An Ideal Collection Size

Written on July 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings

Family size, whether it be humans, animals, or dolls, is a very personal and individual thing. My “ideal” collection size when it comes to my Blythes varies because I don’t add to my collection often and I don’t sell from my collection often. It’s like a one-way cat flap in which once the dolls come in, they don’t leave. (And now it’s beginning to sound like a horror movie…)

I frequently do wish that I was able to downsize, because I like the idea of a smaller doll collection. If nothing else than for ease of transportation (BlytheLife HQ is moving very soon and it’s all kinds of hectic around here), the ability to easily pick dolls to attend meets or BlytheCons, or to just have a better clothes and shoes to doll ratio.


At last count, I have 17 full-sized Blythes, 2 Middies, and 4 Petites for a grand total of 23 Blythe-related dolls. Because I’m not going to mention the other ones, because it makes me feel like I have way too many dolls. With that number of dolls, I really do need more clothes and shoes to properly be able to rotate their outfits. So perhaps my ideal collection size is to just curate a doll wardrobe and shoe closet that grows accordingly, and proportionally, with my doll family? If that is the case, I’m going to need a lot more doll shoes and a lot more space! If I weren’t going to add to the doll shoes and closet, I’d say I probably have a proper amount of clothes and shoes for maybe 10 full-sized Blythes dolls? That’d be a lot of downsizing though…

Do you have an ideal collection size? Share your thoughts below!

QOTW: What’s your “upper spending limit”?

Written on July 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Question of the Week

There is a hard upper spending limit, and then there is a hard upper spending limit when it comes to dolls and doll things – and for me it really varies depending on what it is and what my income level is like.

Way back when I was a lowly unemployed student (basically, just over a year ago), my spending limit on dolls and dolls things was very close to $10-15 a month. If I wanted a new doll, which was most of the time, I really needed to juggle around the money a bit to figure out how I was going to come up with the money. Was it going to be selling old textbooks for a bit of cash, or holding out for a research study that was going to pay me $25-50 for an hour of my time? Broke student life is pretty much the definition of stretching every single dollar as far as it will go.

20160711“Basically, you’re saying that I was totally worth it.”

My upper spending limit has me looking at a few things: what doll is it, do I really want it or just ‘really’ want it, and the condition the doll is it. I’m far more willing to spend more on a limited release or a Kenner if it’s something that I really want vs. a regular release of a doll. I’m also more willing to spend more for a doll with a really nice and gorgeous reroot in natural fibres than I am for a hybrid doll that may come with a scalp that came from a Simply regular release Blythe. This goes for clothes as well, because I’m more likely to be picky about cost when it comes to stock doll clothes or very run of the mill shoes vs. a commissioned and/or handmade doll dress, or hand stitched boots. Since I’m somewhat gainfully employed now, I can afford such things (but given that I have 7 years worth of clothes on hand at this time, I can also afford to be more picky about things).

For me personally, the most I’ve ever spend on a doll was just under four digits (ahead of the decimal point…) and the most I’ve ever spent on a single item of clothing was probably around $70 or so (after the exchange rate from USD $ to CAD $). And let’s not discuss shoes, because I feel like that would be a) embarrassing and b) worthy of its own post.

What is your “upper spending limit” when it comes to dolls or doll things?

Counterfeit Blythes: Survey Results

Written on July 6, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: News with tags:

Back in May of this year, I shared with you all a survey regarding fakes/counterfeits Blythes in the community, to get better insight into the thoughts and opinions of the people who make up our doll community. One of my favourite comments that I had received in the survey was:

Fakes happen. Relax.

Curious? Read on! It was a fairly short survey with just a handful of questions, and there were 120 participants!

Here are the results of what some people in the doll community think about fakes/counterfeit dolls (commonly referred to as “factory” or “TBL”):

1. Do you consider someone who only owns fake Blythes to be a Blythe collector?


54 said yes, while 66 said no.

2. Do you think fake Blythes are acceptable/okay in the doll community?


85 think that fakes are acceptable, while 35 said they are not.

3. Do you personally own a fake Blythe?


74 of the participants own a fake, 44 do not.

For the “I don’t know/I’m not sure” choice, 2 of 120 people who participated in the survey were unsure if their dolls were fakes or not. The fact that there are people in the doll community who are unsure if their dolls are legitimate or fake makes me want to shake the sellers who aren’t more forthcoming with the origin of their dolls.

4. Some people argue that the high cost and/or low quality of a Takara produced doll is the reason they purchase fakes – do you agree with that justifying the decision to own fakes?


39 said yes while 52 said no.

In the “Other” option, here are some of the comments left in the survey:

“I’m quite neutral since if a customizer customize a fake Blythe and make it beautiful I won’t mind”

“No. The plastics used to create knock off dolls can be dangerous. Low quality but safe plastic/dolls is more important to me.”

“I buy fakes because Takara doesn’t make spare parts!”

“A necessary evil perhaps”

“I understand the logic but for me, it doesn’t make it okay. Some of the older official releases had terrible quality control, but people still bought them then and they’re incredibly sought after now (e.g. Goldie, her hair can be terrible!)”

“Fakes are so expensive it doesn’t really justify”

“Depends on the doll”

5. Do you think it’s okay to customize fakes so that Kenners/Takara/ADG dolls are not customized?


An overwhelming 102 said yes while only 18 of the 120 participants decided that no, fakes are still not okay to save the legitimate releases (e.g. Kenners, Takaras, and ADGs).

6. If you have any other thoughts regarding fake Blythes, leave them here.

61 of 120 participants left additional comments, here is a small selection of their comments:

“I struggle with the last question. I don’t like stock dolls being customized but the chemicals used to create fake dolls concern me. If I have a customized fake, do I have a toxic doll? It can put you in an awkward situation if you win or are given a fake, customized or not, as well.”

“As long as they are not sold / traded / presented as Original.. I don”t see any problem with fakies”

“I prefer to not work on fakes for safety reasons (off-gassing, no QC, etc..) but I don’t judge others that do.”

“My answers probably seem a bit contradictory. The reason for this is because I feel rather conflicted about the whole fake Blythe controversy. On one hand, I feel that fakes have ruined the hobby, but the other, I can appreciate the fact that customizers use them to spare official releases. While I have a deep respect for quality customs, it really bothers me to see limiteds, rares, and most especially Kenners carved up beyond recognition. There really shouldn’t be any reason to carve up these dolls, and then have the original base doll’s value factor into the ultimate cost for a custom Blythe. The RBL mold was a laser copy of a Kenner, and the fakes are typically copies of RBLs. If you’re going to carve something up, spare the rares and use a fake base doll!”

“I don’t care how people spend their money. But when I see people get excited over their first Blythe and it’s a fake it’s disappointing”

“The people buying them have contributed to a marked downturn in the hobby, both in the quality of customs, and the secondhand price for stock dolls.  There is no reason to buy a fake, at all, ever.  It makes no sense morally or economically.  They do not contribute to jobs, they are not “castoffs” from teh factory, they are not made from a small homemade cottage industry.  They are mass produced, most likely from a criminal enterprise, without whatever limited safety and workplace protection that a licensed factory would have.  Buying fakes actually contributes to worker abuse, human trafficking, pollution, and increased prices for stock dolls.  Anyone who does not believe that buying fakes has contributed to the higher costs and lower quality of stock dolls does not understand basic economics.”

“Fakes happen. Relax.”

“So-called Blythe collectors who own knock-offs do not value Blythe enough to pay for a genuine Blythe doll.  So no, they are not Blythe collectors.  I am strongly anti-fake.”

“Fakes are okay for customizers to practice on, but I’m astonished that some collectors sell them for hundreds. I’m also not supportive of buying a fake for a child because it’s less $ than the real thing. There is a lesson and appreciation that should be part of anyone’s first Blythe, and if she’s too much, that’s not an appropriate gift. I should also share that I feel the same about other counterfeits (for example, jewelry and handbags).”

“I am strongly against recast in bjd world and would never buy one, so it felt really odd for me to see so many Blythe hobbyists don’t really mind about factory/fake dolls. I understand it in some point though. I see the cheaper factory dolls good chance for practising carving etc so the real (often limited or rare) Blythes aren’t ruined by beginners. I have two factory dolls for that reason too (though it took a long consideration to convince myself doing that). But I’d rather see those for practise items and kept for the owner, not options for actual Blythes for a “real customizer” who takes good money for the customs. Maybe they can be used as extra parts for real Blythe customs, but then it should be mentioned in description. And I think factory customs should be sold in way lower price, and to call them as “factory doll” etc instead “Blythe”. I also see the different but similar cheapie dolls like Icy dolls still more acceptable than factory dolls, as you can see with first glimpse it’s not the real deal. I feel it’s like the official “cheaper version dolls” along Barbies in toy shop shelves; they’re not illegal but different brand for same purpose.”

Thank you everyone who participated in the survey and helped to share the survey link so that it had a broader audience! I hope you found the results and comments insightful!

Middie Monday #14

Written on July 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Musings with tags:

Sometimes I feel like a bad Middie owner because I’m still determined to craft most of their wardrobe by myself, despite the fact that I have been very busy since the arrival of my first Middie (Kitty Brighton – Jackie Ramone) and I’ve made them a small handful of items. And the ones that I have made aren’t even very good.

As most of my belongings are currently packed away, Kitty Brighton and Lydia Melbourne are both miffed and tucked away, waiting to be moved to the new BlytheLife HQ – I thought I would share some photos of my Middies! New photos will be coming soon – after the move!



Middie Monday is a feature that is published on the first Monday of each month! A guaranteed monthly post on Blythe’s little sister – Middie! If you have any suggestions for a future Middie Monday post, please send me an email or use my Suggestions form!

Happy 6th Birthday, BlytheLife!

Written on July 1, 2016 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: News with tags:

Six years ago, a little blog started off with a simple welcome message and the promise of an interview & giveaway – and now look at it! BlytheLife is my happy place on the internet to talk about dolls, and I think it’s important to have something like that in your life. A happy place among the chaos of everything else happening in real life. Six years ago, I didn’t even know anyone offline that owned a Blythe. I never met anyone else who owned a Blythe doll and never saw a Kenner or a BL in person and now I own both. The best addition I made this year to my Blythe family was Lottie.


Now, I had promised a really awesome giveaway if BlytheLife hit 1000 likes on Facebook and it didn’t make it (855 likes as I write this post). And with the impending Canada Post strike, it makes it difficult for me to get a pretty awesome giveaway prize into the country (who else is sad about that? I know I am!). So what I would like to propose is that if BlytheLife gets to 900 likes on Facebook by the end of July, then I’ll do a pretty awesome giveaway in August (provided that the postal service is working again, if not it’ll happen once the postal service starts delivering mail again).

It’ll be amazing, I promise. And worth the wait.


A lot has changed since July 1, 2015. BlytheCon Vancouver was a whirlwind of excitement and chaos in my life. I got a job, and then I got another job. BlytheLife HQ will be moving this month and I’m both excited and not excited about that. As BlytheLife turns 6, Canada turns 149. I will be taking my extended weekend to relax and have fun with family and friends before going back to work on Monday.

Happy BlytheLife Day!

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