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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Movable doll eye always stays shut ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Movable doll eye always stays shut
How to fix?
purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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AR USA
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Date: 2/18/12 2:50 PM

My daughter was given a hand-me down doll with movable eyes. One eye works just fine, i.e., it opens up when the doll is upright and closes when she is lying down. But the other yes always falls shut. We can push it open manually and it will stay open for a bit, but then it closes again. Any advice on how to fix this? Thank you.

Claudia

beauturbo
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Date: 2/18/12 3:39 PM

Maybe first before actually doing anything to it, decide if it's a valuable collectable doll (to anyone) from a past decade or not and if you really want to fool around with it or change it or not. Because if so, I would just leave it that way. If not, then eye mechanism is on back of eyeball, inside the head. And probably just weighted so opens and closes on it's own when head moved about. So access to that, is from within inside the dolls head. If it's a neat bit of history from past decades, I would just let it be, but if not, you can just pop the head off, by various means, no matter if it's more elastic banding strung, or maybe even a wood pulp or hard plastic head and glued onto a cloth stuffed body, or whatever and gain access to it and change it like that.

Also just could be glued shut with anything sticky that a kid could manage to spill or drop on it, as kids are just sort of like that!

justgail

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Date: 2/18/12 4:58 PM

I think beauturbo has some good ideas, either the weight is out of place or an elastic is not elastic any more. One thing I recall from Antiques Roadshow is never store those old porcelain dolls with moveable eyes face up - apparently sometimes the eyes can come undone and get lost or break the doll.

Maybe if you do a search for sleepy eye doll repair or similar, you might get some ideas of what's wrong?

Miss Fairchild
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Date: 2/18/12 10:58 PM

I'm certainly no doll expert, but I bought a doll like this at an antique auction and rubbed a tiny bit of cooking oil on the eyeball. It loosened up and worked fine; it must have had some dust on the back of the eyeball and the oil loosened it up. But the others who have posted here, especially those who have described the inner workings of these beautiful dolls, seem to know a heck of a lot more than I do.

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Date: 2/19/12 0:41 AM

The wicked witch of the west (who happens to be my bio grandma) collects dolls, and gave me one of those that close and track the kids when she felt guilty over something decades ago and told me to clean the eye with rubbing alcohol and lubricate it with baby oil, all on a q-tip.

I don't know what it did/didn't do, but the doll was creepy, although it followed me around fine after that.

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Date: 2/20/12 10:58 AM

Thank you. This was an AG doll knock-off, so plastic (albeit nice plastic) all around. I took a long pin and gently inserted it behind the doll's eyelid (It IS a doll, not a person) and moved it side to side. It dislodged whatever speck of dust it was that interferred with the mechanism. So it works fine now. A lubricant is a good idea, I will try that should "Katharina" develop a droopy eye again.

Claudia

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