The History Of…
1972 – Kenner Blythe Dolls were designed by Allison Katzman and sold for one year by Kenner. The blythe doll by Kenner 1972 is approx 11.5″ tall and the vintage Blythe doll head was very big because it had to fit the eye mechanism. Blythe eyes are changeable with a pull-string that is located in the back of Blythes head. The eyes change to 4 different colors with each pull; blue, green, orange and pink.
At that time you could purchase 12 different Blythe Boutique fashion sets, 4 boxed wig sets and a carrying case.
Children usually left their Kenner Blythe dolls outside their bedroom at night because Blythe had a bit of an eerie feel to her. Blythe eyes when turned to orange seem to exude that at times! Even still Kenner managed to sell a few with their groovy advertising. They even made a TV Commercial featuring the most wonderful and mot cool doll of them all! (clip located near the bottom of this page).
1997 – Only becoming popular 30 years later due in part to Gina Garan, her beautiful 1972 Blythe dolls and her photographs of them. Gina Garan was given a 1972 Kenner Blythe doll from a friend because she was told that she looked like her. Gina caught the Blythe bug and started collecting the doll. She also practiced her photography skills on Blythe.
1999 – Gina Garan met Junko Wong of CWC and Junko brought Blythe to Parco and toy execs.2002 – Gina’s first book of Blythe photography was published, This is Blythe.Later that same year – Hasbro, the Trademark and License owner, allowed Takara of Japan new license to produce the latest Edition of Blythe. Blythe was used in a TV ad campaign by the Parco department store in Japan. Blythe was an instant hit.
2003 – Blythe and Gina Garan were featured in an episode of “I Love the 70’s” on VH1.
2004 – Ashton Drake Blythe dolls reproductions were produced in the US. The dolls had the exact same boxes and outfits as the original Kenner Blythe dolls; however, the dolls had a slight tint of green to them!
Blythe Doll Info
There are two types of Blythe dolls: the 4″ Petite Blythe doll and the full size 11.5″ Blythe doll, also known as a NEO. The NEO can change eye color to blue, green, orange and pink. Some limited editions have different chip colors too. Petites have one color with or without sleep eyes. Blythe dolls range in price from the release date in US they can go anywhere from $60 – 300+ US. The 1972 Blythe dolls can fetch much much more than that and usually range from approximately $650 – 1,500+ US. NRFB (not removed from the box) 1972 Kenner Blythe dolls can go for even more than that currently between approx. $2,500 – 5,000+ US. For further information, or on where to buy Blythe dolls, please see the Blythe Categories on the left.
Petite Blythe dolls or Mini Blythes are 4 inches tall, have bendable arms, legs, the newer versions have sleepy eyes, and they have tiny painted on bloomers which are located under their fashions. I find the Petites great to travel with because they are so easy to conceal and ready for a quick shot! I have taken both mini Blythes and neos with me all over the world and I do prefer traveling with Petite Blythes because they are so portable and handy!
1972 Kenner Blythe Commercial, 2001 Parco Blythe Doll Commercial & The History of Blythe YouTub clips also have other informtion and cute images.
NEO Blythes (Full size 12″) EBL Rouge Noir & BL Rosy Red