What Is A Blythe Doll?
From the legacy of Barbie and Cabbage Patch Kids comes a new era of dolls, Blythe dolls. Like Barbie, Blythe dolls are fashion dolls that stand 11 inches high with an oversized head and eyes that change colour by a pull of a string. They can come with moveable body parts for an additional charge. The unique charm and appeal of these dolls stem from the adorable characters that they portray. Once you choose your doll by hair type, you will receive your doll with one outfit and accessories. The surprise of what you receive makes for an exciting reception. In the rare occasion that the particular style of the doll is not to your taste, you can also customize clothing to suit your taste. The eyes can be changed to match with a specific outfit or personality. A cord coming out of the back of the head will close the eyes and change them to another colour. The direction of the eyes also changes in the process. You will be able to buy additional outfits and, with some research, find patterns to sew your own clothing. These dolls are an art that ties at the heartstrings. Sentimental doll enthusiasts will complete their collection with these dolls and retain enjoyment for years to come.
How Tall Is A Blythe Doll? What Sizes Does The Blythe Doll Come In?
There are 3 types of Blythe dolls: Neo, Petite, and Middie. Neo Blythe is 11 inches tall, Middie Blythe is 8 inches tall, and Petite Blythe is 4 inches tall.
When Were Blythe Dolls Created and Who Designed Blythe Dolls?
Blythe dolls were originally created in 1972 by Allison Katzman and produced by Kenner but were not well received as a children’s toy. This model was only produced for one year.
Later Gina Garan used a Blythe doll as the subject in many photographs and published a book called Blythe Style, which showed her Blythe doll as the model for her fashions. In 2001, Takara and Ashton Drake produced Blythe Dolls and Takara continues to produce these dolls today.
What Are Some Features Of Blythe Dolls?
These dolls are great as collectors items and make a great toy for children and adults alike. Their gigantic head, eyes and shiny skin set these dolls apart from other dolls, though they are also available with less glossy matte faces also. If you prefer a matte finish, a matt sealant can be sprayed on. The hair is put into the scalp piece of the doll and is available in a variety of colours. Legs are made out of a thick rubber that makes them bendable. Arms and the upper body are made of a harder plastic and are not as flexible unless you upgrade to the more moveable option. Real stock dolls from Takara will come in a box specific to that doll’s release and will have a specific outfit. They will have a set of eye chips, hairstyle and stand. Factory dolls are not the original stock dolls and do not have a stand; however, they are great if you plan to do a lot of modifications to change the stock look or if you want to purchase your own accessories and clothes for them.
How To Customize A Blythe Doll?
Modifications can be made to the dolls to change the look of the eyes or to changing their gaze to appear higher. Purchasing factory dolls are preferred for those planning to modify the dolls. This way it does not take away from the collector’s resale value and reduces some of the stress for those who are new to doll modification. Below is a list of some of the modifications that people have done:
- Sanding, removing glossy outer coat of face and makeup, repainting
- Purchasing other eye chips
- Adding an additional pull cord so that one closes the eyes (called a sleeping pull cord) and the other changes them – this could keep the eyes closed for a sleeping doll
- Carving using dremels to change the shape of the face and lips or using sculpey to change the esthetic of the face
- Rerouting Blythe hair
What Is The Timeline For The Evolution Of Blythe Dolls?
1972 Kenner -70’s look
2000 TBL Factory Fake stolen or rejected parts that employees took and reassembled
2001 BL Neo Blythe posable eyes and legs, boggled eyes, some matte faces
2002 EBL Excellent Blythe – posable legs, no longer had boggled eyes – softer eye gaze
2004 SBL Superior sparklier eyes and based on original Kenner design
2006 BBL Radiance Blythe – more childlike face and modified head
2009 FBL Fairest Blythe – fuller cheeks, semimatte skin, larger eye pupils
2013 RBL Radiance Blythe Plus – slight modifications to face and thinner plastic
2014 FG Factory Girl model – modern factory version
How Much Is A Blythe Doll? What Is The Approximate Cost?
Factory Girls or Fake Blythes range from $50-$120. Original release Blythe dolls from 1972 start at $2500 because they are rare collectors items. Modern Blythe dolls range from $80-$1000 depending on artist and customization.
What Are Some Tips for Newbies Buying Their First Blythe Doll?
Purchase original releases if possible because of the collector value; however, if you are new to Blythe dolls, a factory girl makes sense because of the price point and for you to see if you would like to invest more into a collection.