Questions to ask when buying a used Blythe

Written on April 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
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Used Blythes can be tempting: the prices are lower than a still-in-box Blythe, the doll may already be located in the same country as you (save on custom duties) and you have the ability to ask for photos from all angles. Many of these questions are written with the Takara and Ashton-Drake Galleries Blythes in mind.

Things you should consider asking about the doll:

  1. Is the current owner the first owner? (This is important, they may have received the doll in what they believed to be stock condition when the previous owner had done some changes.)
  2. Any damage done to the make-up? Is the make-up stock or has it been spray matted, sand matted or completely altered?
  3. Are there any changes to the eye-chips? Are there any visible scratches on the eye-chips or eyeballs? If the eye-chips have been changed, what type of glue was used?
  4. Does the doll have sleepy-eyes?
  5. Has the doll been gaze-corrected?
  6. Has the doll been boggled?
  7. What kind of method(s) have been used to open up the doll’s head?
  8. Are there any gaps where the scalp should be meeting the head?
  9. What kind of condition are the screws for the Blythe’s head in? Have they been replaced or stripped?
  10. Are there any scratches to the plastic of the front or back faceplates (not necessarily where the make-up was painted)
  11. Have there been added ear piercings? (Some people will add ear piercings to their dolls, to mimic the ones that come with ear piercing holes stock, with a drill.)
  12. Has there been any changes to the hair of the doll? (Hair cut, trims, scalp-swap, missing plugs, etc.)
  13. Is the doll on the original stock body?
  14. Are there any markings on the doll’s body?
  15. Does the doll’s knees bend? Do the knees hold in positions?
  16. Are there any stains on the body? Has there every been any stains present (but later removed)?
  17. Has the doll ever been exposed to pet dander, cigarette smoke or anything else that may be an allergen for you?
  18. Has the doll ever been exposed to fabric softener, moth balls or heavily perfumed substances?

Additional questions for those wanting to buy a 1972 Kenner Blythe doll are:

  1. How many lines are on the back of the doll? (6 or 7?)
  2. Are there any missing plugs in the doll’s hair?
  3. Is there any yellowing to the plastic of the doll?
  4. Is the string/ring still present?
  5. Do the eyes still change when the string is pulled?
  6. Are the eye chips clear or cloudy?

Provided that the doll has met all of your conditions (eg. you don’t mind any of the damage reported), you should really consider asking how the doll will be packaged. It’s very surprising how some people will package dolls to be shipped across a country or overseas.

Some questions to ask about shipping are:

  1. Will the doll come in the original box and shipping carton?
  2. What kind of methods will the shipper be using to secure the doll?
  3. What kind of carton will be used?
  4. What kind of packaging filler will be used? (Newspaper? Styrofoam peanuts? Cotton? Fabric scraps?)

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