When I got into Blythe, I quickly found out there was a specific language coming along. If you don’t speak that language, you might end up missing important details and get lost in translation. At that point, playing online bingo will sound much easier than playing with dolls! Anyway, I thought that a glossary would be helpful for the newcomers.
I tried to gather here every definition I could find but in case something is missing, please feel free to add it in the comments and remember that people in the Blythe community are always helpful and ready to answer any question. They don’t bite, just ask! 😉
6 lines: refers to the number of lines at the back of Kenner Blythe dolls. The difference of 6 or 7 lines at her back signifies that they are made at different times. Some say 6 lines dolls look sadder and 7 lines dolls more innocent, but the face mold should be the same, only that the batch produced at the beginning has 6 lines at her back, and the latter batch has 7 lines.
Photo from Blyst Japan.
7 lines: refers to the number of lines at the back of Kenner Blythe dolls (cf. 6 lines)
ADG: Ashton-Drake Galleries is the brand name of a producer of collectible toys and dolls in the United States. They produced nearly exact replicas of the 5 original Kenner dolls in 2005-2006, along with replicas based on the original Kenner outfits. The first release had skin-tones with a slight green tint. A second release in 2007 was less green and more peach-pink. Both releases have a matte surface texture. Ashton Drake in total released 12 different full-sized Blythe dolls, but ceased production in 2008.
Photo: Athanassia. Most of the ADG Blythe releases with their original outfits.
Airbrush: Small, air-operated tool that sprays various media including ink and dye, but most often paint by a process of nebulization. It is used for face up and customization purposes.
Photo: I Have Wings. Romina in action!
Photo: Happibug. Face-up with airbrush.
Alpaca: Natural fiber used for rerooting Blythe dolls. Alpaca hair is naturally straight, or sometimes has a very slight wave to it. It’s smoother and finer in texture. It has a stringier look, where mohair is poofier. Alpaca is super soft like baby hair.
Anniversary Blythe: They are 10, one every year since CWC started to produce the Neo Blythes.
Photo: Beelan75. Christina and Eleanor (7th anniversary girl), Jenna (8th girl), Marabelle Melody (9th girl), Princess a la mode(6th girl), Princess Cinema, (4th girl) Darling Diva (5th girl), Nike (2nd girl), Art Attack (3rd girl), Miss A (1st girl), Happy Ten Memories (10th Anniversary Girl).
BL: The first two letters of Blythe and the acronym for the first face mold designed by CWC and produced by Takara in 2001. BLs are the only Blythes to have a stock boggled look and a licca body. This mold is no longer produced. They are 9 different releases in total.
Photo: Taiwan_Emi. All the BLs, including a few twins.
Boggled: The process and result of shaving plastic from the eye mechanism and alter the eyelids themselves by making notches in them to allow the eye to open all the way and create a more wide-eyed look with less eyelid showing.
Photo: Shershe. The danger of over boggling.
Carving: It refers to the carving on a Blythe face around the lips, eyes, or nose. It is a customization technique.
Photo: Tinkerina. Carved lips, nostrils and philtrum.
Chalks: “Pastel Chalks” are used for customizing purposes. The pastels are used on sand matted Blythes to create eyeshadow and blush.
Photo: Happibug. Face-up with pastel chalks.
Custom: Customized doll and the opposite of a stock doll.
Customizer: Artist who creates a custom doll by changing the doll’s stock features such as face up, eye chips, hair, etc… either for themselves or for sale.
CWC: Cross World Connections is a creative agency that produces and promotes the careers of innovative artists worldwide. They work exclusively with leading illustrators and character designers around the world, and represent them commercially within Japan and Asia. They have the Blythe license and started to design the Neo Blythes in 2000. The founder and president of CWC is Junko Wong.
Dome: The hard plastic head, underneath the separate scalp.
Photo: Squirrel Junkie. Blythe dome.
EBL: Excellent Blythe and acronym of the second face mold designed by CWC and produced by Takara from 2002. It is Similar to the BL mold except no boggled eyes. This mold is no longer produced due to the mold breaking.
Photo: Rockymountainroz. Fancy Pansy – EBL Blythe.
Eye chip: Plastic irises of the Blythe doll’s eye that can be extracted without damage and replaced by different ones. Each Blythe doll has 4 sets of 2 eye chips. They appear and change by pulling the string at the back of the head. Some customizers also make hand painted chips.
Photo: Honidesign. How to take eye chips out wit glue sticks.
Photo: G♥Baby. Hand painted eye chips.
FBL: Fairest mold and acronym of the fifth face mold introduced in 2009 with matte texture and smaller eye holes. FBL and RBL molds are the only ones produced these days.
Photo: Rockymountainroz. Paris – FBL Blythe.
Gaze correction: Act of shaving a small amount off the t-bar, for a direct or upwards gaze, as opposed to a stock downward gaze.
Photo: My Delicious Bliss. The T-Bar.
Photo: Renata Sweet Tricot. Gaze corrected eyes and upward gaze.
Photo: Coco Blythe. Downward gaze.
Hasbro: Multinational Toy Company from the United States which distributes Takara and Tomy products internationally, while Takara and Tomy distribute many Hasbro products in Japan.
Hybrid: A doll made up of two different stock dolls, one for the body & face plates and another one for the scalp.
Kenner: Toy Company founded in 1947 in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, and named after the street of the original corporate offices. General Mills purchased Kenner Products in 1967 but the Kenner division kept its name. In 1972 Kenner released the first versions of Blythe doll with four hair colors in the U.S., a brunette with chunky bangs, a sidepart brunette, a darker brunette with thinner bangs, a sidepart blonde, a red head with bangs, and a sidepart redhead. Twelve different outfits were released as well, along with four brightly colored wigs. The dolls were also released in Japan the same year under the brand name Ai Ai Chan. They produce and sold Blythe dolls for one year only. General Mills sold its Kenner division to Tonka in 1985 and Tonka (including Kenner) was purchased by the toy company Hasbro in mid-1991. As Hasbro and Takara-Tomy have strong business relationships, Takara became the producer of the Neo-Blythe dolls.
Photo from Blythe Lover. Original Kenner Blythes released in the USA in 1972.
Photo from Blythe Lover. Original Kenner Blythes released in Japan in 1972.
Licca body: Blythe doll releases in 2002-2003 with the BL face mold used the body of the Licca doll. Some collectors and customizers also like to replace the Takara body with a Licca body on other Neo-Blythes because they have bendable arms. The legs are skinnier and the feet bigger.
Photos: Googoojue. Left to right: Kenner 6 lines, Takara, ADG, Licca (Japan), Licca (China).
Lid: Piece of plastic covering the doll’s eye mechanism. It is showing when pulling the string or when the doll has been given sleep eyes.
Photo: Cocomicchi. Hand painted lids.
Limited edition: Neo Blythe doll released in a limited quantity (usually 500-1000) and are sometimes the result of a collaborative work between CWC and a famous designer.
Photo: Rockymountainroz. RBL Blythe – Baby’s Breath is breathtaking! She has been designed for CWC by Saki Yamashita from Cherry Merry Muffin.
Photo: Obsessivelystiching. LPS Blythe love!
Matted: Many Neo Blythe doll releases have shiny faces, except FBLs and some BLs, and many collectors like matte faces. There are two different techniques to make the face look less shiny or glossy: sand matting and spray-matting. Sand-matting involves using sand paper or sponges to sand a Blythe’s face. It takes off the makeup and sometimes cannot be as “Matte” as using Spray Matting. Most times the shine can be buffed back using a clean t-shirt type of material. Also the paper is usually easier to find. Spray matting involves using a spray to matte a Blythe’s face. Spray Matting might wear off eventually, but it’s easy to spray them again. It keeps their makeup, but it might build up under the nose or in ears.
Photo and tutorial: Puchicollective.
Photo: Merrinette. Shiny stock face and then matte.
Middie: There are now three sizes of Blythe dolls and the “Middie Blythe” is the latest one produced by takara in 2011. The original Blythe measures 11.5 inches or nearly 30 cm (1/6 scale) while Middies are only about 20 cm (nearly 8 inches) tall. Only full-sized dolls have color-changing eyes. The Middies’ heads tilt and their eyes look left and right without changing color. The first Middies were released in 2010.
Photo: Stellinna. Cherish Me Always – Middie Blythe.
Mohair: Natural fiber used for rerooting Blythe dolls. Mohair is curly and full and slightly coarser in texture than Alpaca hair. Mohair is also sturdier and thicker and not as fragile as alpaca.
Photo: G♥Baby. Mohair reroot.
Neo Blythe: Name of all the Blythe dolls produced after the Kenners. The first Neo Blythes were released in 2001.
NRFB: Never Removed From Box
OOAK: One Of A Kind.
Photo: Mademoiselle Blythe.
PBL or Petite Blythe: Petite Blythe dolls measure 4 inches (11.4 cm) and they are the second size of Blythe dolls produced by Takara. They have just one set of eye chips but newer releases of the Petite Blythe dolls have “sleepy eyes” when laid down and bendable bodies. The first version of Petite Blythe was produced and sold in 2002 and was PBL Kozy Kape Inspired. There were 15 versions of Petite Blythe launched that year. These versions of Petite Blythe cannot close her eyes and cannot pose or do any gestures. They were actually produced to be used as a key chain. In 2003, CWC introduced the new versions of Petite Blythe, which can pose and close their eyes. The first model of this new version was Holly Wood Returns. In 2004, the perfect Petite Blythe was introduced on the market, and in 2006, another new version can change shoes, such as Alps Letter and Skate Date Returns.
Photo: Voodoolady. Night Flower – Petite Blythe.
Photo: Mademoiselle Blythe. Edelfa – Petite Blythe custom by KeiBi.
Pull charm: Beads or tiny objects in plastic or metal used to change the ring at the end of the string. They are especially used for custom dolls.
Photo: Mademoiselle Blythe.
Pull ring: Plastic ring attached to a string at the back of the doll’s head. Eye chip colors change when you pull the string.
Photo: Miga Angel. The famous pull ring!
RBL: Radiant Blythe and acronym of the fourth face mold introduced in 2006 to look more Kenner-like, including slightly wider eyes. This mold is still produced.
Photo: Happibug. Dear Lele Girl – RBL Blythe.
Re-Ment: These are sets of minitures from Japan. They are 1/12th and 1/6th scale and they usually come in blind boxes. There are very many different types of sets including food, furniture, and toys. A few sets have items that are too small for Blythe, but most work very, very well. The clothes and shoes fit Blythe bodies.
Photo: Jenn Wrenn. Rement addiction
Photo: Jenn Wrenn. Do you take sugar?
Reroot: Act of replacing Blythe dolls’ original hair with another material, like alpaca, mohair, saran or yarn for example. There are different techniques such as the knot method, the lock n’ loop method and wefts.
Photos: Milky Robot. Reroot tutorial.
RIT dye: A dye that customizers use to dye Blythe hair. It involves using boiling water and dunking the scalp into the dye.
Photo: *jaszmade. Dyed mohair.
Saran: A soft & silky style plastic hair used when re-rooting a Blythe.
SBL: Superior Blythe and acronym of the third face mold designed by CWC and produced by Takara from 2003. This mold features smaller eyes and a more pointed heart-shaped face. It is no longer produced.
Photo: Samantha. Cinema Princess – SBL Blythe.
Scalp: Flexible plastic part of the Blythe’s doll head above the hard dome. The scalp is removable and can be rerooted (cf. reroot).
Photos: Shershe. Shaved scalp on the doll’s head (left) and rerooted scalp (right).
Sleep eyes: Sleep eyes occur when you remove the spring and attach a separate string that will allow you to reopen the eyes after them closing. So you will have two strings: one will be to close the eyes and change the color and the other to open the eyes.
Photo: Jenn Wrenn. Sleeping beauty.
Stock: Blythe doll still looking like the Takara release with no change at all.
Takara: Japanese Toy Company which produces Blythe dolls. Takara merged with another big Japanese toy company, Tomy, in 2006. Tomy is the legal English name and the “Takara” brand is still officially used for some products like Blythe dolls. Beginning in 2001, Takara first released new Blythe dolls sporadically, but then began releasing new versions of Blythe each month. Under the creative direction of Junko Wong, CWC has produced 176 of the Neo Blythes, 210 of Petites, and 4 of the newest addition to the Blythe line, the Middie Blythe dolls.
Takara body: Original body of Kenner Blythe and Neo Blythe dolls from the EBL mold. The bodies of the full-size Blythe dolls vary depending on the time of the release (Cf. licca body).
T-Bar: A small plastic “T” shaped piece that sits in the eye mechanism. It can be altered to lift the downwards gaze of a Blythe (cf. gaze correction).
Photo: Cinnablythe. Mohair weft.
Wig: It is a head ofhair made from human hair, yarn, mohair, alpaca or synthetic materials which is worn on the head of the doll for fashion or other aesthetic reasons. It can be either be sewn on the scalp for permanent style or just placed to cover the current hair in a non-permanent way.
Photo: Cocomicchi. Felted wig.