The original patent for the eye mechanism can be found online and is listed below. It looks a fair bit different from the produced doll. However, one of the prototype heads looks quite a bit like the images in the patent. The patent is strictly for the eye changing mechanism, which was designed by Gordon Barlow. Allison Katzman is credited for the face sculpt and concept of the Blythe doll. The patent credits Gordon Barlow, Marvin I. Glass, and Norman T. McFarland as the inventors of the eye mechanism. McFarland is also credited to have worked with Glass to create Toss Across, circa 1969.
The following information has been taken from various sheets from production books that have been sold on eBay and other auction sites through the years. It is believed to be from what is sometimes referred to as the “Blythe Bible”. The “Blythe Bible” contains a variety of information including production costs, possible doll names, and some interesting handwritten notes.
More photos of the “Blythe Bible” can be found on Anna’s blog!
A flong, or advertisement mold, is a papier-mâché mold that was previously used in the printing process to create plates. In the images below a flong for a Kenner Blythe advertisement for 1973 can be seen. This rare and fascinating find shows that Blythe dolls were still advertised and sold in 1973. Exactly when Kenner decided to stop production, advertising, etc. is unknown.
“Quick-as-a-wink Blythe’s eyes change color and expression
Just pull the ring and her eyes change colors…Brown, Green, Purple, and Blue. Her personality changes too…really four dolls in one! Brush and style her lovely long hair. Choose from 4 different Blythe’s – each with 4 colors of eyes, a different outfit and hair color. Many swinging fashions, wigs, etc. also available.
choice of 4 dolls $0.00”
Presumably the price was left blank so that the newspaper could add in the correct price.
*Please note: These photos of the advertisement flong belong to the website owner and may not be used without permission.*