Archive for April 4, 2012

Fashion Doll: Blythe

Written by Raina. Posted in Accessories

Most of you may be wondering, who is Blythe? Blythe is a fashion doll, created by Allison Katzman, and sold in the ‘70s, who has since had quite the history  from being produced and sold only for a year by Kenner toy company in Cinncinati, Ohio.

Whether you have heard of her or not, you just may recognize her adorable face from advertisements in 2009 for McQ Alexander McQueen for Target. The late designer used Blythe to model miniature versions of his designs!

 

 

Blythe’s unsuccessful debut in the ‘70s has not stopped her from being popular in the past decade. Her fans come from all over the world, and the life of Blythe is a very busy one! One day she may be sitting pretty on a shelf, and the next day she may be packing up for a fashion show (I’m serious about the fashion show, read more it from the “history” link given above).

Could she be planning what she is going to wear for an upcoming Blythe meet up? They are held every year, this years location is Dallas, Texas. These buyers do not play around when it comes to the original Kenner Blythe dolls. These special dolls can be bought on Ebay with their bidding prices being well more than $1,000!

I must give credit to Gina Garan, who is a photographer and video producer from New York, who also is in charge of the website thisisblythe.com. Gina has helped bring attention to Blythe by taking pictures of her own dolls, in tons of different places and outfits, of course. These pictures are sold in a 6×8-inch book she released, titled This is Blythe. On her website, you can purchase, from a limited selection of Blythe dolls, but if you want a larger selection to choose from, you will have to order yours from one of the Japanese websites.

It is easy for me to see why people enjoy Blythe. For being just a doll, these little models displays so much personality through their faces, with eyes that change between four colors by the pull of the string in the back of her head. Blythe owners are very passionate about their dolls. If they are not being displayed in their original condition, they may be customized (hair, makeup, eyes, etc.) to become more personal. Many owners also design, make, and sell their own miniature outfits for their dolls. To be so tiny, these outfits are very intricate and do not skimp on the details. All the outfits I have seen are very nice. On Etsy, you can find handmade “designer” miniature handbags!

As you can see, Blythe is more suited for an adult, or someone old enough to understand that they are more fragile than your typical doll/toy. I was determined to own a Blythe doll of my own upon first seeing them around three years ago. She was delivered all the way from Japan, by way of thisisblythe.com, to me last summer. She is the Bohemian Peace Neo Blythe, who is pictured.  A great blog that features interviews and pictures with Blythe doll collectors is called Mademoiselle Blythe.Here you can see how creative the collectors are through the pictures, and about how they got started.

While Blythe is still produced today, just through a different manufacturer, she is in the company of two smaller sized Blythe’s: Petite Blythe and Middie Blythe, with the smallest, Petite, being a little over 4 inches tall. The Blythe I have been talking about, Neo Blythe, is the largest one, at 12 inches tall). Although they are all Blythe dolls and maintain the characteristic large head and eyes, the size is not the only difference. There is also a visible difference in their facial features.

Though you will not run into a Blythe doll at toy stores in the US, a couple of years ago, Hasbro released a similar version of the Petite Blythe as Babysitters for the animals of Littlest Pet Shop. I saw this as an attempt to reintroduce Blythe to children again, but in the smaller form. Whether this will be successful or not, we shall see. But I know one thing is for sure, Blythe will always have a dedicated adult following, who will always love her, no matter what size, shape, or form.

 

So, any new Blythe lovers yet?

—Raina

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @FASHION_BLITZ