|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:
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:
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.
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.|
|Blythe #1 (on right) welcomes her new friend.|
|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.
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.