Friday Five: 013

Written on September 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags:

Every month’s last Friday (almost every month…) is part of a feature on, Friday Five. Welcome everyone to this month’s instalment! I mention 5 things I love every month..

If you have any suggestions for next month’s Friday Five, please don’t hesitate to email me! Maybe you have a site you think that I should feature or a pattern that’s free and up on the web? Tell me!

For the month of September, I found 5 fun doll-related blogs to share! There’s a huge doll world outside of Blythe (it’s true!), and it’s nice to take a look at what other dollies there are out in the world.

  1. Doll Observer is a blog who’s look reminds me of a fashion magazine. It highlights a lot of new happenings in the fashion doll world, one that doesn’t seem to include Blythe. However, for fans of Barbie and Tonner, there’s plenty of visual goodies for you.
  2. BJDs for Beginners is a fun blog. I found it when I first got my BJD (nearly a year ago now, I think!) and it’s a great read. There’s a lot of information about BJDs, more than enough to get you inspired about the resin dollies.
  3. Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter is a great blog for those who like looking at photos of dolls. There’s photos of Lalaloopsy, Monster High, special edition Barbies and so much more. The little kid in me loves the amount of photos featured in the blog posts.
  4. The Fashion Doll Review makes me smile. It’s a collaborative ‘ezine’ (blog) and has a lot of information about new releases, particularly of non-Blythe dolls. I like it primarily for the photos.
  5. My Plastic Fantasy has been featured before, but I love it! The writer is also a Blythe collector, but she does showcase photos of many other types of dolls and toys including bjds, Stormtroopers (yes, you read that right!), vinyl figures and more!

If you know of a site, group or activity that you think I should highlight in next month’s Friday Five, let me know! Comment below or email me.

Blythe 103: A Guide to Forums

Written on September 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags:

Blythe 103 is part 3 of a 5 part series directed towards people who are new to Blythe. In part 3, an introduction to Blythe forums is made as well as my favourite sections of each.

Blythe forums are a fantastic way to become involved with the Blythe community. Not only do you get to post and share your thoughts and ideas with others, you can read what others are thinking too! Blythe is a fairly social hobby and posting is a good way to become involved. I will be writing about three Blythe/doll forums: Blythe Kingdom, We Play With Dolls and This is Blythe. There are many other Blythe-related forums, especially if you’re looking for forums that are primarily non-English, but I will be focusing on these three mostly because I’m the most familiar with the three.

Blythe Kingdom (BK)

BK began as a forum known as Plastic Paradise (PP). It has members from all around the world and has a good variety of boards. Some of the most heavily used sections are the Buy-Sell-Trade section that is adorably called Going Baroque. Membership is required in order to see the majority of  the forums and there is a membership approval process where you will be asked to provide a referral name or undergo an approval questionnaire.

I’m quite fond of BK because it’s the primary Blythe forum that I go to. It’s fairly active and you get responses pretty quick if you ever have questions. There’s are sections for all of the types of Blythe – Kenner, Neos, Middies, Petites. There’s a section for customizing, one for sewing/crafting. There’s an off-topic section that’s also heavily used as well as one that’s just chatting about anything Blythe. There’s a very positive atmosphere and BK has a lot of active members, which is great.

We Play With Dolls (WPWD)

WPWD is a great forum, it also has a blog and a shop. My absolutely favourite part about WPWD are their boards for sewing, customizing and patterns. They have such fantastic resources for crafters, it’s a great forum to keep bookmarked. If you’re from Australia, you’ll probably want to join WPWD as the bulk of their membership is from Australia. You can find out about all their Australia events (Blythe Fest, Blythe Con, major meets) all from WPWD. There are a lot of Blythe collectors in Australia and if you’re there, chances are there’s a collector nearby!

This is Blythe (TIB)

TIB used to be the it English-speaking forum to go to. It did become inactive after other forums like PP/BK and WPWD started. TIB is ran by the Gina Garan and is still a great resource to go to. There’s a wealth of information and a lot of people do still go onto the forums. It’s a great resource if you’re new to Blythe and also great if you’re not new but just want to do a quick search to see if your question has been asked before – chances are it has been!

Want to learn more?

QOTW: Your favourite pair of shoes?

Written on September 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Question of the Week

Much like Blythe herself, her accessories are also super cute. Small and dainty, they fit into the palm of your hand. If you consider shoes for Petites, they fit onto your fingertip with room to spare! I am, of course, talking about their shoes!

My Blythes have a decent-sized shoe closet. If you were to ask them, they would say that they don’t have enough. There’s not enough for them all to wear a similar style all at one go. And at current count, I have approximately 5.5 pairs of shoes per doll if I were to divide up the shoes evenly (and none of them are willing to wear just one shoe out of a pair). My favourites do vary from time to time, but the really simple ones that go with almost all outfits win out overall. My current favourites that go really well with most outfits are these two pairs of simple Mary Janes:

What I love about them is that they’re simple. They’re not ‘showstoppers’ that draw your gaze at first, but they go with so much and that’s awesome! I love the brightly coloured shoes that I have as well, but lime green shoes don’t go with all outfits, neither do yellow boots. Sometimes simple staples are the best and they’re staples for a reason.

What is your favourite pair of shoes?

Sponsor BlytheLife in October

Written on September 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: News

Do you have a doll-related website? I have your target audience!

If you’re reading this, you already know that is an active website with a large audience. The main readers of are Blythe and other doll collectors, primarily women. By advertising your doll-related site or business with BlytheLife, you can ensure that your ad is being seen by the people your site is geared towards.

There are three spots available each month at low prices. All funds go towards keeping BlytheLife up and running!

Large – 1 spot available per month (325×200 pixels)

  • $10 – 1 month
  • $18 – 2 months
  • $26 – 3 months

Small – 2 spots available per month (160×160 pixels)

  • $5 – 1 month
  • $9 – 2 months
  • $13 – 3 months

If you’d like more information on how you can advertise on BlytheLife, click here.


The Cause of Doll “Melt”

Written on September 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags:

I’d like to preface this entry with the fact that I asked several coworkers from my summer employment (at a plastics manufacturing company) about what causes dolls to melt. They didn’t take me seriously at first until I showed them this photo of a Lino doll who’s head had melted against the legs of a Blythe (many thanks to Meg for allowing me to use this photo).

I am a horrible doll mommy

The coworkers that I had asked had a background in plastics, but it wasn’t until I asked a coworker who had a formal education in plastics and its properties that he understood what was going on.

You see, in many causes of reported dolls ‘melting’, it’s usually the hard plastic (e.g. pullring, head) touching the soft plastic (e.g. legs that can bend). The type of plastic used to produced the flexible legs of Blythe contain additives known as plasticizers. Plasticizers are what give the leg plastic the flexibility and ability to bend over and over again without breaking. If you were to try to bend the plastic of a Blythe’s head like you do her leg, the plastic used to produce the head lacks the plasticizer additives, the plastic would break instead of bend.

Plasticizers can migrate out of the plastic. This leads to the plastic being less flexible and more brittle. If you’ve ever seen an old electrical cord, you will have seen something that used to be flexible that has now become brittle and hard. Plasticizers can have reactions with other types of plastic, if they are touching. Normally plasticizers can remain ‘stable’ for years and years before migrating out, but several factors can come into play and cause the plasticizers to migrate faster.

The two main factors that increase plasticizer migration are:

  • Exposure to heat. Heat makes molecules move faster and that makes the plasticizers migrate out faster. This also applies to exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Exposure to pressure. If you were to stretch an elastic band (which contains plasticizers) over a long period of time, it does become brittle (and snaps!) faster than one that isn’t stretched continuously. If you rest something against the softer plastic, this can also cause plasticizers to leech out.

When plasticizers migrate out of an electrical cord, we normally don’t notice it. Cords are generally touching things that wouldn’t be harmed by the plasticizers. But when we put a doll on top of another doll’s legs, we notice it when we pick up our dolls.

Plasticizers can have reactions with other types of plastic. Even plastics that is normally considered highly stable, like ABS – which is what the Lino’s head is made of, can have reactions with plasticizers. The chemical reaction causes the ‘melt’ look that we see.

This also true for the ‘melt’ that is seen on Kenners that haven’t been stored in the most optimal of conditions. Their soft scalps are kept in close contact with the hard plastic of their heads and over the course of 40 years, reactions with the plasticizers do occur. Some Kenners have more ‘scalp ooze’ than others because they were kept in hot places. Kenners with less ooze were likely kept in cool basements or attics, in cooler climates or stored away in air conditioned environments.

Some things are more susceptible to plasticizer melt than others. Some people have reported their dolls’ shoes melting fairly quickly when its on their doll’s foot. When you consider how thin the plastic of the shoe is and the fact that there’s that pressure from the entire weight of the doll resting on the bottom of the shoe, it’s no wonder that the plasticizers can leech out. The weight of a doll may seem negligible to you, but it isn’t to the very thin plastic that makes up the shoe.

Why do some dolls melt and not others? That comes down to the environment that the dolls are kept in, if there’s any pressure against them, and also the batch of plastic used to produce the dolls.

The best way to keep your dolls from having melting issues is to store them in cooler areas of your house – definitely not in direct sunlight. You can also keep your dolls from melting by not storing them touching directly as the contact is the major factor in doll melt.

I hope this helps in answering some questions as to why dolls melt (sometimes) and hopefully you’ve learned how to prevent any future melting from occurring in your doll family.

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