Are There Fads in Customs?

Written on April 30, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article

When I first saw custom Blythes, there were two very obvious groups. The ones that were customized lightly, still had their original hair, and some light carving for the lips. And then there were the ones that were completely overhauled. The ones with wefts or another kind of hair change, vampire teeth, body changes. Now there is a huge variety in the type of customs that pop up: sassy little girls, the dolls that end up on Pure Neemo bodies and look a bit like pin-ups, and then there are the vampires, monsters, girls with braces, cross-eyed dolls, and then the ones with severe carving (of which monsters, vampires, cleft palates, open mouths, full set of teeth, and scarred on the faces all fit in).


Lately I’ve seen a lot of vampires and monsters, and more extreme customs that often pop up from time to time. Overall, there always seems to be a good mix of styles – some are lightly customized, some extremely customizes, but the majority are somewhere in the middle. Like most things in life, the spectrum of customized dolls rests on a bell curve.

What is your least favourite custom trend? How about your most favourite?

As I took a little looksee through some active sale postings for custom dolls, I found that quite a few had reroots (usually mohair, although there are some alpaca), usually all custom chips (many gorgeous handpainted ones!), mostly Licca over stock Takara or even Pure Neemo bodies. Most of the dolls that I see selling have minimal carving. Perhaps the mouth, nose and the philtrum, but the majority of dolls don’t seem to have more than that. Teeth seems to be a factor that can, depending on who the customizer is, keep the doll on the market for longer. For some more popular or well-known customizers, dolls with teeth or other more ‘extreme’ carving gets snapped up quite quickly. For those unknown, they just seem to linger longer – or maybe that’s just because Facebook will bump up the post every single time someone bumps it, and it’s like I’m seeing it all over again for the umpteeth time.

QOTW: “Refining” the Family?

Written on April 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Question of the Week

Every day, there is someone listing a doll for sale. Reasons for these sales range from being bored with the doll to having some kind of emergency that money could fix, or at least help. People have all sorts of rationales for which doll gets listed. If you’re having financial crisis, listing a custom by someone sought after or a Kenner is a good idea. Some people go with the ‘last one in, first one out’ idea where the newbie is the one that gets the boot for no reason other than being new. Some people decide to focus their doll family more and more as time goes on, realizing that they’re madly in love with custom dolls and not stock, or vice versa.

Primrose! <3
Never for sale!

For my dolly family, most of my dolls are stock, or mostly stock. A few eye chip changes here and there does not a ‘custom’ doll make. Some people would call me a purist because of that, the idea that because I preserve the dolls in their original (or mostly original) state that I don’t like or appreciate customs. Which would be a lie, because I adore the one full custom that I have. But purist or not, I would have a hard time figuring out how to ‘shrink’ my doll family right now. If I had to, it would really depend on why I’m refining (or downsizing) the doll family. Reasons give rise to motivation, and that would probably help to narrow down the choices even more for me. For reasons where I’d need money, I’d probably try to sell the most expensive ones first, or even just popular stock dolls because they’d be sought after. Seeing as how I don’t have a translucent doll or a BL, that really limits my options. I know which dolls that I would absolutely keep though – and mum’s the word on who I play favourites with (besides Primrose, everyone knows that I love her).

How do you go about “refining” your dolly family?

A Wardrobe for Kitty Brighton?

Written on April 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Article with tags: ,

Kitty Brighton is the only Middie currently living at the BlytheLife Headquarters. She is a stock Jackie Ramone (I don’t trust myself to do very much customization on the big Blythes, I’m not able to fiddle around with the innards of her little Middie head!) and she has a woefully small wardrobe. So one of my (new?) goals is to focus on building her a wardrobe. Some things that I’ve have decided that I will do include:

  • Knitting and crocheting her some cardigans, hats, and/or dresses.
  • Sewing her some clothes (e.g. pants, dresses – the thought of sewing sleeves puts me off)
  • Finding her some more shoes.

I know that there are some amazing creators of tiny Middie-sized clothing out there, but it’s sort of a personal challenge for myself as well. As she is my only Middie, I don’t have to worry about clothing more than one doll – which is a blessing in itself. While I’d love to get my hands on that adorable Yellow Marshmallow Middie (who doesn’t have yellow hair…?), it’s just not in the cards for me at  the moment (unfortunately…). So instead of thinking of the Middies that are being released, that I love, and that I cannot afford to bring into the family right now, I focus on wardrobe building for the Middie that I do have!

This is all that Brighton has right now, seriously:


And the poor thing doesn’t really get her stock boots all to herself because they also fit her big sisters. I will hopefully have an update soon of how much I’ve been able to make for her! Hopefully a few little projects here and there will start to add up to a cute little closet full of custom-made goodies for her!

Pocketful of Cuteness

Written on April 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings with tags: ,

The Middie and the Petites don’t get nearly as much camera time here as their big sister counterparts! Pocket-friendly and adorable, here’s a little bit of love for the smaller dolls today!


Click to read more of this entry.

QOTW: What is your maximum for a customized Blythe?

Written on April 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Question of the Week

Photo by Juliet/mydollies4.

As a follow-up to last week’s QOTW when I had done some Blythe-by-numbers for you all, the magical average cost of a customized Blythe was $599.50USD. Granted, there was a huge range in cost, variation in customizers and the range of customizing that was done to the dolls. Some were simplistic with a little light carving here, a haircut, and some chips were changed. Others are complete changes in hair (mmm, fluffy mohair…) and handpainted chips, not to mention some extreme carving was done to the dolls.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t see myself ever paying more than $1000 for a customized Blythe doll unless she was something very special. Perhaps a doll with a long, fluffy mohair or alpaca reroot. But then she’d have to have all custom, handpainted eyechips, themed charms and perhaps a very detailed face-up. I’d expect for that premium price tag that shipping (insured, of course) might even be included or at least partially included, and the base doll would have to be a legitimate Blythe rather than a factory or another type of fake. Would that be considered too picky? Then again, I’m not really in the position these days to purchase a customized Blythe – secondhand or otherwise. My personal maximum would likely be around $600. It seems to be the “going rate” these days, and for that much money, the majority of customized dolls are well within my grasp. Not that I can afford a $600 doll at this moment, but it is nice to dream! And setting limits for myself also gives me a reality check. Why look beyond my means when there isn’t the cash flow for it? As it is, I’m currently musing about getting my first BL, and have since becoming a Blythe enthusiast nearly five years ago. Not a customized BL, but a stock one. One of these days…

Luckily for the majority of people who are in the market for a custom doll, there are many available at various price ranges – depending on what you’re looking for in the doll, and the artist behind the work. Dolls get priced at such a diverse range of prices. Some people only price for cost of materials, neglecting to take their time into account, while others price what the market will bear. Why go under if people are willing to pay more, and why price it higher if nobody will dare to fork up that much for it?

What is your maximum for a customized Blythe?

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