do you know blythe? she’s the girl of a thousand faces, all of them framing those humungous eyes. she causes quite a stir – some people are fanatics and others think she’s a little too strange to find endearing. but i’m sure that doesn’t bother blythe. she’s been down and bounced back. she’s one tough cookie!
she was created in 1972 by allison katzman as a sort of homage to the wide-eyed waifs illustrated by margaret keane. unfortunately, the world wasn’t ready for blythe and the toy company kenner ceased production after just one year. but nearly 30 years later blythe was rediscovered when chronicle books published photographer gina garan’s book ‘this is blythe’. pretty soon blythe was ‘big in japan’ and replicas and new editions of blythe were produced by takara japan and ashton drake galleries USA. blythe had a whole new generation of fans who were old enough to appreciate her and creative enough to take her from being a quirky doll to the star of a fascinating subculture.
i have a blythe (a ‘mrs retro mama‘ unsurprisingly) and although initially my plan was to create something unique and customised, i just like her the way she is. she stands in my studio, rocking out to a music box and being my little plastic muse. i do love seeing what other people do to their blythes, though. some of them are near works of art. pictured up the top are some of my favorites on flickr. groovy babies, dolly birds, and a fabulous yarnhead bear! isn’t the yarhead bear fascinating?
what do you think of blythe? do you have one?