How to Fix a Pull String Toy

How to Fix a Pull String Toy

Let’s say your kid has a pull string doll that doesn’t move or talk anymore. Sometimes the pull string doesn’t recoil which means the toy can’t be propelled when it is pulled back.

There are many ways to fix these issues.

But first, how do these toys work?

Pull String Toy Mechanism

Inside every pull string toy switch, the mechanism is a means of making and breaking a circuit. The first pull of the string compresses the pull string; when it is fully compressed, it pulls on the switch itself and moves the toy forward.


The problem might be from the battery. Loosen the toy if there are screws or cut through to get inside the body.

Take out the battery compartment and check if all the wires are in the right places, if there are loose wires, solder them back in place using a little led and a soldering iron. If the toy is powered by small watch batteries, you should change them.

Another way to fix a pull string toy, if it has a voice box but doesn’t make sounds anymore, is to try to take out the voice box and batteries at the back. Leave these out for a while, maybe eight to 12 hours, then put the batteries back in. Also press the red button on the voice box, if there’s one.

You might even try scraping any corrosion off the battery terminals as a first possibility. Sometimes corrosion on the battery terminals can stop a doll from working right.

How to fix a Pull String Woody doll

You can fix your Woody toy if it doesn’t talk or move anymore. You need a soldering iron and some led. Also ensure you keep all the small pieces and screws, especially the small spring inside the body.

First off, take out the battery pack through the lumbar velcro. There is a black wire that carries power from the chest to a module that houses the electronics.

Untie the string through the hole in the Woody doll’s back. Cut open the white fabric inside that separates the battery pack from the electronics module, then take out the screws that hold the modules together.

Carefully separate these parts to avoid cutting the wires that run between each half and leads to the electronics and speaker.

If the wires are not intact when you try to separate the halves, use a soldering iron to put it back together.

Now the pull string is probably wrapped around a spindle which is spring loaded on one side; with the spindle side of the module facing you, wind up the string in front of the spindle, over the top and down the hole.

You will find the mechanism that completes the circuit on the right side of the spindle when you pull the string. That’s where you find the small spring and another metal piece that makes intermittent contact when the spindle winds up after you pull it.

If the string is bound up around the spindle, clear it and be certain it winds up properly when pulled.

Also, look at the right side of the spindle to check if you have placed the spring and metal piece in the right place. If not you may have to replace the spring. Then, finally, solder down the wires to get the circuit to work.

That should clear up any issues with your Woody doll.


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