Thoughts on… Region Exclusive Dolls

Written on November 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings

It honestly seemed like everyone was bouncing off the walls over the idea of the Anna Sui Blythe collaboration doll (if you haven’t seen the promotional illustration yet for this doll, click here!), who is due to come out in January 2017. While I’ve gotten more selective with the additions that I make to my Blythe collection, I had the feelings of grabby hands when I first saw the doll’s illustration (much like what I felt when I first saw Devi Delacour’s promotional illustration images).


So what does this mean if a doll if region exclusive?

The doll is only officially sold/shipped to retailers within that region. In the case of the Anna Sui doll, it was reported by Tuesday that the doll is a Japanese exclusive. The doll will only be officially sold to retailers in Japan. Anyone outside of Japan will have to either a) travel to Japan to buy the doll, or b) buy it secondhand at a marked up price.

With the doll being region exclusive, and likely quite limited as it is a designer collaboration, the doll is likely to be quite expensive after everything is taken into consideration (cost of doll, mark-up, shipping, potential for customs/duties). A doll that is tentatively priced at 29,300¥ (~$265USD) might end up being closer to $500USD by the end of the purchase due to the difficulty in getting it to other countries, the cost of (registered, tracked) shipping, and just price inflation based on popularity.

As a fan of stock dolls (nearly all of my dolls are stock or mostly stock), I can see why the Anna Sui collaboration doll will be popular – when I first saw the images, I send it to my family to go “This is what I want for Christmas”. Now that I know that the doll is region exclusive, it makes it a lot more difficult (and more expensive) to justify the purchase. Of course, there will be those in the community who will rise to the challenge to bring that doll to areas outside of Japan (and truthfully, I do hope people are successful because I want to see this doll in person!).

Keep in mind that CWC pays for and licenses the right to use the Blythe trademark from Hasbro (an American toy company) and they pay for the licensing rights for Japan and Korea only. Hasbro utilizes their Blythe trademark in North America with the Littlest Pet Shop mash-up.

What do you think about region exclusive releases? Share your thoughts below!

Thoughts on… Kenner Fever

Written on July 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings

In a world where so many different types of Blythes exist, none of them hold a candle to the vintage Kenner Blythes. From the Ashton-Drake Galleries reproductions, to Takara’s BL, EBL, SBL, RBL, FBL, & RBL+, to Middies and Petites (Takara & Littlest Pet Shops), and the notorious fakes/counterfeits – none of them even begin to compare to the vintage 1972 dolls created by Kenner. These dolls were before their time, competed poorly against Barbie, and disappeared from the shelves without a trace.

When I was first getting ready to go to Portland for BlytheCon in 2011, I thought it would be so cool if I got to see a BL in person. Before Portland, the only Blythes I had ever seen in person were my own. Kenners weren’t even really on my radar because they were always something that I considered to be “unattainable”. Maybe it was because of the perceived price tag, or the fact that I just didn’t realize how badly I wanted one until I saw one in person. Once I saw a Kenner Blythe in person, I was hooked. Following BlytheCon Portland, I went back to work and I happened to work a lot of overtime that summer. I decided that I would set aside all of the money I made on overtime towards a Kenner. By the time September rolled around, I had enough for a Kenner. I just needed to find the ‘right one’.


Emmalynn popped into my life of October 2011, a few months after Portland. By then I was pretty much head over heels for all things Kenner. Emmalynn is, without a doubt, an imperfect Kenner. But she was (and still is) my imperfect Kenner.

There’s something magical about Kenners. In the feel of the plastic, the smell of their hair, the adorable pip sound they make that is so soft and endearing compared to the louder eye mechanisms of modern Blythe dolls. The beauty in Kenners comes from the fact that even if you were to take two Kenners of the same hair style and put them next to each other – they will always have their own special differences. The magic is surely a byproduct of being a doll that is 43 years old.

Kenner fever is surprising. It makes you pay attention to the ebbs and flow of the auctioning world. This was before the days of Facebook groups for buying and selling dolls and sundries. I was on eBay a lot, I paid attention to what prices certain hair colours went for, and which dolls just sat there (note to would-be sellers, if you’re pricing a Kenner Blythe doll that looks ragged for well over $1000 USD, it’s going to sit there for a very, very long time).


With a brunette, a blonde, and red-head in my family – I’m pretty content! For now, the feelings of wanting a Kenner has been sated. I know that for some people, these feelings never really go away. Perhaps if I had the funds to put towards a Kenner right now, I would feel differently. I may even get a brunette with more tamable hair, or a wispy-banged raven girl. For now, my three keep my happy and the Kenner fever at bay.

Emmalynn’s wearing: dress/chelleshocks (top), dress/Kult of Kulta (bottom).
Prim’s wearing: dress/Kult of Kulta, bow/Kult of Kulta.
Lily’s wearing: dress/Kult of Kulta.

Thoughts on… Blythe Stands

Written on July 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings

Without fail, one of the things that I’m almost always forget to bring to a Blythe meet is a doll stand. I say almost always because I have remembered exactly twice in all the Blythe meets I’ve attended from 2011 to now. Twice. I don’t exactly have the best track record, but I own Blythe stands and, on occasion, consider them to be a good thing to use.

The number of stands I own is dwarfed by the number of dolls that  have. If we go by stock dolls only, , I technically have enough stands for my Neos and Middies. But then I also have 2 custom Blythes and 3 Kenners that do not have stands. Luckily, that’s why I also own some doll-sized furniture that I use for display purposes. I used to have Bennett, my Margaret Meets Ladybug, on a stand but she would continually try to push her sisters over because of her weight (she has a lot of hair).


Overall, I really like the clover stands. My personal favourite moment was when I bought a pink stand for Eden (I believe she came with a black one) to really drive home the fact that everything she touches is pink. The unfortunate thing about the stands is that they are not sturdy enough to hold up a girl with a lot of hair well (e.g. Margaret Meets Ladybug, or Monique Magnifique). They pull apart easily enough for storage if you’re going somewhere. Depending on the doll, I occasionally run into problems with not being able to put their arms down unless they’re also wearing boots or shoes that elevate their height just a smidgen.

For Middies, I don’t usually use their stands, but they’re a bit more user friendly because I haven’t had issues with them yet. This may also be due to the fact that that both of my Middies aren’t particularly top heavy.

Other stands that Blythe has come with include the Licca stand (clear plastic that clamps the legs in place, I can see them working well for Liccas because of the small head but not well for Blythe who has a giant noggin), the EBL stand (very heavy, very useful if you’re taking photos in a windy area, plus these were also clear in colour and did I mention heavy?), the white Kenner Blythe stand, and then there was the standing ovation stand. Fairly rare and the  standing ovation stands don’t come up for sale often, but they were designed to make photography easier because it would be easier to hide the stand due to it’s flexibility. Of the four additional stands mentioned, I own the EBL stand but I don’t use them. I tend to use stands for display purposes at home only (because I almost always forget to bring a stand!), and the clover stands take up less room overall, which is what makes the more attractive to me.

Do you use stands for your dolls? Which one is your favourite to use & why?

Thoughts On… Sending and Receiving Visiting Dolls

Written on February 20, 2015 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings

One of the greatest joys when it comes to receiving dolls in the mail is the anticipation. This comes with the excitement of getting a tracking number, and then the eagerness of repeatedly hitting ‘refresh’ on the postal service’s website because why isn’t she here yet?!

This feeling comes with dolls, and I love this feeling, but like many I cannot afford to buy dolls on a regular basis. Then comes in the idea of travelling Blythes or hosting a visitor.

While there are some more formal programs to take part of (some official Traveling Blythes that have a strict schedule where participators help fund the cost of the doll and extra postage fees needed for international jumps), there are some less formal travelling dolls as well.


How travelling dolls work is that the previous host (or owner) pays for the postage costs for the doll to arrive to you. You retrieve her from the post office (or perhaps get her at the door) and then enjoy her and all of her things for a predetermined set amount of time. Once your time is up, you pack her and her goodies up (there may be a requirement or expectation that you add to a travel journal or add something to her wardrobe as a ‘souvenir’) and then you pay for the postage (with tracking and, likely, insurance) for her to reach her next post. If the doll had an owner in the beginning, then the last stop would be a return home. If the doll didn’t have an owner at the beginning, there tends to be a draw to see which of the previous hosts would receive the doll in the end.

Overall, I find travelling dolls to be fun! There’s a lot of fun with the anticipation and then you can also act as a tourist in your own city. When I was playing hostess to Makani (custom by Kate/Chantilly Lace) in 2012, I had the fun of exploring around Vancouver, BC with her as well as going to a local park with her for some fun nature shots. It’s exceptionally fun to have that period of anticipation and getting to refresh (and refresh again!) the tracking number for a doll. You get all the feeling and joy of having a “new” Blythe without the gross expense of buying a new Blythe. While there is a cost associated with participating in a (in)formal travelling Blythe project, it still does not end up being as much as it does when you buy a new-to-you custom Blythe or commission for one to be done for you. Plus it’s fun to play tourist!

Have you ever been host to a travelling doll? Would you want to be a host?

Thoughts on… Doll Photography in Public

Written on September 12, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings with tags: ,


I like taking photos of Blythe, but I am not a photographer by any means. I use a point-and-shoot camera sometimes and my cell phone most of the time. For a long while, after getting my first smartphone, nearly all of my photos were taken with my phone – I recently changed this after ‘rediscovering’ my trusty Sony Cybershot. And even after five years into this hobby, I’m still shy about photographing dolls in public unless I’m with other people who have Blythes out. The idea of strangers watching me bugs me. Strength in numbers works well for me.

A little while ago, I went out to take some photos and instead of bringing a Blythe along, I brought my Petworks Usaggie, Kanin. Dressed in a cute top and a scarf that is woefully inappropriate for the weather, I took him out for photos. And it was fun! I got a lot of photos of him with beautiful backdrops that is British Columbia.

20140912cKanin is wearing an “I Love YVR” LuxieLou top and a rainbow scarf (by me/Michelle/chelleshocks).

I was with other people (my sisters) but not other doll people. Strength in numbers again, but a little less dolly involved and just having people around. There were quite a bit of people around – it was a beautiful sunny summer day in British Columbia, everyone comes out in droves to soak up what little vitamin D we can get throughout the summer months. So there were people, and I did see quite a few people watching me as I held out Kanin to take photos of the water, the lighthouse, and boats.


It may have helped that Kanin is smaller than Blythe is, and perhaps he draws slightly less attention. Or maybe I’m just starting to care less about what people think of me? Maybe I’m not as shy about public doll photography as I think that I am. Who knows.


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