If you have a Pinterest account, and pin “toys” a Blythe Doll might have showed up as a suggested pin. I have to admit.. I’ve never pinned the suggested Blythe Doll pins until now. By pure accident I discovered a video by BeBe Dolls and two hours later I’ve watched almost all of her tutorial videos! Once you start watching, you will realise the tremendous amount of work that goes into creating these tiny dolls! From sculpting teeth to painting eyebrows, these dolls are all customised.
WHAT IS A BLYTHE DOLL
Blythe Dolls are Fashion Dolls with oversized heads and large eyes. These eyes change color by pulling a string. To see this in action, watch this video by BeBe Dolls. I’m not sure if the painted eyelids or coloured eyes had me watching the video twice. Maybe three times. Blythe Dolls were based on the paintings ‘Big Eyes’ by the artist Margaret Keane and was first produced in the early 70’s. It was initially only sold for one year in the United States by toy company Kenner. 30 years later, and the Blythe Dolls are back. Customising these dolls for resale is big business. You can also buy custom clothing, shoes, wigs and eyes for Blythe. The Blythe photographs are just as popular as the dolls themselves. For most Blythe fans, it’s not so much about playing with the dolls but more about photographing them.
In 1997, New York TV and video producer Gina Garan was given a 1972 Kenner Blythe by a friend and began using it to practice her photographic skills. The Kenner Blythe was either a brunette with chunky bangs, a sidepart brunette, a darker brunette with thinner bangs, a sidepart blonde, a red head with bangs or a sidepart redhead. Gina Garan took her Blythe everywhere with her and took hundreds of photos. In 2000, Gina published her first book, This is Blythe. In 2001, production started for the New Edition of Blythe (Neo Blythe).
OOAK BLYTHE DOLLS
If you spend long enough on Instagram or Pinterest you will eventually come across the term “OOAK“. This is an abbreviation meaning “one of a kind” or an original item. The term has found different and expanded use as an Internet acronym, especially with regard to the sale of handmade merchandise. So.. if you are looking at buying an Ooak Blythe Doll you better start saving. On average these dolls sell for AED 1,800/- (USD 500/-). There are some great online Etsy Stores – check out Jana’s Ooak Blythe Dolls, Blythe de France and Plyskitrix.
I’m sure I’ll do another Blythe Post in the near future. Consider this an introduction. If you would like to read more – I found the article Blythe dolls: too scary for children, loved by adults by Human Qureshi quite interesting to read.
Cover image by WanWan Dolls.