Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Wide Eyed World of Blythe...

That will be the new theme I have in mind for a photo shoot of the girls. I love themes and was thinking of another one now for a while after the 'Polka Dot Doll having a Ball!' And then I saw some pictures on the net of the Blythe dolls, and thought this is it! They are such a cute dolls, a bit vintage looking which I lOVE! And with the ever changing hairstyles and eye colors you can do so much in a photo shoot. I am really looking forward to it. Now I just have to find the time...

Do you know the Blythe dolls? Here a short history and some pictures.

Blythe is a doll created in 1972 by designer Allison Katzman with the now-defunct U.S. toy company Kenner. Reportedly, she was modelled after drawings by Margaret Keane, similarly to many other dolls of the '60s and '70s. Her most distinctive and notable feature were eyes that changed color with the pull of a string attached to the back of her head. Due to a lack of interest, Blythe dolls were only sold for one year in the U.S. (produced in Hong Kong). The doll would only become popular some 30 years later. And it is bigger than ever! And very expensive, they are sold on Ebay but mostly Honk Kong.

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. She began taking her Blythe everywhere with her and took hundreds of photos. In 1999, she was introduced to CWC's Junko Wong by artist and illustrator, Jeffrey Fulvimari which brought Blythe to the attention of Parco and toy executives. In 2002, Gina published her first book of Blythe photography with Chronicle Books, This is Blythe. Later that year, Hasbro (the Trademark and License owner) gave Takara of Japan a license to produce the New Edition of Blythe (NEO Blythe). Blythe was used in a television advertising campaign by the Parco department store in Japan and was an instant hit. Success in Japan led Hasbro to issue a license to Ashton Drake Galleries (ADG)to produce Blythe exclusively in the U.S., where the doll become a niche product in a marginal market, selling largely to adults.

In 2003 Blythe was the subject in a segment on the popular VH1 special, I Love the 70s, where she was said to look like either "Barbie with elephantiasis" or "Christina Ricci" among other things.

In 2004, the Ashton-Drake Galleries began to produce their own Blythe replica dolls in the United States.

A vibrant Blythe subculture flourishes on the Internet, predominantly in forums and user groups. There is a large network of hobbyists who customise the doll for resale, people who create unique clothing and shoes, as well as accessories specifically for Blythe.

There are many websites dedicated to Blythe, but this is the biggest. So with this background information, I am going to dress the girls like Blythe dolls and doing a photo shoot with them.

Watch out for the pics pretty soon ;-)
Have a great weekend!


Kat said...

Hi Mireille, It is so nice for you to offer help bring Shaun home. It means a lot to have support! Our address is: The McMahon's8737 Edgeridge DriveWest Chester, Ohio 45069 I was actually going to e-mail you anyway! I just joined FaceBook and joined the Thai adoption group. I was going to post my blog, but the post would not go through..............HMMMM. I was hoping to meet some other parents on there. We hardly know anyone who has been to Thailand, let alone to adopt. With our daughter in China, we met so many lovely people whom we still talk to today. We'd like that same contact for Shaun. Please look me up on Facebook! I just joined and I am still figuring it all out. :) Kathleen (

Jen and Jeff said...

LOVE these dolls! Soooo cute! Where do I buy???

Jen and Jeff said...

Wow, pricey little mammas, aren't they? Cute though! Can't wait to see the results of that photo shoot! I'm sure JJ & Jezz will look more gorgeous than Blythe!


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