Monday, April 7, 2014

Pro Thrift Tips: Toy Revival @GoodwillSA

Toys. We all have them and our kids always want more!
Shopping for toys at Goodwill here in San Antonio is a great way for me to add to our collection for pennies on the dollar. Because there is such a great selection at the thrift store, it takes a lot of self control not to go "crazy" and buy a bunch of toys.

Last year, I found my son a Buzz Lightyear figure, but I didn't realize that he was missing his wings! Silly me. So ever since, my son has asked for Buzz to get wings one day (don't get me wrong, he definitely still played with Buzz!). I just found a Buzz Lightyear WITH WINGS at Goodwill for $2.99!! My son was so excited. Do note: He waited a LONG time to get this toy. But it was worth it, because there is NO WAY that I am going to pay $39 or $49 for a Buzz from a big box store. And it taught him a lesson in patience.
But Buzz didn't work when we got him home. I didn't worry one bit, because I know how to revive toys!
With thrifted toys, I expect to go home, check the batteries FIRST THING (just in case of corrosion) and go from there. Here are two great tips I have learned from years of thrifting and doing minor toy fixes. This will save you a lot of grief and enable you to revive thrifted toys too!

Tip #1: A little bit of baking soda paste on a q tip can go a long way to clean out a battery compartment. Let the compartment thoroughly dry before you put fresh batteries in.
Usually this is enough to make the toy work again, as was the case with Buzz.

Tip #2: A little bit of foil! 
I added a bit of foil to the rusted battery compartment of the giant fire truck that I bought for $4.99 (at the contact point) and it works great now!

Tip #3: Thrift for and donate toys! More often than not, the toys I have thrifted are in excellent condition and work like a dream. When we get really tired of playing with a toy or "age out," we donate!

**NOTE: I am NOT an expert on restoring toys! These are tips that I use and work for me. Please use caution when dealing with old batteries, and please dispose of them properly.**Happy Thrifting!


  1. This is so interesting.. Will def pin.. We actually have a leap pad toy that is not working and I believe its the battery case.. Must do this when I refind that toy.

  2. Cool! I would've never thought to clean out the compartment. Great tip :)

  3. I love this neat tip. I had no idea that would work!


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