Home » How To Guides » How to Soften Ball and Socket Joints

Share This Post

Action Figures | How To Guides

How to Soften Ball and Socket Joints

Hello everyone!

So, I had a bit of a problem. Opening my figma Gridman, he wasn’t connected at the waist. I tried pushing the ball joint into the socket, but it would just pop right out. So what to do?

Well, here is a short guide about softening up socket joints on figures.

What is a Ball and Socket Joint?

A ball and socket joint is basically two parts: you have the ball joint which allows for mostly 360-degree rotation at a joint on the figure, and the socket which is what holds the ball joint in. Sometimes the socket may be a bit too snug for the ball and it pops out. Below is an example of a ball and socket joint.

What You’ll Need

  1. Figure
  2. Hot Water
  3. Tools (Maybe)

Not every figure has the same build — some may require tools to access the socket joint. If the socket joint is easy to access and does not have anything blocking it, or if you don’t feel that the material around the socket joint will be harmed by the hot water, then do not worry about disassembly.


Every figure is different, but for the sake of convenience, I recommend isolating the socket joint as much as possible. Thankfully for Gridman here, it is a simple part separation.


Next, we are going to warm up the part. This is where you need to make sure the water you have is warm. Not hot enough to burn your finger, but just enough to where it will soften the plastic.

Set the ball joint itself into the water and let it sit for about three to five minutes. (Maybe less — the hotter the water, the less time needed.)


Now, while the part is still warm, go ahead and plug it back into the socket. This may take a bit of fidgeting, and you may have to repeat step 2 again if you are having difficulty.

And here we have Gridman standing and ready!

An Alternative Method

As stated, not every figure is built the same, so there are different ways to soften stiff plastic like this. If you feel the paint or material will not get damaged by the hot water, you can run the ball/socket joint under warm water in the sink.

Other Uses

Softening up the plastic at the ball/socket joint is great for when you are having difficulty assembling the figure.

Specifically for figures where the weapon won’t smoothly fit into the hand, warm the hand up with some hot water then place the weapon in it.

I hope this tutorial helps with softening troublesome socket joints and keeping your figures sturdy!

Now, Gridman has villains to take on! Thanks for stopping by.

Share This Post

1 Comment

  1. Thanks, handy guide indeed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.