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Reasons to Take a Doll to Work

Written on April 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article

There are always pros and cons to the idea of a ‘bring a doll to work’ day (or week, or month, or even year). It all has to do with the type of work that you do and how safe you feel about having dolls out. If you work in retail or some place where members of the public are constantly traipsing in and out, it’s probably not a good idea to have dolls out because you cannot control if someone has sticky fingers or not. On the other hand, if you work in an office setting or a cubicle, you might be able to get away with having a doll out – but it all depends on the type of office setting and the professional tone that the office has.

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For instance, I used to work doing data entry in an office where I had my own cubicle. If I brought a doll in, she’d sit by my computer and she’d go home with me at night. While I trusted the office staff not to swipe or damage my dolls, I wasn’t able to leave a doll that cost a hundred dollars (or more!) overnight there, much like I wouldn’t leave any other valuables at work for prolonged periods of time if I’m not there to watch over it. Now that I’m primarily in the hospital setting, I don’t have my own desk and my things are stored in a tiny locker – there’s really (sadly) no point in bringing in a doll just to stay in a carry bag and be tucked in my locker for 12 hours at a time. I digress, because I’m supposed to be talking about the reasons to take a doll to work, and here they are:

  1. Having a doll at work means that you personalize your work space.
  2. Having a doll at work means that you have something fun to look at, and will hopefully curb the amount of time you browse eBay, Facebook, or Blythe forums for dolls or sundries for sale. Ahem.
  3. Need an excuse to leave the dimly little building? Take your doll (and your lunch!) outside to enjoy some sunshine and to take some photos!
  4. If you work in a creative area, you can introduce your equally creative colleagues to Blythe and then you’ll have someone at work to chat dolls with. *One of us, one of us*
  5. Had a bad day at work? Blythe will already be there to cheer you up and put a smile on your face before the end of the work day.

What are your best reasons for bringing a doll to work?

A Doll in My Bag

Written on April 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings with tags:

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For those who are not long-time readers of BlytheLife, it may shock you to know that I do not take a Blythe with me everywhere that I go. In fact, some of my dolls have only left my house once or twice since they’ve arrived. I’m occasionally just a very bad Blythe owner. However, I have made a conscious effort to change that by taking a doll along when I go out. Even if that doll doesn’t come out of my bag, I still carry one sometimes (except when I’m going to the hospital, because then she’d just stay in a carrier, in my bag, in a locker for 12 hours and that just seems unusually pointless).

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On two separate occasions, I went for a short day hike with a doll. Most recently, I took along Lydia Melbourne (my Yellow Marshmallow Middie Blythe doll), mostly because she’s ‘newer’ and I felt that she needed some camera time. And you know what? There’s just something so fun about having something to photograph beyond the scenery (not that the scenery wasn’t beautiful, because it was). People passed me on the trail and the look out points and nobody asked about why I was holding onto a doll or asking me what the doll was about. I took photos, posed my dolls on perches, and just have a really good time.

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Maybe one of these days I’ll pull a doll out on a busy street downtown and be as comfortable as I was on a trail. Maybe…

Lydia Melbourne is wearing a rainbow knit dress (by me), and Kelly shoes.

QOTW: Thoughts on New Release Prices?

Written on April 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Question of the Week

Back in the day way back when, Kenner Blythe dolls were $6-7 (regular price). Can you imagine picking up at a Kenner Blythe doll at that price now? That’s the dream though, isn’t it?

When Takara got into the game with the BLs, the majority of the BLs were ¥8,400 (~$70USD today). Parco, who has the luck of being the first BL produced by Takara, was priced at ¥10,290, or approximately at ~$86USD today. Fast forward over 14 years later and Les Jeunette (the May 2015 release) is ¥14,900 (~$125USD) while the 2015 anniversary Neo Blythe doll (Dauphine Dream) is ¥24,900 (~$209USD).

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Given the issues that people have had with quality control, it does draw my interest to know how you feel about today’s release prices. Despite the surplus of fakes on the market, there will still always be collectors who want to own and purchase official releases, or have customs produced with official releases. If you consider the cost of an official regular release at approximately $125, it doesn’t actually seem that far off from the original BLs. Why? Because you have to factor in inflation and the changes of the economy. While you could have bought a BL for ~$70USD then, the majority of them go for 4-5 times that amount. When you consider that, $125 doesn’t seem like that bad of a price for a brand new doll today. I may also think this because the majority of my Blythe collection were NRFB and many of them were not at $125 (unfortunately).

How do you feel about the new release prices? Do you think that they are worth it?

 

Tiny Shoe Love #7

Written on April 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags:

Tiny shoes are my little loves in the world that is Blythe. They bring me joy, especially when they’re so preciously detailed. This installment of Tiny Shoe Love brings some focus to a pair of Re-Ment heels. This particular pair comes from the Petit Mode Collection: Boots, Shoes & Bags.

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The small problem with these shoes is that the details are painted. For instance, that beautiful gold insole? Painted. Paint has a tendency to not play well with Blythe dolls – especially with their legs/feet, which is a unfortunate fact of life.

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With that in mind, I always make sure that I don’t keep these heels on my dolls for very long, and I always make sure that they have socks or tights on to be doubly sure that no risk of staining occurs. The last thing I want to do is risk damaging my dolls’ feet for the sake of wearing a pair of cute shoes.

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And for some bonus cuteness – they are labelled on the bottom with R and L for right and left, in case you don’t know which foot the shoes should go on.

Tiny Shoe Love is a feature on BlytheLife.com to showcase and share doll shoes that grace Michelle’s picky dolls’ feet. We love tiny shoes in this house, and we hope you do too!

What Makes Dolls Turn Yellow?

Written on April 15, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags: ,

Yellowing is a common problem with the vintage Blythes and other vintage toys. However, the Blythes manufactured in 1972 are not the only Blythes that are at risk for yellowing. Why does plastic yellow over time? It’s a good question because it’s an issue that affects anyone who collects toys or anything plastic.

Yellowing (or discolouration) of plastic is the result of exposure to sun/ultraviolet, extreme changes in temperature, as well as just plain old time.

20150415Yellowed vs. not yellowed – blonde 1972 Kenner Blythe dolls. Photo by Jen of Blythe Spa Time.

The thing to remember that plastic is made up of many components that gives it structure, colour, rigidity and its overall make-up. Over time, the components of the plastic can degrade. The process of degrading can result in changes in structure (like the melting that occurs with Kenners) and changes in colour. While plastic degradation is not the same as food decomposition (you are not going to wake up one day and find a pile of plastic pellets in the place where your doll once stood), it is still a process that cannot be stopped. However, the process of plastic degradation can be slowed down. Decreased exposure to sunlight helps, as well as keeping your dolls in a place where the temperatures do not vary (heat will speed up the degradation process). Many homes nowadays come with windows with ultraviolet coating, but I still wouldn’t keep your dolls sitting on your window sill if you hope to prevent the plastic from becoming discoloured earlier.

How can you help protect your dolls from yellowing? Don’t leave them in direct sunlight for long periods of time and don’t leave them in places with high heat!

The issue with time is that over time, oxidation can occur. Exposure of oxygen can cause degradation in some types of plastics. This is unfortunate for the most part because it is, without doubt, one of the issues that we cannot control – save for sending Blythe out into space in a box so light doesn’t cause her any damage. Oxidation takes a long time to occur, which is a great thing because it’ll be many (many!) years before we see oxidation effects on the plastic of our Neo Blythes.

Discolouration of plastic can be uniform or in patches. This is because sun/UV exposure may be only on one side, and it also has to do with the quality of the plastic. If the components are not evenly mixed throughout during the manufacturing process, then the plastic will discolour (or degrade) in patches because not all areas of the plastic are equal in their components. This can be especially true for more vintage toys because of the standards in quality and the science that was used to produce polymers at the time.

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