They’ve become commonplace adornments to just about everyone’s house around Halloween and they’re readily available at most retail establishments around the beginning of September every year.
The Gemmy Spirit Ball
It talks, the eyes light up, it’s head and mouth moves, it is retail priced at about 20 dollars.
Best of all, the disembodied head movement is really prone to not working after one season of use!
Here’s a quick guide to getting into this little beast, and hopefully getting your floating head of doom working again.
Tools you’ll need:
- Philips screwdriver
Flip your Gemmy spirit ball over and notice the one screw that is hanging out in the bottom.
This is the ONLY screw holding the works of this thing intact, remove it (you only have to remove it about 3/4ths of the way if you’re the kind of person (like me) who loses things. Next, keeping the ball upside down, grasp the black base and turn clockwise about 1/4 turn, it might be a little stiff. This will unlock the base/head assembly from the ball.
Now it’s relatively easy to get the base/head assembly and ball separated.
Turn the base/head upright and turn the head so it is facing away from you. Part the black fabric covering the neck area of the back of our witch. Chances are, you will see this:
As you can see there’s a black rubber band, just hanging there, its effective life literally hanging in the balance. That little black band is supposed to be stretched between those 2 drive pulleys. That’s what makes this little head move like that! Here’s another view of those wheels, with the belt removed:
Using your tweezers remove that little belt, it’s very very greasy, which doesn’t at all help keep it in place on those plastic wheels.
Be cautious when getting this thing off and on, the larger drive pulley is easily pulled off of its axle and it is a bit obnoxious/mentally painful getting it back on. Once you’ve tweezed this thing back into place it should look like this:
Now replace the fabric, and insert the head back into the ball, making sure that when placed down that the seam of the ball is in line with the front of the head.
Rotate the ball clockwise and you should be able to see the head completely again. Tighten that screw back up and fire your Gemmy Spirit Ball back up.