General Jul 7, 2011 at 4:00 am

Inside Portland's BlytheCon Cult


I am SO SAD I missed this.

I have 6 Blythe dolls!

Were was the info on the event?!
article seems a little negative for some sweet-sounding hobbyists
DollFace - this event was advertised for over a year on its own website, through Flickr and Twitter, thisisblythe, and other doll/Blythe forums. Within the online Blythe community it was very well marketed, in fact.
So this sounds like one of those extremely in-closed hobbyist/obsessionist/nerd-centric things that's insilar nearly to the exclusion of eveyone else. The fact that only 300 people attended this con would certainly suggest that.

I've never heard of this thing. I knew about that book, but i had no idea this was some actual cult-status thing. Some of those dolls do look really cool, but they all must be Hella spendy.
i hate dolls
Very expensive, indeed! In-closed ... not so much. I went with my mom to Blythe-Con in Atlanta last year and I go with her to the P-town get-togethers. I know nothing about the dolls ("girls", as their devoted owners call them), I do not own one and don't really get it, but I am always welcomed with smiles and open arms. I find the Blythe following to be a quirky and friendly crowd.
Saw a group of collectors at the Chinese Gardens and I must say it was one of the creepiest things ever. Kind of wanted to throw the dolls into the koi pond.
What I find creepy is that people like "grow up lame people" are so easily creeped out by people that have a fun hobby they enjoy and aren't bothering anyone doing it. Seriously, have you no joy in your life that you feel the need for your condescending comment?
I find this article very patronising, negative and condescending. Not very professional at all. I think you will find you are able to purchase items in relation to ANY hobby. I also think you'll find that a lot of people think all sorts of things are creepy, odd or not something they personally appreciate. I think golf is a waste of time, yet my stepfather spends thousands of dollars a year on it and a whole lot of time. His house is covered in golf related trinkets and trophies. So what? It's his hobby, his choice and as long as he is enjoying himself what business is it of mine?
Same goes for the dolls. If a group (and I would think it must be a large group for 300 people to gather in one town on a workday) of people who enjoy the same hobby got together, had a few coffees, had a good chat and enjoyed each other's company then good on them! If you think the dolls are creepy, that's fair enough, but it is highly unprofessional and rude to give their event such patronising and hostile coverage.
"I find this article very patronising, negative and condescending. Not very professional at all."

Um, you must know NOTHING about the Mercury, do you?

Like i said ealier, i think these dolls look really cool. I especially like the "Goth" varieties. But being a poor student in all, these things are waaay out of my range. I didn't see a mention of how much these dolls typically go for. I'm gonna guess hundreds of dollars?

If you're actually interested, Bylth-ers are VERY generous people. My mom once got a doll as a pay-it-forward. Yes, the dolls are hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Good point about the Mercury, though. Patronizing, negative, and condescending is sort of what we look for in the Mercury. But even knowing and loving the Mercury, I couldn't help but feel the sting of this article because I know and love the Blythe-ers as well. Such is life. And, FYI, there was only 300 people cause that was the room's max. capacity. I feel ya on the starving student front, but everyone has things that they love and are willing to sacrifice other luxuries for what makes them happy. If creepy dolls can make someone happy without hurting anyone else, then what's the big deal?
Well at least they were nice enough to put one of the dolls on the front cover.
I don't know if you're aware of this DamosA, but you don't have to comment on every single post the Mercury makes.

These are interesting (and unfounded at times) comments...and Mr Damos, your response is typical. Creepy? Creepier than people who dress up like Mr Spock into their 70's? Creepier than people who collect stamps or Pez containers or Civil War memorabilia? Or autographed baseballs from the Detroit Tigers? First of all, Blythe dolls DO NOT cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. (Ever seen what a No 1 Barbie sells for? Thousands!) You can buy a Blythe online right now for about $100 (average) if it is a new release and not a limited edition. (Blythes are released about once every one or two months.) How much do people spend on a pair of trainers or dinner out at a nice restaurant? It's true, if you want an older doll and/or one that was in a limited edition, it can cost you hundreds of dollars. That's why the savvy collector buys their dolls when they are new releases and holds on to them so when they go up in value, they can sell them for a profit. (It's business.) You don't know, however, which dolls will be the valuable ones and which will not be. Sometimes an edition will languish at about $100 for two years and then someone will write something about that particular doll and in a few months the price will be $250 dollars as stocks dwindle worldwide. Other expensive Blythe dolls are those that doll artists have bought and customized with hand inserted hair and new facepaints and elaborate costumes. Some of these dolls are amazingly beautiful...and yes, the Goth dolls are extremely "creepy", but those are a matter of taste (and not to mine) and not in the majority either. (Of course, for Goth Portland, and to sell more papers they pick a really creepy one to feature. Not the typical Blythe doll at all. But hey, it worked, right? People were creeped out enough to read the article.) CWC in Japan which represents/sells the dolls (and was responsible for resurrecting the doll after thirty years) has never issued a "Goth looking" doll, by the way. This is done by artists who take a doll and then re-do her face/hair, put white eyechips, etc to "Goth up" a Blythe. CWC deals in "cute" not "goth". Blythe Dolls are indeed something collected by a relatively small group worldwide. Most are artists, frustrated fashion designers, people who love anime (as Blythe's popularity in Japan is probably because she resembles anime), or people who simply enjoy interesting dolls. Collectors ages range from 5-70. There isn't anything "creepy" about a Blythe doll, though some collectors like "creepy" and promptly paint and style her that way. What is creepy is how people who don't understand the whole phenomenon, quickly rise to judge others. Go to and see the community of collectors worldwide. Then, go out and get a Blythe. (You know you want to.) Or ask the person who owns a Kenner Blythe from 1972 which is now valued at anywhere from 1200-2000 dollars how it's working out for them. Not a bad investment for a "creepy" bit of plastic, eh?
(My above post was posted without my being given the opportunity to finish/edit it).

Basically, the Blythe doll does not look nor is she manufactured to look like a reject from "Children of the Corn" unless someone brandishes a brush, paint and some strange eyechips to make her look like that. It's too bad that the creepiest doll at the Con was featured, but it worked...we are talking about it.

And ironically, if Portland was ever to have a doll mascot...a doll that is ever "so-not-Barbie" and all that Portland stands for, it would be Blythe. Blythe would live somewhere near Alberta, painting and maybe doing some performance art. She would buy her clothes at vintage shops and walk the streets in her red Doc Martens till dawn with her friends not caring a whit for what is fashionable or what the rest of the world said. And Blythe would probably also shoot photos of creepy dolls for the Mercury. :)
lol. ur all crepper mc reppersons with stupid dolls
"I don't know if you're aware of this DamosA, but you don't have to comment on every single post the Mercury makes."

Actually, taking ALL the Mercs. articles into account, you'll see that i only comment on afew of them. And they're all ones whereas i have some sort of interest in. I just happen to find this one about these dolls and their apparent sub-culture rather interesting. But feel free to follow me one every post i do make, even thought that's what twitter is for.

That doll on the cover won't stop looking at me.

I haven't slept for days.

Not wanting to imply that these people are weird, but

Talk about an over reaction, since when has a hobby been a 'cult' even if it's meant to be tongue in cheek it was an over the top title for an article. The world is serious enough, let people have a bit of fun with a harmless hobby.
And since when was the word "cult" ALWAYS meant to have negative conotations? Because when i used the word, that's certainly not what i implied.
Oh, Wednesday, please arrive soonest to get that creepy, ugly weirdo off the front page.
man these comments are just nasty, if you want to know how to make a tasteful snarky comment, take a look at regretsy and come back later kthnxbai
Kinda glad I missed Blythe Con. Portland sounds like a mean kinda place, from reading the snarky article, and the mean spirited responses. Sheesh, Portland seems very small minded!
"love Blythe" Blythecon was absolutely amazing. all of the people i met in portland were also really cool. when i was carrying around my dolls they would stop me and ask about them... one of my waitresses at a restaurant actually squealed with excitement she liked her so much and talked to me about them for a good 5 minutes. =)
I was one of the "Blythers" in Portland for Blythecon and these comments are rather hilarious to me. Viewed through the lens of the Mercury, we all come off as fanatical crazies, when most of us have perfectly normal lives. We go to work, raise our kids, spend time with our friends, and just happen to collect dolls that don't look like barbie. Blythe collectors are a rarity, not because we're exclusive, but rather because Blythe dolls don't appeal to most people. Fascinating, isn't it, that there are enough of us to fill an entire room? This event was a chance for people who had only known each other through the internet to spend a whole day together, and I'm very happy I was a part of it.

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