6″x8″ acrylic on cardboard, 2012. This “Tokyo Toddler” Blythe doll belongs to my friend Madeline, who tells me it’s a collecter’s edition which was made in Japan. Blythe dolls were introduced by Kenner in 1972, but due to a lack of interest (or perhaps an aversion to creepiness) on the part of the public, they were discontinued by a year later. In 2001, the Japanese company Takara began producing the dolls again, and today Blythe enjoys a profound popularity among collectors and hobbyists who modify them. I must admit that spooky toys are not my thing, and yet I’m very drawn to toys with huge heads and big, wide-spaced eyes (like Hello Kitty,) so I feel a bit ambivalent about Blythe! I think it’s something about the vaguely sexualized detailing juxtaposed with the babyishness (big head/eyes, the word “Toddler”) that bothers me. Are they just hipster Bratz? There is no denying that some very interesting people find them irresistible.