27 January 2010

figma repair

Note the following figma is NOT my figma

If there is one thing I want to say about figmas then it is that they are rather delicate, especially for action figures. Sometimes even with good care one can accidently break the joints, like the picture above with broken ponytails for Fate (ouch), which belongs to ToysDaily forum user 小櫻 (Sakura). Let's have a look how he repairs the breakage then.

One solution would be to use Kotobukiya's MSG (Modelling Support Goods) plastic ball joints. These are usually used for custom modelling (e.g. gunpla), but can also be used for other hobby items, and in this case figmas too.

This particular 'kit' comes with ball joints with 5 different diameters (4 each).

In this particular case, the diameter for the ponytail joints are about 3mm. A test fit here with the MSG 3mm joint (peg 2mm wide) on the head seems to work just fine.

Now that the ball end is ok, it's time to work on the peg end. As mentioned above the peg's diameter is 2mm wide in this case, so we need to have a hole that is 2mm wide on the ponytail itself.

While we need a 2mm hole at the end, don't jump in with a 2mm drill straight away! Start with something smaller, and work your way up slowly. As long as the peg can fit in the hole snugly at the end then it's just fine. Just don't overdrill it (i.e. if the peg is too long then cut a bit off the end, and for this case this does not seem to be necessary).

Once the pegs fit in firmly the repair is nearly done. According to 小櫻 the new joints are even firmer than the original ones!

Put the ponytails back in... (do paint the joints beforehand though unlike this picture)

... And tada; Fate is back in good shape again~

While this is not the only method to fix a broken joint for a figma, it's still a neat method with little material needed other than the MSG parts. It's cheaper than buying a whole new figma afterall. Putting some effort into things you like will get you to appreciate the your own hobby a bit more than just buying the merchandise I suppose :o

One way or the other I do hope that this post will help for those who collect and play with figmas, it may also apply to other similar action figures like mobips. As I have mentioned above this is not the only method to fix a joint, so maybe I will post another method like pinning etc if I see any good examples out there.

Source by user 小櫻 from ToysDaily forum
Original blog post here from 小櫻與愉快的朋友們的網上日記

I thank 小櫻 (Sakura) for his kind permission to share his content and method on this blog. If you want to share it out too please give a link back to his blog too.


  1. It's like playing doctor... except without having to take clothes off.
    Haha, glad you didn't have to buy a new one or then you won't be able to fit the second over-sized box ^_^

  2. 0_o?? Kotobukiya sells Ball joints... This is an outrage, Ill have to give my local store a visit to know why they dont know and stock this kind of product.

    Nice guide, but in the future, I would like to stay away from twin tail tailed figmas.

  3. @ robostrike:
    That first sentence of yours almost sounds too dodgy! @_@

    This isn't my figma Fate (as mentioned above), and nor is it the massive ALTER figure, but either way I am glad that no breakages happen yet or else it'll be a pain for me to deal with x_x

    @ GunStray:
    The Kotobukiya MSG parts exist for some time already. There are a lot of parts that you can use to mod with for gunpla too.

    Twin tails are not so prone to brekage if you hold the tails close to the joints, but I understand the paranoia by such delicacy.

  4. Nice set of photo illustrations. So far I have been luck and no major breaks. I did have a leg pin that broke on one of my figures, but the other leg was fine and she is holding her own for now.

  5. reminds me I did the same before but not for figma

  6. Tips on how to fix a shoulder joint would be really helpful. ^^

    Thanks for the post, I might need this one day.

  7. @ Bluedrakon:
    You must be talking about your Megahouse Echidna figure. For some reasons the pegs can be easily broken for some static figures. At least it's not a really visible breakage so that's not too bad I suppose.

    @ moemoekyun:
    Oh that's interesting. What was it that you have worked on before?

    @ Tommy:
    Shoulder joint? Have you managed to fix the shoulder joint for your Fate at the end?

  8. This method is not complicated but it does require a bit of work and the right tools to get the job done.

    The essential tool for this job is the mini drill. That I don't have but I have alternative but harder way to get the job done. -_-

    I would like to see GSC and Max Factory release spare joints for the future figmas. Like for eg. bundle in 1 more hand or a part where there is a chance it might break with repetitive movement. I guess the hard part is, which part because each part is movable so this might not work. :S

  9. @ Optic:
    I suppose if you want to fix a broken joint you need to put in some effort afterall.

    Apparently it is possible to order replacement parts from GSC, but that particular webpage has not been updated for more than a year, and the service is for Japanese residents only. So if you do want to have something fixed, I'd say buy some custom joints or the real easy way out (if there still is stock out there) is to buy a new figma. ._.

  10. This is very useful. Thank you. Will post the link to this page at the forum that I frequent to. I'll be sure to credit your blog and the original source. Hope that's alright with you.

  11. Ah, sorry for double post. Forgotten to mention that it's XL-Shop forum, in case you want to check it out, or something. Thanks again.

  12. @ xetrov:
    Thanks for the link back to me and to the original source - I appreciate that~ I am glad that you find this to be potentially useful, and that is what matters to me the most.

    I will probably post another example from a different source later this month. It's very similar but still worth looking at I think.

  13. So far Ive been really,really lucky with my actionfigures and didnt break a joint yet.
    This guide by Sakura is pretty nice but I still doubt to pull this of since I have two left hands after all ^^;;

  14. @ Blowfish:
    Luckily I haven't broken my figmas or my two Revoltech figures so far either.

    I suppose having known these repair methods will be a nice backup knowledge in case we do break something. Especially when the figure we broke is no longer being sold then a repair will be a better option than to just, say, leave it broken or even throw it away...

  15. I have a question as a newbie, but as I can't find the answer on the web, I thought I could ask to some expert ^^
    How do you actually change the face of a figma figure? I got my first some time ago, with different faces available, but as I don't want to break anything by forcing...
    I don't know, how are we supposed to do that? (because it doesn't seem to pull off that easily)
    I really must sound like the newbie, but well I got an Aigis figma, and want to get Vocaloid ones like this one as soon as I know how it works! :D
    Any hint would be appreciated, thanks ^^

  16. @ Joël:
    Hiya, thanks for stopping by. Despite the fact that I do blog about figma now and then, I am no expert on it but I will try to answer your question.

    To change faces for a figma figure, the front hair piece / fringe / bang has to be removed first (just pull it out). With that remove, you can now remove the face piece from the head (pull it out) and replace it with another one, and cover up with the hair piece again.

    I've cropped out an image from an official website to illustrate what I am saying here -


    Are the parts quite hard to pull out? I don't have many figmas and some tend to be a bit different to others in terms of quality. Maybe you can try get your nails in the seam lines and slowly push the pieces out of the pegs or holes. It shouldn't be to hard to remove from my experience.

    figmas are nice to display around, but some can be a tad fragile. Do check my post on handling some of the joints (it should be the first link in the post) just in case, as some of the earlier figmas are prone to breakage unfortunately.

    Hope it helps. Do let me know if you have more questions and I will try my best to answer!

  17. Thank you so much! I figured it out, actually it was quite simple. But, you still have to know the first time ^^"
    I was already looking for that kind of picture, precisely, but with no luck.
    You explained well... I wouldn't have found it without your reply, this also means figmas are well done, for hiding that!

    Yeah I've been told figma figures don't stand a lot of time, because they're articulated... unless fixed figures which stand forever.
    I noticed flaws in the parts standing along not so good together, too.
    I saw your post, now I know where to look for tips :D

    Now that I figured it out, I can't help but look for more figures to get! :D My next will be Miku for sure! XD

  18. @ Joël:
    Glad that I can help!

    Articulated figures can have the problem of standing against the test of time, especially if they are played around very often. Compared to other articulated / poseable figures that I know of, I do hear breakages from figma more often than others. This is one of the reasons why I have mine for display more than to play around with. Just be careful with them, and you should be find. Should something do break, well at least there's some repair methods that you can look up here and there.

    Last but not least, have fun and good luck with your future figma collection!


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