I dedicated myself to collecting Imperials sometime in the mid 1990s. I would amass an army so large that the ultimate game could be played. That was the childhood dream. Though I knew that once the army was amassed, I would have difficulty playing a game as a grown up, it did not matter. They would display all so beautifully, if not nothing else.
And that they did….
There came a time when my displays made way for other things. The figures were regrettably stored away in a dark draw. The figures, well they would be fine. I mean, we are talking about my Star Wars figures! What harm could come to them as they lie in relative peace and quiet?
I was always proud of the beautifully white imperials I had amassed. Sparkling brand new condition that soothed the soul. I had a couple of Stormtroopers I had owned since 1980 (17 years at that point) and I figured they led abusive lifestyles and their yellowing was attributed to that. My beloved figures stored away were going to always be beautiful.
And so the nightmare began….
The last reported sighting of my figures as they were was circa 2006. My occupation led me to another city and I was away from my figures for quite some years. Imagine my friends… simply imagine it. I opened the draw sometime in 2012 and was aghast in horror! It was like somebody has infiltrated my collection and replaced certain figures with all their yellowed sub standard leftovers! It didn’t make sense. I refused to believe that age had penetrated my mint white figures. I was convinced that it was the damp conditions or that I had not stored them individually in plastic bags. I had been reckless! It was all so sad.. Never again could I display my Imperials as I did close to 20 years earlier.
I read all I could and slowly accepted the reality that age does catch up with the figures. However some were indeed spared and remained white. It drove me mad thinking how I could have avoided it. But in the despair, I stumbled into a possible solution for yellowing on the white figures…
It was Hydrogen Peroxide
I knew not of it. My mother told me she used it to highlight her hair in the 70s while out in the sun. The readings declared that if the figures bathed in the peroxide in the sun for at least 7 days, miracles would be unleashed.
Without hesitation, the operation began. There was nothing to lose. These figures were now ready for experimentation. I threw a good 5 figures in a glass coffee bottle and filled it up with the life rescuing chemical. I really should have had some of the figures friends there to support them during the procedure, but I was all too selfish to invite guests!
I would glance everyday and could swear I was seeing improvement. But was I seeing just what I wanted to see? Day 7 came and the miracle was obvious in all it’s glory… There was white figures in the peroxide tank!
I pulled them out and washed them in soapy water then rinsed in clean water. Then proudly zipped them up in air tight bags. Oh I was in such awe of this miracle solution. The gods have blessed us all!
The motion picture “Awakenings” now comes to mind…
I visited my figures in storage a mere few months after the glorious bathes and my heart sank. It sank I tell you! There they were in their air tight bags with signs of yellowing. They were not as bad as they were but I knew that was coming. It was a temporary treatment. One that teased us all that they could once again live a healthy life. Once again I accepted the reality and closed the drawer where they rested.
Time has passed, years have softened the wounds and other whiter figures have compensated. But we will never forget the summer of 2012 when we experienced the “Awakening” and for one brief moment in time, we were all young and brand new again.