Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Littlest Pet Shop Blythe Dolls by Hasbro

Ok, so it's hard to pick a first toy to chat about.  I decided to go with the LPS ("Littlest Pet Shop") Blythe dolls, also known as the "Pet Sitters" or "Blythe Loves Littlest Pet Shop."  I chose these tiny cuties because they intersect with many of my other doll and toy interests.

You can get these dolls at all of the big stores--Walmart, Target, Kmart, Toys 'R' Us and also directly from Hasbro.  They tend to come in a small box with or without a LPS pet.  Here is one of Target's exclusive Blythe dolls still in her box:

You have to buys these dolls in person to get a good one.  I wanted this particular doll, and Target had them in stock for ages, but being kinda picky, I had to go through several months of toy aisle stalking before they had one without an obvious flaw.  Many of them had dark marks on their faces, shiny marks on their faces, lopsided dresses or wonky eyes.  This is typical for all of these dolls.

I think the picture box displays are so cute, and it is so hard for me to get out those scissors and remove the doll from her perfect little scene.  That's a whole other story, though.  Me and de-boxing toys.  

 What is her pet supposed to be, BTW?  

Anyway, the packaging for these toys is pretty good.  Lots of cardboard, no plastic ties (which I hate) or metal ties (which I hate more).  She's kept in the box with some kind of twine and a bit of tape:

The string is super-easy to cut or just untie.  Then, the doll and stand are entrapped within a small plastic holder.  The hair is sewn onto the plastic somehow.  

This plastic holder is harder to deal with and is one of the reasons why her hair came out like this:


Maybe I am impatient?  Ok, I am definitely impatient, but still.  I tried hard to be careful and I am not six years old, so the hair shouldn't come out looking like this, I don't think.

I had to remove the rubber band holding her hair in its style so that I could de-friz the top part.  I am not very good at fixing hair, but I got her looking semi-ok:

Pretty cute!  Her necklace and gloves are painted on, and she has painted red tights that are a nice contrast to the black and white dress (which is removable and closes in the back with velcro).  I love that the shoes can come off on these dolls.  They are so tiny!

So, bottom line?  I like her, but she's not my favorite.  Her eyes are well-aligned and her makeup is good.  I like the color of her hair and eyes.  I am bummed about the messy hair, and I know that because of those painted gloves, she won't be as versatile for re-dressing as some of the other dolls.  I suspect that a lot of kids wouldn't be too upset by either of these details, though.

Let me take a step back and talk about these dolls a bit more generally, for those of you who are interested.  Blythe dolls were first made by Kenner the year I was born (1972, if you must know).  They weren't very popular back then.  They were later resurrected by the Japanese company Takara with permission from Hasbro, the company that bought Kenner a while back, and with it the rights to the Blythe name and design.  You can read more here:  THIS IS BLYTHE 

Regular-sized Blythe dolls (PICTURE) are about 11 inches tall.  Takara also makes mini Blythe dolls, and these are the same size as the LPS Blythes.  For a long time, the only way to get a mini Blythe doll was to buy one from Takara, and they run kind-of expensive--around $60.  So, when Hasbro came out with LPS Blythe, starting at around $12, collectors like myself were pretty excited.

Here's a Takara "real" mini Blythe that I got off eBay:

You can probably tell from the picture that the clothing is much nicer on this mini.  She has a lovely little knitted skirt, sweater, hat and scarf (not pictured).  She can bend her legs, unlike the LPS Blythes.  Also, her eyes close when she lies down:

Very sweet--better than the wide-eyed stare of the resting LPS Blythes...

The LPS Blythes, however, have much more flexible heads and can look up and down:

Takara Blythe can only turn her head from side to side.
They also have the cutest shoes...have I mentioned the shoes?  I mean, look at the fuzzy boots in the picture above!  And look at these:

On the downside, those shoes are super-easy to loose, even if you are an adult.  Some of the styles (boots, high-tops) stay on well, but the little dress shoes can fall right off and get lost or eaten by the dog.  My sister took the shoes from my 5-year-old niece's Blythes and put them in a baggie for later down the road when she's older.  I thought that was a good move.

Here are some shots of some of my other LPS Blythe dolls, so you can see the diversity of skin color and face paint:

This one is great ("Sightseeing Cute--London") she has very fun face paint and cute shoes and an awesome pleather jacket.


"Autumn Glam" (not in her own outfit...more bad hair)

 "Bunny Duo"

Target Exclusive "Flowers 'n' Fashion"

"Outdoor Afternoon" (wearing Autumn Glam's outift)

"Fashion Cats"

 Don't much like the thin-lipped face paint on this one, and notice the frayed pink shirt--I can't get that to lay flat.
"Cutest Cubs"

"Sightseeing Cute" again


Age Level
5 and up
Clothes might be tricky for little fingers. Shoes are really tiny and could be easily lost.
Smaller sets with just doll and pet or doll alone are a good value.  Larger sets with lots of plastic accessories are a bad value.
Potentially very good with some variation in quality control in each individual doll.  Best bought in person.
Very good visually, good/ok in terms of environment and de-boxing hassle.  Inner plastic housing for doll is a pain.
More of a play doll, but a nice alternate to the hard-to-find and pricey Takara minis.  Some dolls are hard to find and more valuable.
Great versatility.  Clothes are changeable, dolls are posable and highly portable.  Would be compatible with many other lines of doll house and accessory.


  1. Maybe it's just me, but I have the distinct idea that in the Netherlands (where I am) they are of much cheaper quality and much more expensive! I kinda like these photo's you took, but I don't like the ones I see here in the store :(

    1. That is really interesting, Cyndrome! It could just be the variation in the dolls--we have that here. I go to the store sometimes and there might be ten dolls on the shelf and I can't find a single one I like. They might have bad face paint, or poorly set eyes, of the clothing looks like it is put together wrong.

      It might also be that different countries have different factories making the dolls, or even just different ways of checking on production or maintaining quality. That would be really fascinating to learn about!

      I wonder what it would cost to mail you one of mine? I have a few just sitting around. It'd be really fun to have you compare one from the the States to one that you find in the Netherlands! We could publish the results here! Email me if you're interested in doing that. "ToyBoxPhilosopher" at gmail dot com.

  2. Wow, these dolls are adorable! I like 'Flowers and Fashion' and 'Outdoor Afternoon' they best, they are just so sweet!
    I love your blog, your comments are always hilarious, and it is nice how you go into such detail, that really helps. No matter what has happened, you can always bring a smile to my face. I have read your whole blog, and I hope to see a lot more posts!

  3. hola yo tengo la muñeca inglesa es realmente linda porque tiene un ipod. una buena idea para loa zapatos y accesorios de las muñecas es guardarlos en frascos de platico como los de nutela y aladino, he hecho eso desde que era niña y asi no tienes que comprar contenedores de plastico, asi guardo todo y los botes sirven para sentar a las muñecas, saludos

    1. spherable, here is what you said put into google translate for all the people that speak english, not spanish:

      hello I have the English doll is really cute because it has an ipod. a good idea for shoes and accessories loa wrists to keep them in jars of talks such as nutela and Aladdin, done that since I was little and so do not have to buy plastic containers, so I keep everything and the boats used to sit with dolls, greetings

      For some reason i think there might be a problem with google translate. Also the pet that came with your new blythe doll is a "love bug" i really have no idea what that means.