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Monday, June 09, 2008

hello dolly

I had my share of dolls when I was a kid. With three girlie girls in the house, there were dolls of all kinds all over the place. I had Barbies and babies, Hi Heidi, Liddle Kiddles, Madame Alexanders, Mary Poppins, and even a life-size (if you're a three-year-old) Patty Playpal. I actually still have Patty, but since her inner bungee cords all rotted years ago, she's in pieces in a box somewhere. I can't bear to part with her, and somehow never get around to getting her fixed up. It's kind of gruesome to open that box and pull out a head or an arm. It's also kind of useful around Halloween...

Anyway, I thought I was up on all the dolls that have been popular in my lifetime, but somehow I missed the brief appearance of the Blythe Doll in the early 70's. I was kind of out of my dolly years by then, pretending to be a baby hippie in high school. But Blythe has just been brought to my attention by my friend Jean Yates, who having been doll-deprived as a kid, has just adopted two of these strange creatures. I read somewhere that they're modeled after the paintings of Margaret Keane. Remember those kids with the huge eyes? The Blythe dolls look like them. Frankly, when I first saw them, I though they were kind of creepy, in a cool way, with little skinny bodies and enormous heads and eyes. They look like Christina Ricci in a Tim Burton movie, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

So it seems the Blythe dolls have made a comeback, and are a red hot rage all over the world. There are zillions of websites selling clothes and wigs and accessories, and other sites where you can post all your favorite photos of your dolls. Respectable grown up people collect them and carry them around, and books have been written about the style and fashion sense of the Blythe girls. Gina Garan seems to have singlehandedly brought Blythe to super star status through her books and website, This Is Blythe. I don't know how I missed all this, but now I feel like I've just been allowed into some kind of secret clubhouse.

Jean was asking if I would make some beads for her dolls, so of course I said, Sure!, and started to do a little research. One site led to another, and before I knew it, I had spent half of my day yesterday reading about these dolls. Eventually I also ran across the Pullip dolls. I'm not sure if they're knock-offs, impostors, or just a natural off-shoot of the popular Blythe. They're edgier and quirkier, if that's possible, and "fully articulated" to make them quite pose-able. By the time I went to bed last night, I was totally obsessed with getting a doll of my own. After all, if I'm going to make beads for them, I'll need a model, now won't I? I had no idea I'd get sucked into this doll vortex, but here I am. And one day, this little beauty shall be mine...

Yes, I am a little worried about me. But come on - you don't really expect me to resist a pirate doll do you?


Jean said...


xox jean

Michelle in the UK said...

...So do I Jean !!!! Kim, I love your dolls, I've collected Barbie's in all sorts of outfits since my first Barbie doll was bought for me by my Daddy when I was young ! I loved her ! I used to make clothes for her and everything !! I have a large collection of them now, all lovely so I can quite understand why you like yours too !