Sunday, April 25, 2010

Factory Girls on Ebay

It's a scary thing buying your first Blythe, and now it looks as though there are even more pitfalls for a new collector to avoid with the arrival of the latest fakes (that are sometimes incorrectly listed as being Blythes) and now the "factory girls".

The Factory girls are a bit of a mystery - nobody knows exactly where they come from and there are several theories. I've heard that they are prototypes of new Blythes that Takara are considering making (some don't make it to production), that they are made of stolen parts, that they are made of parts rescued from bins (which would account for some of the very bad scalps I've seen). While I don't know for certain which theory is true, what I can tell you is that they seem to be made from a mix of parts from different dolls. You might get Mango's face plates, an eye mech from Nostalgic Pop and hair and body from Simply Peppermint. When all the parts are in good shape and the skin tones match, you can find some really beautiful and unusual girls for a good price.

Lately though, I've been seeing a lot of Blythes from a certain ebay seller that are clearly very poor quality and I considered how easy it would be for a new collector to be ripped off. Unfortunately, until you have a bit of knowledge about these dolls they all tend to look much the same and many of the Blythes on offer at the moment for bargain basement prices have some really bad faults that are sneakily disclosed by photo only, not in the text of the listing. Unless you knew what to look for, it would be all too easy to hit the Buy It Now button while you were all excited about the seemingly too good to be true price and end up with a bit of a misfit as your first Blythe.

These are a few things that I've noticed in these listings:

1. Really really bad hair. Knots, frizzies, melted(!), no thatching (partline), lots of missing plugs, very odd colour (greenish streaks), extremely thin (ie you can clearly see the scalp), very bad and uneven haircuts.

2. The scalp is a different skin tone to the face.

3. Grab bag of body skin tones. Arms, torso, pelvis and legs - a lot of the time there is more than one skin tone mixed up, often they are not the same colour as the face. Sometimes both arms or both legs are different colours.

4. Front and back face plates are different skin tones. Not always obvious in the pics - look closely.

5. Obvious downward gaze - would require repair.

6. Big gaps between joins on body.

7. Sneaky photos. One seller in particular has two sets of photos on some of their listings. One is the actual set (the top left hand ones), the other is in the text of the listing and are photos of a lovely freshly deboxed stock Blythe. Be careful to note that the doll you are bidding on is the one at the top, not the one in the description.

8. You may not even get the doll you think you are bidding on. One seller states that you will get a doll with the hair and makeup of his choosing. This means that he will send you a Blythe, but not necessarily the one in the photos. Given that most of his stock appear to be flawed, this means that the doll you receive may have flaws that you find unacceptable.

That said, I've heard of people getting some really beautiful and unique dolls this way. Many have received perfect Blythes, others were happy to get a doll suitable to customise at a great price (which is what I'm hoping will be the case with mine), or even just a source of parts for other customs or repairs.

If you are at all unsure, ask around in the Blythe forums or on Flickr to see if others have had good experiences buying from the particular seller you are thinking of purchasing from. You might get a bargain, but there is always an element of risk involved in purchasing items that don't pass through quality assurance.

1 comment:

  1. I think I may have come across the seller that you are talking about on ebay this morning, the dollys at their price seemed a bit TOO good to be true.

    I have refrained (and my bank acc has probably thanked me) and think I will just wait until I can afford a dolly I love (perhaps love me true!)

    thanks for your post!