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Questionable Blythes on the Market

Written on February 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: News

There’s been a lot of talk lately about questionable Blythes that are currently on the market, even some from reputable sellers. A lot of people are saying that the dolls are fakes/counterfeit and others are questioning if the quality control has really taken a nose dive lately in the production of the Blythe dolls.

The dolls in question have covered a huge range of dolls, from relatively newer models (eg. Urban Cowgirl, Simply Mango, Simply Guava) to discontinued limited edition dolls (eg. Last Kiss).

The differences between the legitimate dolls and the questionable dolls can be both minor or very obvious, but only to the trained eye. Some of the eye chips are a little bit off in colour (amber instead of orange) while their clothes may have slight differences (button arrangements) and skin tone that’s just off enough to make you question the legitimacy of your newly purchased Blythe.

Please note that the year that was molded on the doll parts does not signify that the doll is necessarily a fake – it just states the year that the mold was produced (eg. RBLs will have a copyright year of 2006 on the back of their heads, even if the doll itself was released in 2010).

Questionable fake Blythes are not the same as “factory dolls” or other clones.

  • Factory dolls are put together with parts (stolen from the factory where Blythes are manufactured) and are generally not marketed as legitimate Blythes.
  • Blythe clones or copies are generally poor in quality, some have different eye mechanisms and ways to open up the head and they use a different ‘name’ like Blybe.

The questionable dolls are being marketed as legitimate dolls and are very close to the ‘real thing’, if you don’t have a well-trained eye. They come with clothing that mimics the legitimate doll’s clothing as well as a box that looks like the real thing.

Some buyers have been purchasing from eBay sellers that have great feedback and the sellers have said that they had purchased the dolls from the official store.

Junko Wong had stated the following in a comment, following someone asking if some Flickr photos were of fake Blythes, on her blog post, Everyone is Asking about… Middie, on January 30, 2011:

fake blythes

This is disconcerting to me because there are a lot of countries that do not have an official Blythe store (my country, Canada, included). If I were to follow this mindset, I wouldn’t own a Blythe doll. This also does not address the problem at hand (either incredibly poor quality control in the factory used for producing Blythe or there are fakes that are very close to legitimate Blythes) and does nothing to help those who wish to own the older releases that are no longer being produced.

If you are looking for a list of official sellers, there is one on blythedoll.com, but all of them are located in Asia.

Please comment below if you have any other information to add or just comments about the whole debacle in general.

For more information (and some photos!), please check out the following links:

Thanks to Kathy for suggesting that I write about this topic.

13 Responses to “Questionable Blythes on the Market”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by katie haddox, BlytheLife.com. BlytheLife.com said: New BlytheLife.com Post: Questionable Blythes on the Market http://is.gd/16vR4v […]

  2. Julie AKA @raebeluj
    says:

    There are other official stores, not mentioned by Junko. At least one, and that is Gina Garan’s shop. I ordered two dolls from HobbyLink today, which I sure hope are legit!

    • Michelle AKA @blythelifecom
      says:

      Hi Julie! I would hope that they’re legitimate stores too 😉 But I was going off of what Junko had said. Although I do find it odd that the TIB shop isn’t listed on their official list of sellers, I believe that it may have to do with the licensing (Takara & CWC only have licensing rights to sell the dolls in Asia).

      • rhubs AKA @rhubs
        says:

        Hello Michelle, While it was true in the past that Junie Moon could not sell to North America, they now can sell to us here in the States and I believe it is also true that you can order a blythe doll now from Junie Moon and have it sent to Canada. I believe that Junko can only speak to the legitimacy of the dolls that she actually deals with…I am sure that Gina Garan could speak to the legitimacy of the blythe dolls that she sells.

        Barbara (rhubsknit)

      • Michelle AKA @blythelifecom
        says:

        Hi Barbara, thanks for the information (I’d forgotten that Junie Moon can now sell to people in North America). The problem still lies in that official stores are generally only good for recent releases though. If I wanted to get an older RBL, I’d still need to look elsewhere to find one, which is a problem that many would face when trying to look for an older release.

        What worries me the most about these questionable dolls is that they’re so similar to the legit ones that people are likely to be out a lot of money from them. People new to the hobby are likely to fall for the dolls too, it’s harder to tell the difference when you’re not familiar with the subtle differences of the face molds.

  3. Alice AKA @nuwandalice
    says:

    This is so scary! :( I wish Takara would make some kind of final statement on them… makes me super nervous about buying from the ‘bay now! Though it’s kind of a necessary evil if, like me, you only ever fall for dolls waaaay past their release date… >__<

    • Julie AKA @raebeluj
      says:

      This is the reply I got from email to HobbyLink in Japan:

      Hi–

      Thanks for writing.

      HobbyLink Japan does not sell bootleg items. The Blythe dolls we sell come to us directly from Takara Tomy, and they are the genuine item.

      Thanks for shopping with HobbyLink Japan.

      Corky Visminas
      HLJ Customer Service
      trouble@hlj.com

      • Michelle AKA @blythelifecom
        says:

        Hi Julie!

        Thanks so much for emailing HLJ. The problem is that a lot of eBay sellers also claim to buy directly from Takara Tomy – for all we know they *could* very well buy directly from Junie Moon or another one of the official shops. But at the same time, no one would want to willingly admit that they purchased stock to sell from potentially shady places (after all, who would admit to that? Poor business practice that would be.)

        I do find it strange that such a large online shop like HobbyLink Japan wouldn’t have an ‘official’ Blythe shop status though.

  4. Chcki Vicky AKA @ChickiVicky
    says:

    Hi Michelle

    I discovered that I had 5 questionable dolls yesterday guava,mango and maybe Urban Cowgirl. All of the wholesalers I have spoken to say they only buy direct. It’s really hard for retailers outside of Asia and the USA as Takara are not licenesed to sell outside of that area.
    I contacted Takara,Hasbro and CWC yesterday to see what they had to say on this matter.
    If I get any replies I will post asap.

  5. Anne Marie says:

    I just recieved my Mango and Guava from eBay and I am not only mad that they look fake(scalp different color, face shape down looking, and the ears have a weird seam showing) but they were also damaged. Be aware of this seller fanfans1983 on ebay.

  6. Carolyn says:

    I just received a Blythe Slow Nimes from cozycape on Ebay. This is the first time I have ever been immediately suspicious a Blythe was fake. I have purchased several dolls from this seller before. The doll’s hair is thin, limp and greasy-feeling, and it absolutely reeked with a bad, strong chemical smell. It’s aired out some, and smells better today, but the scent lingers. I wrote to cozycape, but haven’t received a reply. Does anyone have any advice how to wash this foul smell out of the doll’s hair? Does this mean the doll was a fake for sure? I was also suspicious of the doll’s nude body being tightly encased in plastic wrap. Is this something new Takara is doing? I have not ever seen a doll’s body wrapped like this before.

    • Michelle AKA @blythelifecom
      says:

      I’d recommend sharing photos on Blythe Kingdom to see if anyone has any thoughts on it. Photos are the best way to go to get some advice!

  7. Sarah says:

    Hi, I’m new at this Blythe world but I was told by a Blythe group on FB that “Factory Blythes” are actually most of the times fakes and it’s very rare to find real Factory Blythes, they call them TBL (Taobao Blythe). This is important to know because people are buying them, customizing them and selling them as real Blythes. I got my first TBL in the mail today and I’m happy to say that she is as beautiful as my real Blythe. There are some differences but not many.

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