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How to Repair Woody's Voice Box

By Alice Godfrey ; Updated April 18, 2017

A voice-box toy employs what is essentially a miniature phonograph record being played when the spindle it is on is turned. To repair a stuck string attached to the spindle on a doll that has a voice box, for example the Toy Story “Woody” doll, free the string so it can function normally again. Household tools and supplies will be needed for a partial disassembly of the voice box.

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Place the “Woody” doll face-down on a table. Pull the shirt up to reveal the doll’s back. Separate the two Velcro pads from each other to open the doll's back. Pull the voice box out of the doll. Place the voice-box on the table with the screws facing down and with the doll up against it so that the attached string-pull has no tension applied against it.

Remove the screws from the voice box with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the top section of the voice box off the bottom section.

Apply mineral oil to the thumb and forefinger of one hand. Place the thumb and forefinger around the string on the inside of the front section. Run your fingers down the length of the string to where it meets the spring inside the bottom section. Reapply mineral oil to your fingers. Run your fingers up the length of the string from outside the top section to the string.

Grip the string on the inside of the front section. Pull the string no more than 2 inches toward you. Release the string. Repeat this procedure three more times. Grip the string on the outside of the front section. Pull the string toward you no more than the equivalent of 4 or 5 inches before letting go. Repeat this procedure two more times.

Close the front section on the back section and reattach the screws. Place the voice box back inside the doll. Close the Velcro pads back together. Pull the shirt down.

Things You Will Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Mineral oil


Do not use a lubricating oil since a child could taste it and get sick from the string-pull.

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About the Author

Alice Godfrey is a marketing analyst with more than 15 years of experience in her field. She holds a Ph.D. in social and personality psychology. Past positions include market research analyst at various advertising agencies and corporations. Her articles on a wide variety of issues relating to entertainment have appeared in numerous trade publications.

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