Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blythe and Blythe and Two Bodies

My first doll purchased in 2015 arrived in this shipping box.

My very first doll purchase for 2015 was a "tan" Blythe doll with Afro hairstyle, sold nude.   She arrived in the the above shipping box with the interesting caption written on the side.

Seller described the doll as "tan skin with big curls naked Blyth" (no "e").

Blythe dolls were first produced in 1972 by Kenner, a company later purchased by Hasbro.  Reportedly due to poor sales, the dolls sold for one year only in the US.  Possibly the first doll with an over-sized head, the large eyes change colors with the long pull string attached to the back of the head.  Unfortunately for me, the vintage dolls did not include dark skinned versions.  In recent years there have been tan and darker lookalikes by other manufacturers, that are just as cute, but none to my knowledge have Blythe's eye-changing feature, which is what intrigues me about the doll.   So imagine my delight and how quickly I placed my order when I discovered the availability of "tan" versions with Afro hairstyle. 

The doll is marked:
Blythe™
©2006 Hasbro
©CWC
TOMY
CHINA  


Having been ordered January 2, 2015, from a China-based seller (where these dolls and most others are made) Blythe's arrival was 17 days later, which is one reason this post about my first doll purchase of the year was delayed.

LIV Alexis and Blythe compare complexions, which are very similar, if not identical.

I was pleasantly pleased that her "tan" complexion is darker than I had imagined (see comparison photo with LIV Alexis above). 

After examining Blythe thoroughly, including her eye-changing mechanism, and dressing her in the aqua dress ordered from the same seller (who sent along a pair of pink shoes), I took photos of Blythe's different eye colors:
Hazel

Aqua

Pink (really?) 

Gray

I might purchase separately sold eye chips in a more natural color to replace the oddly colored eyes, particularly the pink ones.

Next in store for Ms. Blythe was a modeling session in Sparkle Girlz, Only Hearts Club, and 9-inch Calista fashions:
Blythe tried on this Sparkle Girlz fashion and shoes first; both fit.

Above, Blythe wears an Only Hearts Club fashion and generic white sneakers.  OHC shoes are too large for Blythe.
This Sparkle Girlz fashion was not as flattering a fit as the previous one.  The pants are a little large on her thin frame.  She's wearing the pink shoes sent by the seller. 
Blythe preferred this 9-inch Calista fashion over the others, including the aqua dress.  She's paired this ensemble with the generic white sneakers for now because Calista's shoes are also too large for her tiny feet.

Commentary From Family

Husband (upon seeing Blythe for the first time a week or two after her arrival):  Why is that doll's head so big?  (I attempted to explain the novelty of it and the eye mechanism within.)

Daughter, around the same time her dad noticed Blythe: What in the world?  (Again, I attempted to explain, but I don't think either understood.)

I understand, so much so that on the day she arrived, which was the first day of the Chinese New Year, I ordered another Blythe from the same seller who explained that shipping might be delayed due to their holiday.  The second doll has straight hair that I plan to braid similar to what I did several years ago for Natterer's Joy.   Waiting for the second doll to arrive also delayed this post. 

Blythe #2



Because of Blythe's over-sized head, I discovered that a doll stand is a must.  So in mid-February, Blythe #2 arrived with two tan doll stands and two fashions made for Blythe that were ordered with the doll. 
Blythe #2 is supported by a tan Blythe doll stand.  She arrived with a minor issue* -- a black mark (not visible in this photo) stains her right arm.

The over-sized burgundy velour headband bow is supposed to complement the houndstooth dress, which it was sold with, so I allowed Blythe to wear it.  She chose a pair of Barbie Basics black ankle boots to pair with the dress.  Her dark pink eyes are shown in this photo.  Her other eye colors differ from the first doll's being purple, yellow, and a darker aqua.  More eye chips are definitely in order for her.

Blythe #1 (on right) welcomes her new friend.
*After doll #2 arrived, I contacted the seller about what appeared to be an ink mark on her right arm.  I was given the option of a partial refund or replacement body.  After discovering there were tan multiarticulated bodies available, I chose that as a replacement and purchased an additional one for the first doll.  By this time, the seller was deep into celebrating the Chinese New Year, which ended on March 5th.  As a result, the body replacements along with two pairs of shoes I purchased arrived during the third week of March.  I will post a followup after the girls have received their new bodies, which are shown below.

Unlike the original vinyl bodies, the replacement bodies are made of a sturdy resin and have multiple points of articulation at the upper arms, elbows, waist, wrists, upper thighs, knees, and ankles.  The shoulder joints and upper legs at the hips are also articulated.

One of the bodies uses my hand as a chair.

According to the seller, I just need to unscrew the three screws at the back of the dolls' heads to replace the bodies.  (I hope this is not easier said than done.)


The extra dress (not shown) that arrived with doll #2 has purple and white polka dots, identical to the aqua dress Blythe #1 wore in her first photo.  These dresses sold for $5.78 each.  The nude dolls were $55.25 which included free shipping.  The doll stands were $10 each -- a bit much, but they are designed for the dolls and bear the Blythe trademark.  The houndstooth dress retails for $20, again a bit much; but at the time of purchase, the seller offered a special discount for orders of a certain amount, so I saved a few dollars on that dress.  The resin articulated body cost me $28 (one was a free replacement).  Extra hands can be purchased for around $12 or the articulated body can be purchased with four or five sets of extra hands for around $36.

The last time I checked my Aliexpress seller's stock, the "big curls" tan version was sold out.  There may be other sellers offering the doll but prices will vary greatly and often the shipping is not free. It appears that on January 2, 2015, I browsed the site at the right time. 

The girls took one final photo to model the two pairs of shoes that arrived with the replacement bodies.  
Both girls show their "green" eyes; #2's are darker.  #2 has also removed her over-sized bow.  She prefers wearing the black ankle boots with her houndstooth dress over the black and white oxfords worn in this photo.  Blythe #1 thinks her "Chuck" style aqua sneakers look better than the white generic sneakers she had been wearing.

Current Aliexpress.com search results for "tan Blythe" can be seen here.
You may watch an eye chip removal and replacement video here.
To learn more about Blythe dolls, past and present, read this Wikipedia.com article here.



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14 comments:

  1. As much as I dislike big-headed dolls I must admit that your first Blythe looks very winsome with that big Afro. I am also interested in the articulated bodies. Thanks for sharing information about the prices.

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  2. I'm not a huge Blythe fan in general, but these two are cute! And those multi-articulated bodies look fantastic. I hadn't realized there were options like that for these dolls (outside of Obitsu hybrids, at least), but it's good to know!

    It's interesting to know about the prices and processes as well - thanks for sharing all of that!

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    1. I believe the articulated tan bodies are relatively new as well as the tan dolls. I saw them first on eBay at a much higher price + shipping and decided to check Aliexpress's offerings where I found these and the bodies.

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  3. I agree with your husband and daughter, I didn't get why their heads were so big and I don't even want to talk about them eyes. I could not get with this doll when the first came out. Over time I "grew" or should I say, I "matured" enough to like them and admire them. They are cute little dolls and what I have seen on Pinterest reminds me they are loved too.

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    1. They do have the ability to "grow on you," Brini. I redressed the one with straight hair yesterday and, although I still favor the one with the Afro, this one looks even cuter in the new fashion.

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  4. I'm slowly warming up to Blythe, seeing all the neat custom versions out there. I do like the articulated body.

    Good luck unscrewing her head! Never thought I'd write those words. ;)

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    1. Thanks Sarah for the good luck wishes. I haven't attempted rebodying either yet, but will do that soon, with Husband nearby in the event I need to holler "help!"

      :-)

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  5. Great dolls. I like her and always wanted one. Maybe one day.

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    1. Thank you, MDW. Hope you're able to add a Blythe to your family soon.

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  6. I have never been a fan of the Blythe dolls, but yours are very cute! I especially love the one with the afro. My vision of the other one will be too cute with braids. The Sparkle Girls clothes fit very well.

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    1. My vision for the other one has changed, GG. I think I will attempt crimping her hair -- maybe a boil perm. I am not so sure I am up to the completing the braiding task, but who knows, I might try braiding first. Time will tell.

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  7. The girl with the fro is stellar! She looks wholesome and yet groovy.

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    1. The girl with the 'fro is definitely my favorite for now, Muff.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!