The eyes on my witch went out a few days ago, and I thought that i'd make a repair guide for those who want to know how to get inside your Gemmy witch's head.
NOTE: Remember that you are working with aged plastic. Be careful.
The first thing you'll need is a razor, and this is to cleanly cut the back of the mask for access to the head. You want to cut around the hook/loop fastener, because pulling the staples out is much more aggravating, time consuming, and potentially damaging to the product. Do like this:
This makes it easy to take off and work on the mechanics. If you are worried about the look of the face, you can tape the latex closed, or simply glue it down to the plastic if you'd like. I don't recommend doing this though.
Carefully peel the mask away from the back of the head, but NOT all the way off
. You don't even need to take the mask all the way off for this repair. Depending on what animatronic you're working on, and how thin your screwdriver is, you may not even need to take it all the way off for the mouth. It will look like this:
The plastic head mold on my witch was covered in grease. Your witch may be different, but that is how mine was. This was probably done at the factory to help aide putting on the latex mask, however trying to pull the mask off in the same fashion today would risk breaking the now 10-15 year old plastic that you're working on. This is why you should cut the latex.
Locate the screw-holes that are all around the plastic frame, and don't forget the top screw. Once this is done, you can remove the back cover:
Here you will see a lot of wires and a lot of screws, don't panic! Look at the eye mechanism. Take out the 3 screws that are securing it to the plastic head frame (you'll figure out which ones these are). If you have a wire that came off, all you'll need to do is solder the wire back on, and you're done. If you need to replace a split gear, like I do, continue on.
Here is the eye mech. Before you go further, see if you can move the mechanism. If you can move it and there is some resistance, then the problem is not a gear, it is either a wire or a dead motor. If you can move the mech freely, or if you can't move it at all, then it is a gear problem.
Next, you'll need to take out the 3 screws on top that secure the lid to the gearbox.
Here is the internals, with the motor shaft gear removed. The eyes on my witch were 9-tooth, however yours may be different, so make sure to count the teeth on your motor shaft gear. These gears are quite easy to find on ebay, just type in the number of teeth you need and the size of the shaft, which is 2 mm. If the problem is NOT a motor shaft gear, shop around for other items with eye movement. The gearbox used for this is pretty standard in Gemmy props. To put on a new motor shaft gear, just push on the new gear with your fingers. If you cannot do this, then put the new gear on a table and push the motor on to it so you have more leverage. Make sure the mechanism moves correctly
before you screw everything back together.
Have fun with your fully working Gemmy Witch!