For the Love of Blythe
For some time now I've been curious about Blythe dolls with the color change eyes. All of a sudden my Pinterest and Instagram feeds have exploded with images of amazingly beautiful customized Blythe dolls. I finally decided to order one and teach myself to customize these dolls. I've now finished two dolls and I have enough material for at least three different tutorials. I'm trying to organize my photos and thoughts to get those finished for you. My first doll already sold but the second doll and some doll parts are available from my shops (shop links on the Home page).
There are several different Blythe dolls and I'm not familiar with them all yet, but the first is the original 1972 Kenner Blythe doll with color change eyes. Those were regular toys, a little scary-looking, back in the day but now they are worth thousands of dollars. Apparently the rights to manufacture Blythe were bought by Hasbro and then Takara. These dolls are worth several hundred dollars. Finally, there are a slew of off-market Blythe dolls. There's what is called a "factory" Blythe, which is marked Blythe and sometimes Takara and sometimes Hasbro on the body and head, supposedly just nude dolls with or without wigs, that come from the factory before packaging. I kind of doubt that's true, but who knows? I can't afford any of the real Blythe dolls to see how they compare. Then there are fake copycat Blythe dolls called Basaak Blythes or Basaar Blythes or Icy dolls or others. The Basaak and Basaar Blythes look just like Blythe but the quality is noticeably worse than the factory Blythe dolls. The Icy doll is nearly identical to Blythe but with a slightly different face sculpt. There are also nude dolls with a Blythe faceplate but without hair or eye chips, solely for customization. Besides the 12 inch Blythe shown here there is also "Neo Blythe", "Middle Blythe", "Petite Blythe", and "Mini Blythe", but I'm still foggy on those and I don't own any. It seems like the Blythe heads can be used with a dizzying array of bodies. You can buy bodies by themselves or poach them from existing dolls. So far I have made two custom Blythe dolls. One is made from a Factory Blythe and one is made from a Basaak Blythe.
This alluring beauty is Vadoma, a fortune teller. Vadoma is a Romani name meaning, "one who knows" and comes from a word once used to describe magicians in the gypsy culture. Vadoma is my second Blythe customization. My first Factory Blythe taught me these dolls are an expensive hobby to acquire, with the basic nude dolls costing around $70, so I used cheaper parts for this one since I'm still teaching myself how to make these. I started by re-sculpting and re-painting a Basaak Blythe faceplate. Then I replaced the Basaak eye chips with a pair of galaxy chips I made and three pairs of chips by another artist from eBay. I converted the eyes to sleep eyes and hand-beaded the pull strings. I replaced the sparse eyelashes and colored the eyelids with ombre shadow. I picked up a distressed Azone ball-jointed body for a fire sale price because it had a broken neck and very custom paint job. I removed the paint and re-painted the body and made a new neck attachment. I added my exclusive "quick change" Velcro skull dome and wig, so a new owner can easily change out wigs. Finally I put together an outfit from vintage and handmade clothes and jewelry.
You can choose from four different color for Vadoma's eyes as well as change the direction of her gaze.
Because Vadoma's crystal ball is attached to her pull string she always has it with her.
You can use Vadoma's Velcro skull with one of my wigs or place a rooted scalp over it to change her hair.
The Basaak dolls aren't the greatest quality, and this one had a couple issues. The skull cap kept coming loose so I had to glue it down with white glue to stabilize it. You can soak the head in warm water to remove the glue if you need to get inside her head. The head seams don't meet at the bottom on one side (see the slide show for a photo) but Vadoma's hair covers that problem.
I'm most proud of Vadoma's pierced ears, which I did myself, her galaxy eye chips, which are the first I've painted, and her pull strings. I bought the crystal ball charm months ago on clearance because it was cool and I've just been waiting for a way to use it. This was the perfect project! I have Vadoma for sale in my shops and I can also sell her at a discount if the buyer contacts me through this website and pays through PayPal. I hate to let her go, though! She's just gorgeous and I'm really proud of how she turned out.
My first custom Blythe doll is this Taylor Swift portrait doll. A few weeks ago I ordered a Factory Blythe on a ball-jointed body for myself. As soon as she arrived I posted photos on my Facebook page and my sister immediately asked to buy her as a Christmas gift for my niece. My niece had a photo of Taylor Swift, one of her heroines, and asked the doll be made to look like the photo. So, I sculpted and re-painted the faceplate to get it as close as possible. My sister won't want to have to open the head to change out the scalps if my niece ever wants to change the hair, so I added a Velcro dome and chose a wig that can be worn up or down. I converted the eyes to sleep eyes but I left the eye chips as-is, since my niece really likes to change the color and at that point I hadn't learned to change the eye chips and didn't have any to replace them anyway. Amazingly, while I was looking for an outfit I found a banjo in my doll stash and I was able to string it so it really plays!
You can order your own custom portrait Blythe (made from a Factory Blythe doll) from the contact form below. A custom Blythe includes the doll, one outfit with shoes, either a wig or rooted scalp, eye chip change, custom eye lids, and sleep eye conversion, and your choice of body, for $400 on this website with payment though this site or PayPal or $500 with payment through Etsy or eBay. Add $150 to the price if you'd like me to use a Takara or Hasbro Blythe as the base. Please allow 6 weeks for completion of your doll, as almost all the parts have to be ordered from Asia and take up to a month to arrive. I am working to obtain and list Blythe parts in order to speed up the turnaround time! Check my shops on the Home page for ready-to-ship dolls that cost less than the custom order dolls.
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My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.