Intro: Swiss Army Barbie
Empower young girls to expand their horizons beyond playing with stereotypical gender reinforcing toys by combining a everyone's favourite pink girl-centric doll with something a little stabby.
A multi-tool is hidden inside the torso of the Barbie, where the blades can be pulled out from a slit in her side. The body also separates at the waist to reveal a screwdriver hidden in the legs. The two halves of this doll are connected by magnets, so she holds together when fully assembled. Barbie never looked so good!
Ready to see how it's done? Let's make!
Step 1: Supplies
Step 2: Slice Barbie
To get to the insides of Barbie we'll need to bisect her plastic body. I carefully sawed Barbie in half at her waistline.
After sawing through the edges of the cut were cleaned of any burrs.
Step 3: Hollowing Out
There's some support structure inside Barbie to align the two halves of her body when she was fabricated, this extra plastic will need to be removed in order to fit the folding knife inside her torso.
Using a rotary tool with a fine tip carving tool I removed the support plastic and some of the connecting plastic from inside the doll.
Step 4: Trim Down Folding Knife
This folding multi-blade knife is already fairly small, but has some extra bulk that can be removed.
The plastic covering of this knife is glued on and can be pried off. This reduced some bulk, but more can be removed. This knife came with an assortment of smaller blades like a corkscrew and an awl, these can be chopped off with a rotary tool to save on mass and allow the multi-blade to fit entirely inside the Barbie doll.
Step 5: Fit and Trim
More refining was needed to insert the multi-blade knife into the Barbie doll. I could get most of the multi-blade into the top half of the body, but also needed to modify the lower portion around the hips to get the multi-blade completely inside the body.
Step 6: Opening Up the Side
Once the multi-blade can be inserted inside the body cavity we'll need a way to open the blades, I chose to make an opening in her side so the blades could be swung outwards. In hindsight maybe a switchblade would be a better style of knife to hide inside. Maybe next time.
I sketched cut lines on one side of Barbie's torso and then used a cutting wheel on the rotary tool to create an opening. The edges were cleaned up with a sharp knife.
Step 7: Epoxy
With all the carving done it's time to epoxy the multi-blade knife inside the doll. I mixed up some 2-part epoxy and glued the knife inside the torso, ensuring the blades lined up neatly with the opening in the side of the torso.
I used tape to hold the knife in place while the epoxy cured.
Step 8: Leg Tools
Seeing an opportunity to utilize the legs I decided to try and include a screwdriver which would be revealed when the body is pulled apart.
Using an inexpensive screwdriver I removed the handle with a cutting wheel on a rotary tool. I then carefully carved out a section of the leg from inside the hip cavity. Since this are had a lot of material removed already from fitting the knife handle inside I needed to reinforce the legs to the hips with some 2-part epoxy.
After carving a new slot for the screwdriver in the leg I was ready to epoxy it in place.
Step 9: Magnets
The two halves of Barbie will be held in place with small magnets, allowing her to be taken apart and out back together effortlessly.
To do this I found areas around the knife handle that have voids large enough to put small magnets, then epoxied a magnet with the bottom flush with the bisecting cut line of the Barbie.
After these magnets were firmly in place I added a second magnet to where it was flush to the cut line, then added a small dab of epoxy to it before moving the bottom half of the doll in place. Allowing the epoxy to dry I then pulled the Barbie apart again and reinforced the second magnet with more epoxy.
The doll is now able to be ripped in half and can be put back together whole and the form is all held by magnets.
Step 10: Glue Clothes
Next is to secure Barbie's clothes back on. I used hot glue to fix her bikini top in place, then cut a portion from the side to access the blades, gluing the open flaps down to the doll's sides.
The same treatment was given to the bikini bottoms.
Step 11: Go Barbie, Go!
Barbie is now ready to conceal your multi-blade, and deploy an assortment of edges to fit any situation when the need arises.
When not in use, the blades can be tucked away and the legs are magnetically attached to the torso making the doll appear as one again.
Have you modified your own toy? I want to see it!
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