Filed under: Article with tags: beginner's guide
Bennett (Margaret Meets Ladybug EBL) with some Doll Coordinate Recipe books,
all purchased online via Mandarake.
The market is a lot different now in 2015 than it was in 2009 when I was first getting into Blythe and purchasing my first one in person in Richmond, BC. Nowadays, you run into the trouble of deciphering what a seller is trying to say when they may be using a translation program. There is advice I see floating around on Facebook that often directs new Blythe hobbyists to “TBLs” or “factory dolls” (which are all, let’s face it, fakes).
For those who are smitten with Blythe, it is always a good idea to know were to go to purchase legitimate Blythes that are produced by Takara. Here is a selection of online shops for you to puruse, I’ve made some comments regarding types of releases (new vs. old) as well as retail
- Junie Moon – Junie Moon’s international online shop ship world wide. They are also an official Blythe retailer, as they are very closely associated and affiliated with Cross World Connections (who designs the new Blythe releases). You can often find new releases here, all at retail price. When there are special releases (e.g. limited releases, or anniversary dolls), Junie Moon holds a “lottery”. If you win, you win the chance to purchase the doll. Junie Moon does not often carry dolls that would be considered to be very old releases.
- CC Toys – CC Toys is a brick and mortar shop located in Hong Kong that also happens to sells online. They boast having ‘free’ shipping with each item, but you will note that they include cost of shipping in with the purchase price. The nice thing about this is that there are no surprises! The price you see is what you pay. They will often do presales for new releases. Some older releases can also be found at CC Toys. The prices may be inflated from original retail costs, as the prices are fluid with the popularity. The more popular dolls are often priced accordingly.
- HobbyLink Japan – HLJ is an online shop that carries Blythe and other hobby goods from Japan. Like CC Toys, they often do presales for new releases. What I personally like about HLJ is that they will combine shipping. If you purchase some things now and can wait for it, you can wait until you’ve accumulated a fair number of items before having it shipped (up to a certain length of time). This may be helpful for some people. I have purchased a fair number of Japanese hobby books from HLJ and they have always been packaged well.
- Mandarake – Mandarake is a series of brick and mortar shops in Japan that will buy and sell items. They also carry Blythe. Mandarake is a great resource for older releases as well as used dolls. I have found that often the descriptions do not make sense (likely due to use of a translation program), but you can often find good deals through Mandarake if you are willing to search a bit and wait.
- Amazon – Surprise, surprise – the online retailer that carries just about everything also carries Blythe! The US site for Amazon does have some releases – albeit at fairly high prices. Amazon.co.jp also carries Blythe as well, but you may run into the trouble of needing to use a shipping service that will purchase as your proxy and then ship you your items after they receive it. This means that you will be paying for shipping twice (first domestically, second internationally).
I do hope that these links help you in finding your (first?) Blythe! If you’ve had good (or poor) shopping experiences at any of the above retailers – let me know in the comments below! If you have any shops to suggest, please link below.
A Beginner’s Guide is a feature on BlytheLife.com that is all about going back to the basics of collecting Blythe, and being a reference tool for new and experienced collectors alike. If you have any suggestions for what you would like to see in A Beginner’s Guide, send me your suggestions!