Sunday, April 12, 2015

Worried Your Doll's Ashy Skin is Caused by VDS?

Back in 2009, I had asked if anyone had experienced ashy-faced dolls. What I meant by "ashy-faced dolls" was dolls who seemed to have sprouted powder on their faces. I had had two Mattel fashion dolls with that condition - Fashion Fever Kayla and Cali Girl Lea. (Kayla sold - and yes, I informed the buyer about her "skin problem.") Well, I am pleased to announce now that I know what the problem is. No, the problem is not VDS. Lea has mycelial mat. How can I make that claim? I read pages 58-59 of Nicholas J. Hill's The Definitive Book On The Care And Preservation Of Vinyl Dolls And Action Figures.  



First, what is VDS? VDS is "vinyl deterioration syndrome," a term used by some action figure and/or doll collectors. However, VDS is a misnomer; the problem is not the vinyl. The problem is fungi want food. The plasticizers in vinyl - under the right conditions, say a room with high humidity - makes good food for fungi. (Think silent lip smacking.) So they attach themselves to our lovely dolls and feast. The white powdery stuff is baby fungi; they gain color as they develop. I think Lea's fungi are still "baby" (stunted) because her face is not thick enough to provide enough nourishment for the mycelial mat to develop.

How did this happen to Lea? I had placed her on top of a 79 1/2" tall IKEA Billy bookcase close to a window. Bad move on my part since that exposed her to more extreme temperature fluctuations and to more humidity than in the rest of the room. 


Is treatment available? Yes, it is. Formula 9-1-1 sold by Twin Pines. Have I tried this product? No, not yet. It has received endorsements and positive reviews online and off

So rest easy knowing there is no VDS looming on the horizon and waiting to devour your figures. And check the recommendations on this page to help keep humidity down in your doll room. Relieved?




20 comments:

Georgia Girl said...

Very interesting. Ironically I deboxed a doll the other day and noticed an ashy or powdery face. I wiped it off. I was wondering where it came from. Thanks for the info.

Vanessa said...

Thanks for the info. Now the my dolls are in the basement, they are subjected to a lot more humidity. I will check out those links.

Male Doll World said...

Thanks for the info. I have similar bookcases and I will be careful about the dolls in the humidity in the room.

D7ana said...

Hi Georgia Girl, Vanessa, and Male Doll World!

@Georgia Girl - you're welcome. On the plus side, your affected doll won't pass the mycelial mat on to your other dolls. On the other side, the fungi can re-appear if the humidity is at or above 70%.

@Vanessa - you're welcome. I hope the suggestions help ward off any fungi attacks.

@Male Doll World - you're welcome. That bookcase is placed next to a rear wall window so it is almost like being outside. Good luck with your humidity precautions.

Chasing Joy said...

I learn so much about the world of dolls from your blog. Im glad you solved the ashy doll mystery.

D7ana said...

Hi Chasing Joy! Oh, you want to be careful - the doll worlds are seductive. One minute, you're just looking and the next, you've got dolls in your shopping cart. Ha ha ... kidding. You're aiming for a 1:1 "doll" - I and your other readers will be learning about that world.

Whew. Yes, it's good to be able to identify the problem and to ba able to fix it. At last ...

AG Lanc said...

Thank you so much for sharing!

Roville said...

I just learned something new. Something to keep a watch for. Thanks, D!

april_n_paris said...

Thank you so much D7ana for sharing this. I haven't had this kind of problem as yet. (Though I just treated some of my dolls for the dreaded stain problem). Now I know to be pro-active to try and prevent this problem.

D7ana said...

Hi AG Lanc, Roville, and April_n_paris!

You are all welcome to the information. I am happy to share - I have only had 2 dolls with this problem - seen so far.

I'll be reading about the sticky face and limbs problem next. The cause is similar - plasticizer breakdown in the vinyl, but the result is visibly and tangibly different. Greasy vinyl - ick!

Wishing clear dollies and action figures for us all ;-)

Brini said...

Thanks for the information. I haven't came across any spots yet but I will check all my dolls.

D7ana said...

Hi Brini! You're welcome! I hope you find your dolls spot-free ;-)

Barb the Evil Genius said...

What a great book to bring to our attention, Dana! I'll have to get it myself so I can work on my Courtney's sticky leg situation.

D7ana said...

Hi Barb the Evil Genius! Yes, it's a helpful book. Good luck clearing up Courtney's sticky leg!

Muff said...

Why, thank you! I will definitely keep this bookmarked. I live in a very humid climate anyway and have to use damprid in every room to control moisture. It would help if I ever turned the a/c on but I'm straight country and never got used to such fancy machines blowing cold air. I like it hot myself, but it's not that great on my equipment.

D7ana said...

Hi Muff! You're welcome.

Philly's usually not humid except in the summer. Ugh, summer ;-P

I've never had a/c in any of my homes or apartments. Feels chilly but welcome at work during the summer though.

Spring and fall are my favorite times of year ;-)

You're in a good place to savor hot, yes? Cool. LOL

Marta said...

Hello from Spain: some of my older Barbies are also as yours. They have spots. it's a helpful book. Keep in touch

D7ana said...

Hi Marta! Thanks for commenting! I hope you can heal your spotty Barbies. Yes, I'll keep in touch ;-)

Anderson's All-Purpose said...

That's good to know. I've never had this problem myself, but I know my apartment tends to get damp, so maybe I should keep an eye out for it.

D7ana said...

Hi Anderson's All-Purpose! I hope you never have that problem. There is "relief" for it though if you ever come across it ;-)