Let's face it. Barbie is getting up there. As she got older at our house, being passed from my wife to our daughter, her age really began to show. Today my daughter was playing with Barbie and the arm broke off in her hand; she started crying as she stared at the dismembered doll.
This Instructable is for removal and replacement of the small plastic joint holding Barbie's arms on.
Step 1: Parts & Stuff
1 long machine screw with nut
Thread lock or solder + iron
Step 2: Arm & Body Prep
With a small drill bit, manually drill a pilot hole in the middle of the broken joint, being careful not to drill into the arm itself. Screw into the pilot hole and pull the screw out with a pair of pliers to bore out material if necessary. Using a dental pick or the like, pull out any remaining ball joint plastic.
There are two plastic nibs inside Barbie's chest cavity. Push them in until they fall out, and shake her around until you get them out. If you don't do this, they will rattle around inside her.
Step 3: Replacement Joint Fabrication
Using a grinder (or file if you have the time but not the tools), make the head of the machine screw smaller and more "ball joint" shaped. This will ensure the arm has more range of motion. When selecting or modifying the machine screw, it should be long enough to go between both shoulder holes and stick out about 1/8" on either side. Experiment to get the length right if necessary. (I forgot to measure before I had it all back together, oops.)
After you have the screw the right length, get to work on the nut.
Place the nut in a vice and grind it until it is more or less shaped like the head of the screw.