Grail Mail Unboxed
I received my grail girl in the mail from Mandrake the other night (she zoomed across the Pacific! Quite impressive.), and decided to attempt to document the unboxing process. But, being too excited to wait, didn't have the best lighting or set up - so please pardon some of the more blurry photos. This ended up mostly a documentation of the condition she was in after fifteen years of being in a box.

Without further ado...

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Got out my trusty unboxing knife to get into this bad boy (I think it was meant for taxidermy, I picked it up at a garage sale and it's become the official box opener).

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Eeeee, she's in there under that bubble wrap! This doll was the first Pullip I ever saw way back in 2005; someone took the most gorgeous photo of her and I spent hours researching who and what she was. And now, for the first time, I get to see her in real life.

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It's Mercu!!

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AHHH she's beautiful. At first glance, she seemed almost pristine (not noticeable yellowing, all okay on front). Not surprised to see her headphones peeling back, and once I got them out I barely touched them they are in such a state. I assume these can be fixed with glue - anyone have recommendations for what kind to use?

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Judging by the state of the twist ties, I believe she was never opened previously. I can't stand leaving dolls in boxes personally, but, none the less, I felt a bit bad being the first heathen to take her out. 

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Her hair was stuck in this tape, and she lost a strand or two as I attempted to free it. Forgive me.

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Oh. Oh no, I was warned about this. It looks like over time the vinyl started fusing with the plastic of her box. But it's just a little it's not so bad...

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Oh god. As I started to (gently) handle her, the jacket flaked off like ashes - there were tiny follicles everywhere, and some bigger chunks like this. I was so nervous to touch her after this that I didn't get many other pictures of her front half (and started to feel worse about taking her out and being the absolute catalyst of doll entropy.)

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Started to notice more peeling on both her sleeves as well. On the plus side, this problem seemed to only be with the crinkly silver parts of her outfit - the smoother material is in great condition, and there is very little else to complain about besides this problem (but, due to this problem, I've been too afraid to undress her, and have no damage report for her body.)

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But so stinkin' cute! I am obsessed with her alien, raygun, little leg holster, choker, her frizzy pastel purple wig. Hoping to be back with more and better pictures some time but....

I need to do something about her jacket. I can't just live in fear of the disintegration, and I know I'm not going to stop it, so I am considering customizing alternatives. My thought is to allow the jacket to fully peel, then paint in the areas with some kind of metallic silver fabric paint. Does anyone have any recommendations or warnings regarding this method? Has anyone tried anything else?

Here's one last photo I did get of her during the unboxing. Hoping to follow up later with better shots, but I am so happy to add this beautiful girl to my collection.

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Thanks for looking!
Rida, Latte, Chicca, Sarras, Regen Paja, Regen Moon, Yona, Wind, Mercu, Raphia, and OG Noir.
Oh, what an incredible figure! I've looked at pics of Mercu (and Jupi) for a long time, but they were out of production by the time I got in to Pullips.

Thank you for the detailed unboxing photos. That's exciting that you found one that was truly mint-in-box. Well, obviously not mint mint, due to aging issues, so unopened in box!

That is one serious unboxing knife!   Oh My

I'm sure there must be some way to restore or repair flaking vinyl. I'll see if I can get kanrabat, one of the members here, to comment here on this post. I know he has stripped off the flaking vinyl from some Pullip jackets. I don't remember what steps he took after that.

Even with the flaking vinyl, assuming the price was right, Mercu in box with all accessories is an exciting find!

Thanks for sharing the complete unboxing ex-perience!
They're not dolls, they're action figures!
Oh, she’s cute. What a pretty close-up. Congrats on getting a doll you have wanted for so long! So sad about the jacket, but that is so common with that kind of material. Yes, I think people have peeled off things entirely and then repainted. Or if you were a really handy sewer, maybe you could stitch some silvery fabric around over top of it. That would be a complicated job. I didn’t know she came with a little alien; how fun! Hope you enjoy her lots, and yay for taking her out of the box after all these years!
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Oh boy....

Well, that's the bane of faux-leather on Jun Plannings dolls. The material simply flakes away over time, as did my PULLIP WITHERED or downright ROT to nothingness like PULLIP NGE ASUKA LANGLEY.

There is absolutely nothing you can do to fix that. Might as well try to revive a rotten steak back into a cow. There is only 3 things you can do:

---- Accept the rot and leave the doll as is or awkwardly try to salvage the unsalvalgeable. (The lame option).

---- Give your doll a fresh new look. ( The common option)

---- Be ready to pay the price and ask an Etsy artist to remake the same costume in shiny, non-vinyl, non-rotting fabrics. (The hardcore option).

So, what will you do?
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Congrats on a cool new doll and on finding your grail! I really like her faceup.

Charing Cross (the first Jdoll made in 2007), which I bought NIB had a purse made out of that faux leather material that was so crumbled I just threw it away sad

Congrats, I love her! I have two and both suits were a mess. I was able to carefully salvage one out of two, although I haven't looked at it lately. smile
My feedback:

Join us at the Pullip and Dal Doll Lovers Event in June 2024. The theme is Retro Memories Sweet Sixteen.
Congratulations on finally obtaining your grail after 15 years of thinking of her smile

It's sad to see her jacket didn't hold up well, but sadly not unex-pected sad If the base of the fabric beneath the flaking silver top layer is still holding together as one piece (unlike Asuka's plugsuit did in Kanrabat's pictures sad ), I'd try to paint the fabric with silver acrylic paint. I have no clue if that'd work or how it would look with an uneven base and on such a relatively big area*, but that's something I thought of. Acyrlics are used on clothing items, so they do work on fabric.

*the suspenders of my J-doll Robson St's jeans dress are also made of faux leather and they started flaking immediately when they got wrinkled during redressing. I repainted the flaked-off area with white acrylic paint, and it looks perfectly fine, but that's a very small surface compared to Mercu's jacket...
My Flickr Gallery blush

"I wear my sunglasses at night
So I can, so I can
See the light that's right before my eyes"
I wonder if you could coat stock like this with clear nail polish or sealant to prevent flaking? Has anyone tried?
(04-27-2020, 10:12 PM)fishy Wrote: I wonder if you could coat stock like this with clear nail polish or sealant to prevent flaking?  Has anyone tried?

Not sure it would work. Flaking is ROT due to age. It would be like covering dry leaves with varnish.
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