What is the story behind Blythe dolls?

The story behind Blythe dolls is an interesting one that involves their creation, brief disappearance, and subsequent resurgence. Here's a summary of the story behind Blythe dolls:

Blythe dolls were originally created by the American toy company Kenner in 1972. The dolls were unique in their design, featuring oversized heads with large, colorful eyes that changed color with a pull-string mechanism. Blythe dolls also had the ability to change eye position, giving them a wide range of expressions. However, despite their innovative features, the dolls failed to resonate with the market at the time and were considered a commercial failure. Production of Blythe dolls was discontinued after just one year.

Decades later, in the early 2000s, a magazine editor named Gina Garan discovered a Blythe doll while on a trip to London. Intrigued by its distinctive appearance, she photographed the doll and featured it in a fashion spread for the magazine "Blythe Style." The response from readers was overwhelmingly positive, leading to a renewed interest in Blythe dolls.

Gina Garan's photographs caught the attention of the Japanese toy company Takara, which had acquired the rights to Blythe dolls. Takara decided to reintroduce Blythe dolls to the market in 2001. The new generation of Blythe dolls featured improved craftsmanship and a wider range of clothing and accessories.

In Japan, Blythe dolls quickly gained popularity among collectors and fashion enthusiasts. Their unique aesthetics and customizable nature appealed to a niche audience, and the dolls became sought-after collectibles. Takara released various limited edition Blythe dolls, collaborating with designers, artists, and fashion brands to create exclusive releases.

The popularity of Blythe dolls spread beyond Japan, reaching collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. The dolls became the center of a passionate community of artists, customizers, and collectors who embraced their distinctive charm and customizable features. Blythe doll conventions, meet-ups, and online forums became spaces for enthusiasts to connect, share their creations, and celebrate their love for these dolls.

Today, Blythe dolls continue to captivate collectors and inspire artistic expression. They are cherished for their unique appearance, customization potential, and the sense of nostalgia associated with their history. The story of Blythe dolls serves as a testament to the power of rediscovery and the enduring appeal of unconventional toys.


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