Ha. Thank you.
As far as cleaning goes, if all you have to deal with is surface dust and light dirt then soapy water, a sponge and an old toothbrush in the kitchen sink is a good way to clean one of these figures. There's a lot of rich detail on the figure that can accumulate dust so the toothbrush is ideal for getting into all small spaces found all over it's body.
These figures tend to be a bit ungainly to handle while cleaning them with their arms, legs and tail flopping about as you tend to it. If you like, you can remove the 4 screws in the back of the figure and disassemble it. Put the 4 screws aside for reassembling later and toss all the loose body pieces into the sink and let them soak as you scrub each piece individually with the toothbrush.Probably his first bath in over 35 years. Possibly, his first bath ever!
Of course, you don't have to perform a complete tear down of the figure just to wash it.
I like to do so because the figures I deal with tend to have other prominent issues that require disassembling in order to address them. While it's in pieces for repair it's a good opportunity to wash the figure. In my opinion, it's easier handling the separated pieces in the sink than it is to wash the figure whole. They also tend to dry quicker if disassembled, too. A pair of figures drying in the sun. The dismantled figure on the left is the same decapitated figure in my previous post above.
Some of the figures I've handled have been in a disgusting state, covered in dirt and dust and generally in poor condition. Usually a good bath solves most of the problems. Other issues like stains and restoring painted figures really need a case by case assessment with more aggressive approach using chemicals and equally more care.
...speaking of figures in a disgusting state, here's one for you that looks like it's been buried for most of it's life and it's been waiting for Indiana Jones to dig it up. This particular figure also appears in pieces in the photo posted above. It's the dismantled one on the right spread out and enjoying the sunny day on the cable drum.
It's unusual head paint pattern is discernible in that photo, too. The beauty of this particular figure is it possesses an anomaly in its head paint pattern. It has a line painted across his eye socket where no paint would normally appear which makes the Before and After comparison shots easy to compare.
Anyway, this is what the poor Sod looked like when he arrived in the mail. Gah...:My, don't you look like the regular pigpen?
Actually, that's the name I gave him in my log book, 'Pigpen', named after the 'Peanuts' comic character. This guy was super dirty and had a number of other problems including the very worn chrome finish on his teeth. Oh, and a broken hip joint as well. Each of these issues have since been addressed and he now looks great; but let's just concentrate on his filthy countenance.
Here's a couple of Before and After closeups. Firstly, there's no denying this guy needs a bath. Look at that face! He looks like he's been cleaning chimneys, or something:"Son, what's that shit you've got all over your face? You look disgusting. Now, go take a shower!"
He was fully disassembled, placed in the kitchen sink and scrubbed. The power of ye ol' toothbrush is not to be under estimated! Aside from that, I didn't use anything more complicated than hot water and a mild kitchen detergent to clean all the dirt, dust, pet hair (it was REALLY DISGUSTING. lol.) and whatever muck was coating the figure. It worked out well and here it is, all cleaned up: "Ahhh, yeah. That's much better, now. Too bad we can't wash those bloodstains outta yer forehead."
Most of the dirt was easily removed during the washing up process but some stubborn red marks refused to respond to my efforts, so I just left them there. They don't seriously detract from the figure and won't be too noticible once I get around to placing a fresh carapace on his head. So I really don't want to risk damaging the paint work on the figure. I have to draw the line somewhere and I'm not going to attempt using nail polish remover or paint stripper on the figure. It's just not worth the gamble to ruin the rest of the original paint work. Nonetheless, it's a vast improvement over the state it was in when it arrived.
The end result? Totally worth it.