This is the 15th anniversary of the Neo-Blythe. There are usually three cons and more “meets” a year all over the world but this is the first Blythe Con in Tokyo.
Our company, Cross World Connections, resurrected Blythe for the Parco Christmas campaign 2000 and the first doll came out in 2001. The original, or vintage Blythe, as it is now referred, came out from Kenner in 1972 but only was manufactured for one year. Kenner was bought out by General Mills and then Tonka and then by Hasbro in the 80s.
If Blythe interests you, please check out the Junie Moon International online shop
The designer of Blythe, Allison Katzman, worked for Marvin Glass and Associates (MGA), a toy design and engineering firm based in Chicago.
Momolita did a great job of organizing this Con, but Junko Wong has to be recognized for creating the Blythe culture and subsequently reviving the doll culture where thousands of people have connected through Blythe. It has also provided many people with an income that for some is a regular job. This is not “trickle down,” it’s growing up!
As packed as San Diego Comicon…
The custom dolls just keep getting better and better.
Momiji is a photographer who also customizes dolls.
Elaine Lam also takes photos.
I suppose it would be remiss — and revisionist — to ignore the contributions of Gina Garan to the revival of Blythe. She was a doll collector that received an old 35mm camera as a gift and starting taking photos of the vintage Blythe to learn how to use it. At the opening exhibition of CWC-International at Zakka in Chinatown, New York, Jeffrey Fulvimari brought Gina and she showed Junko galleys of her book, “This is Blythe.”
Parco was a client of CWC’s and Blythe one of many presentations for Parco’s Christmas campaign. She ended up beating out a hot Japanese actress, Ryôko Hirosue (who’s movie with Jean Reno — “Wasabi” had just come out), to the be image girl. The Christmas 2000 Parco campaign featured Blythe in a TV commercial and print media and Blythe took off in Japan. On e-Bay, vintage Blythes jumped in price from $35 to $350. Blythe continued as Parco’s “image girl” through the spring and into the summer of 2001. The book “This is Blythe” is imported into Japan by Pie Books an associate of CWC. The price for vintage Blythes jumped to thousands of dollars U.S. on e-Bay. Even the Neo-Blythes are sold for up to four times their retail price on the Yahoo auction site in Japan.
In June 2001, the first of the neo-Blythes – produced and marketed by CWC and manufactured and distributed by Takara — went on the market. The launch of the neo-Blythes was in conjunction with a photo exhibition by Gina Garan. Gina made the trip from New York for the launch and exhibition.
The Parco Limited Edition (1000 dolls), sold out in less than an hour, was followed by the Mondrian, and then Rosie Red, Holly Wood, All Gold In One, Kozy Kape Inspired, Aztec Arrival Inspired, Sunday Best, and in conjunction with the first year anniversary of the neo-Blythes in Japan, Miss Anniversary Blythe. The first year anniversary was marked by a series of Blythe events in Tokyo, which included an exhibition and charity fashion show at the Spiral Hall in Aoyama and exhibitions at the Rocket and CWC Galleries, and at IMS in Fukuoka, Kyushu. The exhibition featured photos by Gina Garan and dolls styled by artists, fashion designers, and Blythe fans. The fashion show featured couture for Blythe by such internationally known designers as: Issey Miyake, Chisato Tsumori, and Hysteric Glamour.
CWC worked with Gina until 2008.
You can enter the lottery to buy her until July 14.
At Clear Edition, Roppongi. A re-rendering of art from history in Madsaki‘s crash-bang style!
Madsaki has been a friend since the late 90s when he was a student at Parsons in NYC. We know him through Yuri Shimojo who CWC repped at the time.
Madsaki has now been taken under the wing of Takashi Murakami whose influence on Japan is likened to Andy Warhol’s influence on the United States.
Murakami’s “My Lonesome Cowboy” was auctioned at Sotheby’s in 2008 for $15 million when it was expected to go for three or four. And yes, that is an anime character turning his ejaculate into a lasso.
But that was then…
Isaac Wong had an interesting point. “Murakami’s not a creator now, he’s more of a curator.”
And while he’s collecting art, he’s also collecting artists.
The old gang, Taka, Kazuya (another Yuri ex), Junko, Madsaki.
This is a hit series, for sure, and there are plenty more art historical works left to re-interpret. The Neolithic awaits!
Posted on 06.05.16 under blown glass
Lead crystal is a good way to drown your sorrows and trigger endorphin release. Or become an alcoholic…
Or glass poi pounders. These are big one, from 6 to over 8 lbs.