sale. And in fact, I do!

I love these three gold ones. They’re from Syroco, and have great wing patterns and lots of golden shine!

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A set of brown wicker bugs. These are plastic, but are molded to look like wood and wicker. Lots of great swirls and curls in the design.

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And then there are these cool green ones from Homco. There were only two of these, and I doubt I’ll find a third, so I went ahead and listed them as a pair. The design is the same as the wicker ones above, but these have a nice deep emerald green color.

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I still have a few designs that are waiting for a match, so I’ll hang on to them and keep looking!

Oh yeah, here’s Ripley napping on the bed while I list the completed sets:

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

Fairy Tails

Here are a pair of fun new additions to my vintage shop. I found these two cute birds in a toybox at a yard sale last week, and I snatched them up. Both were in good condition, except for the hair, which was a tangled mess (I wish I had taken a before picture!). But I gently untangled them and returned the locks to their original silky beauty. 🙂 The pink one is named “True Love Tails” and the blue one is “Tippy Tails”.

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They are called “Fairy Tails”, and were part of Hasbro’s My Little Pony toyline in the 1980s. They have the same soft plastic bodies and long, brushable hair. In this case, REALLY long! Those are some impressive tail feathers there, girls! They also have spring-loaded feet that can grasp an object and let them perch.

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Want more info? My Little Wiki has a page of information about this little toyline, and FairyTailsCollector is a whole site dedicated to them. And check out this 80s TV commercial.

I love finding 1980s toys! 🙂

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My shops; Handmade: PeachPod | Vintage: PeachNifty

More 1980s kitsch!

You know the 80s bell charm necklace I posted about the other day? Look what I found on ebay: a plastic storage case for a charm collection! I didn’t even know these existed. It holds 96 charms (which is waaaaay more than I ever owned, lol). Very neat!

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My shop: PeachPod