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Restoring a Vintage 80s Castle Grayskull

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I received a vintage 1982 Castle Grayskull for Christmas. On the outside it looked like it was in great shape; but inside, most of the accessories were missing. I decided to do what I could to restore it to its former glory. Using a combination of 3D printing, eBay, and facebook trades, I just recently completed the restoration. Check it out!

When I first got my hands on this Castle in late 2019, I immediately went on eBay and replaced the jaw bridge door. The peg at the base of the right side was missing so it wouldn’t stay in place more than a few minutes. While shopping around for a replacement jaw bridge I also replaced the throne and the mechanism underneath that keeps the trap door upright until triggered. I had the elevator and the gargoyle for the pull string, but no rail for the elevator, so I got it 3D printed and painted it. Check out this article about the rail replacement

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The next part was replacing the weapons rack. The castle came with the spinning trainer, but not a single weapon, or the rack to store them on. I knew this would be a tough and expensive quest, but it was worth tracking each piece down. I saw one eBay auction for a complete vintage rack, with all the weapons for over $65. I thought that was outlandish so I set to piece-mealing it myself. Hmmm, it took over two months, but I got mine for just around $50 a few parts at a time. I got the rack with two weapons for $25, and then two more online sales and I finally finished it last week. The hardest thing to track down is the hand pistol. This piece alone goes for about $30. I actually got this and a halberd from an individual on a MOTU facebook group page, so online communities are a great place to look.

Rack restoration I had to bust out the dremel, paint, and glue one more time before I was done. My weapons rack was in great shape except it was missing ONE PEG. So I dremeled a small hole (just bigger than a toothpick) and then dremeled off the end of this plastic paint brush and it was a perfect fit. Then I realized it would be hard to paint, so I got another paint brush, did the two-step paint job (orange sharpie, then mustard yellow paint pen) to color the end. THEN I dremeled the end off. I used some Gorilla Grill on the back end and that kept it in pace. The paint job is not a 100% match, but it looks pretty good and works well in photos. grayskullint_08

One of the things that helped immensely was printing out a scan of the original directions. They’re all over the internet, but here’s a great blog post with scans of the directions. This really helped in getting the exact name of the parts I was tracking down. I also printed out full-size replicas of the Label card (cardboard inserts) and Label sheet (stickers).

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So I printed the Label card on card stock, and the Label sheet on a single-sheet Avery label and cut them out and inserted them. After putting all these pieces inside with the completed weapons rack and elevator, I was complete. It felt fantastic to restore it to it’s original glory and it was ready for a studio photoshoot. I only have a handful of vintage figures and YES I KNOW I don’t have the original He-Man. I was never a He-Man guy, I was a Skeletor guy. So I have several Skeletors, but I figured I did need a vintage He-Man none the less. Little did I know a complete vintage He-Man costs a little north of $60. A complete vintage Skeletor is also in that neighborhood. I swear I purchased this complete vintage Skeletor from a local comiccon for under $20 about 2 years ago. It had the purple half sword, the havoc staff, and all his armor in a single baggie. I don’t know if there was huge jump in MOTU interest in the last few years or if I was naive and the dealer was naive and we both walked away happy. Anyway, my best bet was to purchase the Super 7 Filmation style He-Man for under $20. He’s pretty close to the original He-Man and for now, that’s what I got. The Skeletor, Trap Jaw, Moss-Man, and Roboto were originally mine or also purchased for under $20.

So check out this gallery (there are other MOTU studio photos within, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands since Coronavirus lock down began.) I had fun setting up specific scenes. I’m currently building the Mega Construx Castle Grayskull and will have pics of that soon. I’m also looking for ways to repair the flocking on my original Panthor. He looks good from certain areas, but other places on his fur are suffering a bad case of the mange.

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A complete, vintage Castle Grayskull seems to be going for $250 or more depending on how you get it. Getting it with all the weapons intact is the tough part. If you have the ability to grab a near-complete Grayskull and want to restore it, I found this process very fulfilling. The one thing is that I would not sell my Grayskull, but if I ever did, I would be clear to the buyer that the elevator rail, stickers, and cardboard inserts are not originals.

Vintage Castle Grayskull

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