The Story of Neo Blythe Dolls

One of our most prestigious styles of Blythe Doll is the Neo Blythes. These are not standard factory dolls, but a line of products released to mark the extraordinary revival of the Blythe Doll genre in 2001. 


The very first Blythe Dolls were designed in the United States by Allison Katzman, who sadly passed away this February, aged 95. These original dolls, which are now known as ‘vintage dolls’, were manufactured in Hong Kong way back in the early 1970s. However, Blythe Dolls as a children’s toy never gained mainstream traction and only enjoyed a short production run. 

The Story of Neo Blythe Dolls 1

For almost 30 years the famous American toymaker, Kenner, allowed this unique and adorable doll design to gather dust as the pattern was shelved and forgotten at their Cincinnati factory. 

Over that time, Kenner passed into various corporate hands until they were acquired by Hasbro in 1991. Then in 2000, with disappointing demand for its Star Wars and Jurassic Park figures, a recession-strapped Hasbro chose to finally pull the shutters on Kenner. 

Around the same time, Japanese consumers suddenly fell in love with Blythe Dolls as a result of a highly successful advertising campaign for a large chain of department stores. As demand for vintage and rare Blythes soared, CWC, the agency responsible for the campaign, seized the opportunity by acquiring the license for Blythe Dolls from Hasbro and commissioned toy giant Takara to produce this long-forgotten line, while Hasbro held onto the US rights. 

Thus, Blythe Dolls were saved from becoming all but museum pieces.


CWC named their new doll, Neo Blythe. The Neo Blythe Dolls are 12 inches in height and come in dozens of varieties. Each model is exquisitely designed by CWC and Takara and inspired by contemporary fashion designers so that the dolls reflect some of the trends of when they were produced. 

The most notable feature of Neo Blythe Dolls is her changing eyes, whose colour and gaze can be adjusted to alter her look and mood. 

New Generation Dolls

This Is Blythe stock a wide range of nearly Neo Blythes with all kinds of clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as different hairstyles and colors, faceplates and eyes. And we sell great value artisan-made Neo Blythe Dolls that can be completely customized from scratch. 

So if you’re curious about the styles of Neo Blythes, take a look at our selection and enjoy the various special offers we have throughout the site to celebrate our 23rd anniversary as the world’s biggest Blythe Doll retailer. 

For a limited time, we’re offering you an amazing discount! Take an additional 20% off all products site-wide. Copy your coupon code below and redeem it at the checkout. Enjoy shopping!


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About the author

Meet Jenna Anderson, the charming Customer Service Enchantress and Blythe doll aficionado at This Is Blythe. With her passion for all things Blythe and exceptional communication skills, Jenna guides customers to their perfect dolls while crafting enchanting blog posts that captivate the Blythe community. Known fondly as the "Blythe Whisperer," her dedication, expertise, and love for Blythe dolls make her an invaluable team member. Outside of work, Jenna's creativity extends to miniature doll accessories, photography, and arts and crafts, inspiring those around her. Read more about Jenna's captivating journey in the world of Blythe dolls here.

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Instagram: @thisisblythejenna
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