Blythe was actually brought into existence by Allison Katzman, a famous designer, in the year 1972 at Marvin Glass and Associates. It was sold in the United States of America by the toy company Kenner. The dolls were not exactly a hit during that time, as the public found nothing remarkable about them. The public would, however; some 27 years later find them awesome! It is said that the dolls were modelled after the drawings of Margaret Keane. The most distinctive feature of the doll was her eyes which changed color once you pulled a string that was attached to the back of the head of the doll.
In the year 2001, perhaps quite far down the road, Hasbro, a multinational toy, and boardgame company, also the trademark and license owner gave authority to Takara of Japan to produce the new edition of Blythe, which would come to be known as the Neo Blythe. The turning point came when Blythe was used in an advertising campaign on television. The campaign was done by Parco and it was a massive, huge and instant hit. The versions of the doll now range from 60 USD for the Ashton Drake version, to an astonishing 400 USD for the limited edition of Takara Neo Blythe.
Starting off in 2001 in Takara has been responsible for the release of the new Blythe dolls. The releases soon became periodical with each new release brought in every month of the year. Amazingly, a total amount of 130 of Takara Blythe has been released so far into the market in the Neo size since 2001 to 2009. Moreover, there have been a total of 280 different releases of the Petite Blythe. It should be noted that the new version of the Petite Blythe dolls has moveable eyelids and bendable bodies. The bodies of the full-size dolls vary depending on the time of the release. Early releases in 2002-2003 used the body of the Liccadoll.
Early dolls have also had a glossy surface texture. In 2006 there was a new face mould which was introduced to look more Kenner-like, including slightly wider eyes. In 2009 another new face mould was released with a matte texture and smaller eye holes. The bodies of the full-size dolls, however, vary in terms of the time at which they were released to quite an extent. In the early releases of the year 2002, the body of Liccadoll was used. However, the texture of the surface of these dolls was rather glossy. In the year 2006, a new face was introduced that looked more like Kenner as the eyes were much wider. In 2009 there was another new release that had matte texture along with smaller eye holes.
Ever since 2001, Takara has worked continuously to make Neo Blythe more and more popular. And its hard work has not gone unrewarded so far. Neo Blythe is one of the biggest sellers in dolls industry. The United States and Canada purchase huge amounts of it every year. Collectors from all over the world try to get their hands on as many unique pieces as possible. After all, it’s not a doll; it is Blythe… But not just Blythe, it’s Neo Blythe!
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