If you've bought Mattel dolls in the last ten years or so, you may have noticed that while dolls made in China are pretty much what they always were, dolls from Mattel's Indonesia factory have the insides of their heads coated with a glue made from pine sap resin. Frequently, this glue softens up and seeps out through the rooting holes in the vinyl heads, coating the dolls' hair with sticky, pine-scented goop that collects dust and dirt, makes the hair look greasy, and makes the rooting look sparse (as instead of spreading out and blending, the individual plugs stick together). Brushing cornstarch or an absorbent powder through the hair, then brushing it out, has been used as a stopgap measure; I tend to wash my Indonesian dolls with hot water and clarifying shampoo, which has always worked pretty well on new dolls, fresh out of the box.

Recently, and I blame Creamodreamo on tumblr just as I blame Creamo for the fic I posted a couple days ago, I got myself a Signature Toralei on eBay who was missing a shoe, a tail, and her and Sweet Fang's scarves, and who was in need of a bit of TLC. I like to think I'm pretty good at rehabbing dolls who don't have MAJOR structural issues and I've been managing minor Indonesian glue seepage on my other dolls with nothing but the usual clarifying shampoo and dye and fragrance free fabric softener, so I wasn't at all intimidated. I washed Toralei's hair.

And I washed Toralei's hair.

And I washed Toralei's hair.

And it got better, but mostly I was just cleaning dirt out of the pine resin that was saturating it from root to tip. Eventually I said "I'll come back to this," and took care of the black staining on her nose and ear, which was a lot easier when her waxy-sticky hair stuck to itself and stayed out of the way. I picked up the Fearleading Trio to give her a body with a tail (and get some uniforms, and offer Fearleading Toralei's head to a friend of mine), and let her alone.

Then I got this crazy idea. )

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Almighty Hat

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