Sometimes I truly can’t believe my luck. Just when I begin to think that I’m losing the knack for finding good pieces, when I start to think that there isn’t such a thing as a bargain anymore. When I lose hope I’ll ever find anything unimaginably good again, the vintage gods give me a burst of luck and I find that one piece that brings back that motivation and drive I used to have for finding treasures. This keeps me going until I start to get all sulky and negative again ahha.
So as I was wandering around Camberwell Market on Sunday, with nothing in my hands, I was getting to the sulk stage. It had been a while since I had an amazing find.
I was walking slowly scuffing my feet, barely even looking, telling myself ‘there’s nothing here anyway’ (See market depression session!) when I spotted something.
My eyes opened almost as wide as the item I had spotted.
Could it be? COULD IT BE?
I made a bee line to what I thought was a Blythe Doll.
Something that a lot of collectors including myself only dream of finding and owning.
I picked up the doll, she had no hair or legs, but I couldn’t mistake those eyes.
I prayyyed as I undid her dress that I’d see Kenner Products on her back. I almost didn’t want to look in case I was wrong.
A collector from http://bigeyedbuys.com/ said that “Finding a vintage Blythe in person now a days is like being struck by lightening (twice?)! It’s possible, but very very rare.” So I was hesitant.
See they’re remaking these dolls now, so figured it would be a remake.
I’ll tell you a bit more about that later..
So anyway, I undid her back and my heart skipped about 5 beats.
“Um how much is this doll please?” “Five dollars” the lady said. “Cool I’ll grab her please.”
*Heart now almost beating out of my chest*
It was an original! AAH!
As I walked away in complete disbelief, I unwound the cord that was tangled around her neck, and again held my breath as I pulled it, hoping that her eyes would be working.
Blythe dolls have 4 different eye colours, and when you pull the cord she shuts her eyes and her eyes change!
Anyway… I pull the cord and click! It’s changed, AHHH!! And again, again, and again! All eyes are working!!
Now feeling like skipping around the market rather than dragging my feet, I do another loop and run into my friend Tamarah from Shabby vintage junk.
I was absolutely BUSTING to show someone, bust wasn’t sure who’d know about her.
So I pulled her out of my bag and Tamarah jumps on me and shakes me with congratulations!!! I suspect she knew what this doll was haha.
I love her! She makes market days so pleasant!
So we had a bit of a Blythe chat, and then later on when I saw her again, she said that SHE was walking around the market beaming with a giant smile on her face just because I’d found one!
Anyway, so I wandered back to the stall I found her, and there sitting on the table was Blythes wig. Hooray! And Hooray again! Now I just need to hunt down some legs and I’ll be as merry as Santa Clause.
So why do these dolls make people like Tamarah and I do crazy happy dances?
Blythe dolls were made in 1972 by a company named Kenner.
Kenner were known for creating novelty dolls, they also made a ‘Crumpet’ doll that could pour tea from a pot, and offer a cookie to her owner haha.
The Blythe doll was made well ahead of their time.
The market just wasn’t ready for something so creepy and obscure.
Young girls couldn’t warm to it’s freaky look, which meant that this doll was only produced for one year.
One year of production of an unpopular doll means that not many were even made, and so 40 years later, there are much fewer around, and are therefore very collectable.
So collectable in fact, that later in the 2000’s, various companies including Hasbro, Takaro and Ashton Drake began to remake them!
Why have I wanted one for so long? These dolls are three of my favourite things combined into one. These are novelty, vintage fashion dolls! Fashion, Vintage and novelty all rolled into one. FUN!
There are so many styles and outfits for these freaky girls, it’s no wonder they’re so coveted by doll collectors and vintage lovers.
What are they worth now? They vary in price, and I don’t know enough about them yet to know why some are worth more than others, but what I do know that they have always been way outside my budget range. One just recently sold on eBay in its box for $5000. One similar to mine just sold for US $2,376.01. JA!!!
I’m so so so beyond pleased to own one. I want to hunt down some legs for her, and perhaps a few outfits too :)
I’ll leave you now with the original Blythe commercial to watch.
Thanks for reading about my find of the year.
Until my next post…
Trish Hunter xx