For The Love Of Blythe

Manufactured by Kenner in 1972, the original Blythe (now known as “vintage”) was produced for only one year and then was retired because of poor sales.

For 28 years, Blythe was a curiosity that only doll collectors were interested in.

In 1997 TV producer Gina Garan encountered a Blythe owned by a friend who thought she resembled the doll. She started taking photos of Blythes during her travels around the world and released a book of photos ‘This is Blythe’ which captured the attention of the Japanese.

Blythe resurfaced in Japan in 2001 and became an overnight sensation with a TV commercial. CWC, with the toy company Takara, soon began manufacturing new versions of Blythe. The result has been a miraculous (and slightly surreal) global renaissance for the doll.

About 30 cm. and a plastic body that has become an artistic support for many creators. With a pull of the string on the back of their heads, their eyes will change from green to brown to pink to orange, depending on the stock eyechips she has come with which vary from doll to doll. Her gaze also changes from left to right to front-facing – she can look non-chalant, shy, bored and cheeky just with the pull of a string! – A creative twist that transformed an industrial product into an art object, the photographic muse to be the protagonist of his own performance space.

Every year there is an Annual Blythe Charity Fashion Show in Tokyo, where leading designers from around the world create tiny versions of their outfits for Blythe to wear as she is carried down the runway by white-glove-wearing models. As a virtual model, Blythe has found fans among the leading design houses, including John Galliano, Prada, Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Issey Miyake, Versace, Sonia Rykiel, and many others.

Nowadays, Blythe’s photogenic style can also be found gracing countless accessories and stationary goods the world over – there are huge Flickr communities devoted to Blythe. People photograph her all around the world in all kinds of places.

Blythe dolls range in price (at release date) from USD$60 (ADG versions) upwards of USD$400 (limited edition Takara NEOs). Older dolls are sought after in the collectors market, and can sell for as high as several thousand dollars for a Kenner to a thousand dollars or more for the first edition NEO. Imagine being the person who picked up a ’72 Kenner at a garage sale and now she’s worth thousands! That scenario is every Blythe-lover’s dream.

A new generation of collectors eagerly await the arrival of up to six new Blythe reproductions each year. You can see all the Blythe dolls released till date at this link


This grandma is Allison Katzman, the original designer of Blythe in 1972.

You can buy your very own new found love Neo Blythe Doll at unbelievable prices here.