Filed under: Article with tags: blythe 101
Welcome to Blythe 101, part 1 of a 5 part series directed towards people who are new to Blythe!
In Blythe 101, I will be going over the shortened history of Blythe and how to go about buying your first Blythe.
History of Blythe
Blythe first came out in 1972 from the toy company Kenner. They were produced for one year and disappeared from shelves after doing poorly on the market. One of the theories behind why Blythe didn’t do well on the market is because her features (oversized head and eyes, changing eyes) were deemed creepy by children.
This is Blythe by Gina Garen came out in 2000. The following year, the toy company Takara came out with the Neo Blythe dolls. They started producing Petites shortly after that and the Middie dolls in 2010. Takara has been successful in bringing Blythe into Japan and then into the international market after the following that came after the release of the This is Blythe book.
Ashton-Drake Galleries came out with their own reproduction Blythes, modelled very closely after the original Kenners. ADGs were produced from 2005-2008 and reproduced the original 1972 outfits, boxes and hair styles.
Hasbro introduced Blythe Loves The Littlest Pet Shop dolls in 2010, commonly referred to LPS Petites by collectors. The major difference between LPS Petites and Takara Petites is that the Takaras have sleep eyes (the eyes close when the doll is laying down) while the LPS eyes do not move.
Buying Your First Blythe
A lot of people buy their first Blythe online, either through the forums or a website like eBay. I bought my first Blythe in a retail store that had a few Blythes in stock and I picked the one that I did because she was the only one who was not priced higher than on eBay at the time.
Forums are a great way to go as you are more likely to find used dolls (second hand, gently used) if you’re not too picky. Some fellow collectors also sell new dolls through the forums as well. Generally speaking, many fellow hobbyists will price their dolls to sell – generally not to make a profit.
On eBay, you could run into people who try to sell for a profit and those who overprice their items by several hundred. Be wary of high pricing, it doesn’t mean that they sell at those prices. If you’re truly interested in a specific stock doll, I would recommend watching the listings for the doll you want and seeing the prices that the auctions really end at. Doing your research for a Blythe is a good idea, considering the expense of one.
You can also find Blythes through online retailers. Some offer pre-orders for new releases and others carry releases that have already come out that they’re trying to sell. The thing with online retailers is that they’re less likely to mark down pricing for customs (which is the legitimate thing to do…) but also they’re not likely to haggle with you. You do have the option of haggling when you’re buying via the forums, if you feel comfortable doing it.
If you’re looking for your first Blythe doll, about half of the people that you meet will encourage you to buy a cheaper doll ‘just to see if you like Blythe’ and others will encourage you to buy the one that you really want. Some of the less expensive stock dolls include the Simply Vanilla and Simply Chocolate dolls (both FBL). Some of the RBLs are still fairly inexpensive (eg. Simply Lilac, Simply Peppermint) as well as some EBLs (eg. Love Mission, Very Cherry Berry/Cherry Berry). It all really depends on what you want to get. I’d recommend getting the doll that you want, provided that you can stomach the cost. If I had went out and gotten a Kenner for my first Blythe, I probably would have had sticker shock over the final bidding that it would close on. So there is no “perfect” first Blythe for everyone. Some people do get Kenners as their first Blythe, others get the cheapest Blythe that they can find and others find a Blythe somewhere between those two.
Some things to note about Blythe is that the head does not seem as big in photos as it does in person. I thought that the head was massive when I first saw her in person. I’m used to the head-to-body ratio now (and other dolls look strange to me, or just ‘off’ somehow), and they’re quite charming. And it’s okay if you don’t like Blythe all that much after seeing her in person – some people just like Blythe to look at in photos on the internet and that’s okay too.