10.05.2009

Kenner Blythe

While going yard saling, flea marketing, or thrifting, John & I always have a mental list of certain things that if we're lucky enough to find them, it makes our day (vintage Dansk items, rare art books, cool 70's pendants), weekend (paintings, silkscreens, art pottery, ), month (Milo Baughman tables, Joe Colombo light), or possibly year (Eames lounge chairs with their matching ottomans, Pierre Paulin chairs). But there are some items that still elude us, making them even more desirable, as the more you can't have something, the more you want it. This is the case with trying to find a 1972 Kenner Blythe doll. I started looking for one about 8 years ago. I had a few (10++) of the reissued Takara Blythe dolls that I would buy at Toy Tokyo when I lived in New York, but to be honest, I would have traded them all for one of the original Kenner Blythe Dolls. It didn't matter that the Kenners usually had cut frizzy hair, chewed feet, rubbed off make-up, scuff marks and broken leg joints. They were the original doll, the muse to the new ones, made the year after I was born and I really, really, wanted one. To make matters worse, the ones that were in somewhat ok condition usually go for $1,000 or up on ebay and I just could never justify spending that kind of money. So began my search, or shall I say obsession with finding one. For years and years I wouldn't pass a box of moldy dolls without rooting through in hopes that she'd be there. I would answer ads that advertised 70's dolls and would end up at a doll collectors house looking at porcelain babies or Malibu Barbies with missing arms. I'd ask friends older sisters (or moms) if they had one stashed in the attic, go to auctions where old toys were advertised, check out the stuffed toy and doll sections at thrift shops, I would even make John sketch what she looked like to flea market vendors in hopes that they had one stashed in a shoe box. But the years passed and I never found one. Since she was only produced for one year, she's a pretty rare find. I didn't give up hope entirely, I stopped being so crazy/obsessive about finding her. Sure, I would still check out doll boxes, but I wouldn't get as upset when she wouldn't be there.
Last Saturday we woke up and I checked Craigslist to see if anything sounded appealing and there was an ad for a moving sale in the town over which included old camping gear, which John loves. As we walked towards the garage there was a box of old baby dolls and there, foot sticking out, was the rare, elusive Kenner Blythe doll. I was dizzy! It was the home owner's old doll from when she was a kid (not her daughters, who's pink & purple Barbie castle almost kept us driving) and I paid a dollar for her. She's still in her original outfit, and in pretty great condition. The feeling of shock, amazement and happiness stayed with me that entire day, and still has not faded, it probably won't for quite some time. Pin It

11 comments:

brandie said...

linda! i can't believe this story. it's just too good. i am so happy for you! and really, you are the best scavenger i know...you totally deserve your Blythe doll.

TracyVille said...

Wow! Great story! Good for you.

lintmag said...

That's what keeps me going to garage sales, thrift stores and more - that elusive "great something" that's so exciting to find! I have some newer Blythe's but haven't gotten lucky yet with a Kenner. 1$ - that is A-mazing. Congratulations!

hb said...

OMG Congratulations, Linda! That's the best story! See you on Friday at the bookstore. :) Good things come to those who persist.

Teresa @ good-grace said...

oh my goodness! Congratulations on finding your little Blythe doll! What a story! :) She's quite lovely.

david john said...

awesome! what a cute doll and dress!

NorthStar Vintage said...

Great find! I know exactly the feeling you're talking about - like being struck by lightning. It's addictive.

Vintage Hunter said...

Congrats! That is the best feeling. Sometimes I think the best way to find what you really want is to stop looking for it.

Geek+Nerd said...

Wow what a score! And for a dollar! I'm glad that you found your holy grail after all this time!

reggie said...

Way cool. What a great story. That's what makes us all hooked on garage saling...the hope for finding the gem. Congrats!

carlita dee said...

Just wow.

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