Broken toy? There’s no need to throw it out just yet, because the
best glues for plastic toys are strong adhesives designed specifically to be used on plastic. Not every type of plastic glue works for every plastic toy, though — before you buy glue, read the label to make sure it's compatible with the type of plastic that you're trying to mend. If the broken toy in question regularly comes into contact with water, be sure to choose a waterproof or water-resistant formulation. What Parents Are Talking About — Delivered Straight To Your Inbox
Most glues that work with plastic are super glue or epoxy. Super glue can be used straight from the tube and dries very quickly. Epoxy often takes longer to dry, and is made from a resin and a hardener that you’ll have to combine before use. However, epoxy is usually the strongest option (epoxy's tensile strength, aka the amount of force it would take to stretch or pull it to a breaking point, is measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI), and it's great for joining parts that don’t fit tightly together. When choosing between glue types, note that you'll have to be extra careful if your child's toys are made of polyethylene or polypropylene plastics, which aren't compatible with many types of glue.
Adhesives often set (aka harden) quickly, but you'll want to reference the glue's cure time to know how long it will take before it can reliably hold broken parts together. Many glues have
cure times that are around 12 to 24 hours. If you have an impatient kid, it's possible to find glues with shorter cure times.
On a safety note, these glues are not intended to be used by children. Be sure to keep them out of their reach when not in use. That said, these five glues are ideal for mending broken plastic toys, so long as an adult is the one doing the mending.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team. 1 A Fan-Favorite Super Glue Works with: All plastics, except polyethylene and polypropylene
With more than 7,000 reviews on Amazon and an impressive 4.6-star rating overall, this
Gorilla super glue gel is clearly adored on the site. And the good news? It’s works amazingly well on plastic, so long as the plastic in question isn't polyethylene or polypropylene. The super glue is easy to apply — simply squeeze it directly out of the tube onto the toy — and since it’s a gel formula, it won’t run or drip. The clear glue dries super quickly (usually in 10 to 45 seconds), but the company recommends a 24 hour cure time.
This super glue is not waterproof or water resistant, so it’s not the best pick for toys that may get wet. It works on materials other than plastic as well, such as rubber, wood, metal, leather, ceramic, and paper.
This pick is also available in a pack of two.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I have an almost 4 year old child whom constantly breaks and destroys items and breaks toys alike, so when it is physically possible I like to salvage and repair the items that my son breaks. Gorilla glue is by far the best most excellent glue that I've ever used! It's so strong, and the instant hold is superior over any other glue. I can easily repair anything with gorilla glue, and it's a must have in our household. I highly recommend gorilla glue." 2 A Super Glue That Will Work On Any Type Of Plastic Works with: All plastics
If you’re not sure which type of plastic your child’s toy is made from, your best bet is to use this
Loctite super glue to fix it, since it will literally work with all plastics (including polyethylene and polypropylene). Even though this product is a super glue, it requires two steps to use it. The first step is to apply the priming activator to the toy. This prepares the plastic surface for permanent bonding. One minute later, apply the super glue, and hold the toy in place for 30 seconds. After a cure time of 12 to 24 hours is up, you’ll be left with a super strong hold.
The super glue is resistant to water and dries totally clear. It can also be used on a variety of other materials, such as nylon, stainless steel, and fabric.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Used this to glue the front axel on my sons large monster truck. It's been about a month of a 5yr old smashing and trashing and so far the parts are holding strong. I've since used it on about half a dozen other toys that get played with regularly and all are doing fine. Recommend." 3 An Ultra-Strong Epoxy That Cures In Just One Hour Works with: All plastics, except polyethylene and polypropylene
If you don’t have the time or patience to wait 12+ hours for glue to cure, then this
J-B Weld epoxy is calling your name. The epoxy dries in five minutes and cures to max strength in just one hour, which is nearly unheard of when it comes to glues for plastic toys. The epoxy dries in a translucent yellow color and has a super strong bond, with a tensile strength of 3,900 PSI.
The only downside to this pick is that it can be a bit messy, since you’ll need to combine the resin and hardener in order to use it. An included mixing tray and stir stick make the task a little easier, though. This glue bonds well to surfaces like glass, fiberglass, and PVC, in addition to plastic.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Worked great and did exactly what I needed. Used it to glue plastic together and I don't think I could take them apart now even if I wanted to. Nothing else I tried would even stick to the plastic." 4 A Waterproof Super Glue Works with: All plastics, except polyethylene and polypropylene
While a couple of picks on this list are water-resistant, this
Loctite super glue is totally waterproof, which means it's the best option for repairing toys that your child uses in or near water. The glue features a no-clog nozzle that allows for precise application without dripping or oozing. The super strong glue sets in seconds (it dries clear) and cures in 12 to 24 hours.
This pick is available in multi-packs ranging from two- to 12-packs, so if you love it you can easily stock up. Like other glues, it can be used on a variety of materials, like cork, fabric, metal, and wood, in addition to plastic.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I love this glue. I use it to fix everything around the house. With two little ones playing toys are getting broken all the time. It works fast and for good. I have used it on plastic and wood and clay animals and broken bowls. I just bought my second bottle because I used it all not because it dried up. The lid seals well and I haven't had any problems." 5 An Easy-To-Mix Epoxy Works with: All plastics, except polyethylene and polypropylene
Loctite epoxy features a self-mixing dispenser, so you won’t have to mess with hand mixing it each time you need to use it. Best yet, the dispenser delivers a uniform mixture of resin and hardener, so you'll never have to worry about getting the ratio right. The epoxy is super strong, water resistant, and will bond to uneven surfaces, too. It’ll set in 5 to 7 minutes, and will fully cure in 24 hours. Though this epoxy dries a translucent yellow, the manufacturer says that you can tint it with earth pigments so you can match the surface you're gluing. You can also sand it down, which means you can sand down any messy applications.
Grab this epoxy as a single tube, or as a multi-pack. In addition to plastic, it can bond to ceramic, metal, wood, and tile, among other materials.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This stuff is incredible, I've been using it for years. The self-mixing applicator is genius. No more mixing yourself, just attach the tip and squirt and it's mixed as it comes out. The epoxy itself sets quickly (5 min) but flows like a gel/liquid for the first few minutes, so you have to plan ahead. It's workable for a couple more minutes until it hardens after 5 minutes or so. [...] Super strong once cured."