BPuhl’s Blog

A little bit of everything without actually being much of anything

Time to Rescue a Damsel in Distress – 8 minutes, 45 seconds

Posted by BPuhl on January 24, 2008

The tools:

One pair of regular scissors

One folding pocket knife

4 years of college education in mechanical engineering

The Challenge:

Remove Princess Annika Barbie and her magic pegasus light-up wand from the plastic packaging


The Procedure:

Began by first carefully cutting away the “sealed” edge of the packaging, allowing me to remove the back panel of protective plastic and lift the entire interior assembly from the front plastic.

Next, seperate the 2 halves of cardboard, revealing the ridiculously complex series of wires, plastic, and string inside which are used to hold the doll and magic wand perfectly in place.

Focusing on removal of the magic wand:  Carefully pull the wand away from the cardboard.  Attempt to slide knife in between, carefully cutting away the plastic tabs holding the upper portion of the wand in front of the critical “press here” opening (it lights up).  Small slip-up, knick index finger of left hand…not bleeding that bad.  Lift wand out of it’s cardboard prison.

hmmm…that was easy….too easy…

Looking again at the back, her arms are held in position by plastic coated wires.  Prior experience with this has shown that these wires are impossible to cut.  Best to spend several minutes peeling the ends of the wires away from where they have been taped to the cardboard, untwisting them, and pulling the arms free from their steely bounds.

Next, comes the hair – How did they get her hair to stay like that?  Using carefully color matched thread, they have SEWN her hair to the cardboard, using a piece of plastic to hold it in place.  Fortunately a quick tug on the plastic and the thread undoes itself – ahhh, you Mattel packaging demons are pretty slick! 

But the first attempt to pull her head away from the cardboard fails as I realize that they used those same little plastic pieces that stores use to attach price tags to clothes – to hold her head in place!  Argh…  snip, snip – head is free.

Oh but wait, there are three more of these, running down her back, making sure that no matter what manner of shaking occurs during shipping, her beautiful dress remains in perfect position.

Lifting her straight up, removing her feet from the holes in the cardboard “box” structure at the bottom


just under nine minutes, no stitches, and only a little bit of blood.  Now, where’d I park my white horse again?


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