When I was a child, I had an original Kenner Blythe (yes, I am that old). It was Golden Goddess, and my grandmother bought it for me at the Woolworth’s around the corner from her house. I didn’t realize then that Blythe was sold in stores for only one year – 1972 – before Kenner discontinued her. Apparently, her oversized noggin and huge peepers that changed color when you pulled the cord in the back of her head creeped the heck out of a lot of kids, so she wasn’t a big seller. After that, Blythe was all but forgotten until 2000, when photographer Gina Garan published This is Blythe, a book of photos using vintage Blythe dolls she acquired on eBay. This led to a Japanese toy manufacturer, Takara, to produce the next generation of Blythe dolls, starting in 2001. (Ashton-Drake briefly jumped on the Blythe bandwagon, issuing reproductions of the original Kenner Blythes). Blythe enjoyed a resurgence, and thirteen years later she’s still going strong with a huge cult following, mostly among adult women. And original Kenner Blythes can sell for upwards of $1000 on eBay. Man, I wish I still had my Golden Goddess.
Blythe comes in three sizes: Neo-Blythe (11.5 inches tall), Middie Blythe (8 inches tall), and Petite Blythe (4 inches tall). Ghoulia13 and I are avid Blythe collectors. While we have several Neo Blythes, Petite Blythes by Takara, and Littlest Pet Shop Blythes by Hasbro, neither one of us had purchased a Middie Blythe before. So when we saw the Lydia Green Middie Blythe at Junie Moon, we were smitten. We each placed an order for her. Being huge fans of certain lines, we often buy the same dolls for our individual collections. Once she shipped, it only took Lydia Green 3 days to arrive from Japan, and I’m on the east coast. I’ve never had a doll arrive from Asia so quickly!
Lydia Green comes in the standard Takara box and is packaged just like the Neo-Blythes. She is fairly easy to debox. She comes with a pair of red cotton socks, black Mary Jane shoes, and a reversible rabbit mask. Like Neo-Blythe, she also comes with a stand.
Lydia also comes with a cardboard suitcase. It’s taped to the back of the inner box. It’s very easy to put together.
Lydia’s body is wrapped in an excessive amount of tape. I don’t know why. Neither Neo-Blythe nor Petite Blythes are wrapped in so much tape. Neo-Blythes, like many dolls, have tape around their knee joints, but Middie Blythe’s torso and arms as well as her legs were encased in tape like a mummy. I had to carefully cut into it with a pair of scissors in order to unwrap it.
The Middie Blythe body is halfway between a Neo-Blythe and a Petite Blythe. Neo-Blythes have articulated legs that bend at the waist and also at the knee. Petite Blythes’ legs don’t bend at the waist or the knees. Their torso and legs are one solid piece of plastic. The Hasbro Littlest Pet Shop Blythes have better articulation than the Takara Petite Blythes in that their legs do bend at the waist, so they can sit down, but not at the knees. Like the Hasbro LPS Blythes, the Takara Middie Blythes have legs that bend at the waist, so they can also sit down, but their knees don’t bend. Middie Blythe’s legs are made of a soft, rubbery vinyl, so you’d think they would click and bend at the knees, but they don’t.
The thing that appealed to me the most about Lydia Green was her dress. It’s an adorable green tartan dress with a white Peter Pan collar – and I’m a sucker for Peter Pan collars (see Picnic Casket Frankie Stein or Pomp and Circumstance Tulabelle and you’ll see what I mean).
Her red socks are very heavy, and I had a hard time putting her shoes on over them. This resulted in her socks bagging around the ankle.
Lydia comes with a reversible rabbit mask, because apparently Lydia Green is a sneak thief. She steals peoples’ memories. According to Takara, the side with the white rabbit with the monocle is what enables her to steal people’s memories. The rabbit mask is reversible to a black rabbit, which apparently doesn’t have any powers. Maybe it’s just a disguise to help her make a quick getaway, you know, since people would be looking for a girl in a green tartan dress, carrying a suitcase, and wearing a white rabbit mask.
Middie Blythe’s eyes only have one color, unlike Neo-Blythes that have four. However, her eyes do move from side to side, courtesy of a gear in the back of her head.
I think Middie Blythe Lydia Green is adorable, but part of me is still reeling from the fact that I paid 98Y (approx. $117, not including shipping) for such a small doll. But another part of me suspects that Lydia Green won’t be my last Middie Blythe.
Do you collect Blythe? Which do you like best, Neo, Middie, or Petite?