Blythe Dolls Size:
The original Blythe dolls from 1972 were 11.5" or 12" tall. Some "miniature" modern Blythe dolls under 6" have also been produced since 2000 by Takara.
Companies That Have Produced Blythe Dolls:
Kenner was the original company that produced Blythe. Unfortunately for Kenner, the doll was ahead of her time and only lasted on the market for one year--1972. With vintage Blythe's renewed popularity with collectors in the last few years, several companies including Hasbro, Takara and Ashton Drake have reproduced Blythe.
Blythe Dolls - Years of Production:
The original vintage Blythe dolls were only produced in 1972. Modern reproductions have been made by Hasbro, Takara since 2001 and by Ashton Drake since 2004.
Materials and Characteristics of Blythe Dolls:
The Blythe dolls have hard plastic heads and torsos with softer vinyl arms and legs. The dolls "click" into various positions at the knees, much like a bendable leg Barbie doll, and Blythe dolls also have a twisting waist. The hair is rooted and long. The most remarkable feature of the dolls are the eyes--if you pull a string attached to the back of the head, Blythe's eyes close, and when they open, they change color and the iris changes position!. The doll has 4 eye color/position changes.
Prices and Secondary Market for Blythe Dolls:
The vintage Blythe dolls can cost several hundred dollars in just fair or very good condition on the secondary market, with prices for excellent condition or mint Blythe dolls generally well over $1,000. Truly mint dolls can be found for over $2,000. The modern Blythe dolls (2000 and after) generally sell at or just above original retail, except for certain very limited edition dolls.
Blythe Dolls - History:
Poor Kenner--they produced an innovative, futuristic doll with a truly new feature (changeable eyes!) and the doll just doesn't take off. The doll was a bit difficult for some little girls to warm up to, with its very oversized head and skinny body. The doll lasted only one year on the market.
Because the doll only lasted one year on the market, not many were produced. Fast forward to today, when Blythe is a well-loved and well-appreciated doll by doll collectors. All original, mint, vintage Blythe dolls regularly sell for over $2,000 on eBay. You could almost describe the Blythe dolls following as a cult following, so devoted are her fans.
Noticing the craze for vintage Blythe dolls, several companies including Hasbro, Takara and now Ashton Drake have produced modern Blythe dolls for several markets including Japan, Korea and the United States. Only time will tell if vintage Blythe dolls can maintain their high prices in the doll collector market.