MINIFIGURES FROM KEYCHAINS AND MAGNETS (PART 2)
This is Part 2 of the Minifig from Keychains and Magnets. Initially this was supposed to be a 2 parter article, but now it seems that this will be a trilogy due to a new discovery made. Two days ago, I got my partner in crime to “demonstrate” the removal of the keychain from the minifigure, and lo and behold, it’s a sweet discovery for us to find that Lego has actually taken the time to modify the minifig solely for the purpose of a keychain.
Before we dive into that, as promised I wanted to cover the conversion methods. I’ve personally tried Method 1 and 2, but I outsource my Method 3 to my partner in crime.
Method 1: Clipping
This method is actually the most straightforward of the lot, but will leave a tiny bit of the metal exposed. My personal advise is to use this on keychains which has a dark headpiece, for instance, Batman. You could try to cover that part up by simply finding a dark permanent marker to sort of “hide” the shade. You’ll need a good pair of pliers/cutters to make this happen. This is the least favoured approach for me personally
Update: Nick Chen created a video to show how this can be done more elegantly, getting rid of the hideous metal, yet without melting it using the soldering iron! I'm thoroughly impressed as my skills end up just clipping unable to remove the headpiece! Detailed explanation done, and you may want to consider this approach!
Check out his YouTube video!
Method 2: Yanking / Pulling
(*** Disclaimer, this approach *MAY* no longer work with NEW keychains, will explain shortly)
Ok, I must admit, I’ve done this for about 2-3 of my keychains, but had to give it up. Yes it will work, but I found that different minifigs requires different strengths to actually pull it out. I managed to get a couple out, after a while, I actually gave up, because it simply would not come out, and my hands started to hurt and blister due to the strength required. I’m afraid there’s no way to tell whether it’s going to be easy or not, you’ll have to give it a go yourself.
Method 3: Soldering iron (or candle)
This is my favourite method, but is definitely the hardest to execute, and I love the end results. The process is basically heating up the metal parts that will in turn, melt the internals just enough to give you the chance to yank it out. The trick is to actually continuously pull on the minfiig while its being heated up so that as soon as the right amount melting occurs, the pin comes off.
Good news for all, since this is the most complex, I had my partner in crime record the process down. As he wishes to remain anonymous, let’s call him Kamen (he likes Kamen Riders).
1 Min Video of Keychain removal:
According to Kamen, you can’t actually re-insert the pin after the deed is done. The plastic actually contracts back to a smaller opening which prevents you from doing it. That sounds like a bonus considering you want the holes to be as small as possible.
I’ve also came across folks actually taking the same approach, but using a candle instead. My guess is that as opposed to a soldering iron which rises in temperature quickly and transfers the heat, the candle approach would likely take a while longer for it to reach the desired melting point.
We had a very pleasant surprise to see that the new keychain minifig is actually structured differently from the previous keychains (see Part 1 of this review). The good news is that the torso is actually removable but the neck piece is no longer part of the torso but is now attached to the legs! VERY INTERESTING FIND! So, what does this mean? It seems to me that Lego made this purposefully so that the pin insertion is strengthened ALL the way down, preventing Method 2 from taking place or perhaps requiring EVEN more super human strength to make it happen. Perhaps if anyone of you have tried this and found it’s possible, do let us know!
On this particular Flash minifig, the headpiece is made of RUBBER, so you actually have to be EXTRA careful to not melt it or damage it during the process.
Typical headpieces or gears are plastic. So, does it all fit together TIGHTLY after piecing it again? The answer is yes, it’ll look and feel exactly like a minifig.
So, what do you guys think of the “new” element that holds the keychain together. I’m really impressed that Lego actually took the time to mould this special piece for keychains. Is it really worth their time? Is it to prevent the yanking of the pins out to ensure that regular minifigs hold their value? I’m in doubt if we will ever find out unless someone from within the plastic empire reveals it to us.
Stay tuned for Part 3 to explore the magnets being used as minifigs and also other implications reusing elements from keychains and magnets.
Photo and Video Credit (Method 3) for Keychain Flash parts : "Kamen Rider"
Video Credit (Method 1) Nick Chen