2. Is anything about ThisIsBlythe real anymore?
The original Blythe was made by Kenner and distributed by Kenner and Palitoy in 1972. After Blythe was revived by Gina Garan's books, They were briefly produced again by Ashton Drake Galleries (ADG), then picked up by Junie Moon who designed new Blythe dolls (Neo-Blythe) to be manufactured by Takara Tomy and distributed by Cross World Connections (CWC). The product licensing and IP is largely owned by Hasbro who acquired Blythe when they bought up Kenner. As of June 2022, Blythe are now manufactured by Good Smile Company instead of Takara Tomy.
As you can see, none of these names have anything to do with the modern thisisblythe․com site. They are not endorsed by or affiliated with official Blythe in any way, despite whatever nonsense their site claims. So is anything real about them at all?
Short answer: No.
Firstly, all of the business information provided on their site is fake. It’s also not possible to look at the domain registration to find out who the domain owners are as they’ve used a domain proxy service to register with the domain registrar GoDaddy in order to hide their real identity.
The site now claims to be run by a “Jenna Anderson”. Jenna Anderson used to show up on the thisisblythe site looking like this:
But if you do a reverse Google image search with this photo you will quickly discover that she’s usually known as Veronica Wright. This is because this woman’s image is used in some kind of site building template, used by many other businesses that have either not bothered to swap out the template faces and names, or are similarly scammy sites trying to make themselves look more legit by pretending they have a fancy looking business team.
[Update: Since writing this I've discovered which template they're all using and where it originally came from which I detail in Who Are ThisIsBlythe Really?.]
Here are some examples of other sites using this image:
Either Jenna is the world’s most prolific yet low-key entrepreneur, or Jenna smells of scam.
Next we get to have fun looking at the addressses given by the website as contact information, but also used to verify the website as a “trusted site” with sites like TrustPilot, trusted.com, and DMCA.com. These were a trip.
The first address given for “Operations” just straight up does not exist. Google it. You’ll find that Thompson Avenue only goes from 3000–3291.
The second address does exist, but it doesn’t look like the business location of the marketing department of the “largest Blythe doll provider in the world” as they claim. Instead it looks like a residential block of flats…
I’d joke that maybe their marketing department is working from home in these trying times, but they’ve had this address associated with the site since well before the pandemic. Though trawling through the site on The Wayback Machine did turn up this gem from 2019:
Another weird thing about this address is that it’s exactly the same as this the one given by a branding website called Anchor Branding.
[Update: I was recently able to get more information about the domain registration history of thisisblythe․com and this branding site and I discovered yet more shenanigans. More on this rabbit hole in the previously mentioned Who Are ThisIsBlythe Really?]
The phone number for this business is actually registered against a different address in British Columbia which also happens to be based in a building that looks suspiciously like a residential block of flats…
“But what about the thisisblythe phone number?” You probably didn’t ask.
So, if you trawl through The Wayback machine you find two phone numbers associated with the site. The one above, and the original one they used to give:
This older phone number straight up doesn’t exist. It’s not registered anywhere and it’s not associated with anyone anymore. It could possibly have been a phone number for that address in the past though as 250 is a possible area code for some parts of Vancouver, but so is 778 so it’s likely this phone number may never have worked.
The current phone number on the other hand, doesn’t even have a Canadian area code. It also doesn’t have a Californian area code. It’s actually an area code for Suffolk County, New York that’s associated with 2 different people. Neither of whom is called Jenna Anderson.
The first person is based in Illinois and the second person isn’t associated with a particular location because they are using it as a VoIP number. This means it’s a number that’s used digitally over the internet rather than over traditional phone networks. The info on these people was so random I’m not going to give any details about them here in case they’re just victims of a random phone number generator that spat out a real phone number. I’ve seen that happen before at work with email addresses and it was very awkward for all involved. Suffice to say, another completely predictable dead end.
I think the most impressive but depressing thing about this journey was coming across all the spammy backlinks for thisisblythe․com that are littering the internet now. From as far back as 2015 the scammers have been creating random backlinks to their site wherever they could get away with it using various aliases. The funniest one being this one:
The fake name used for the user posting this listing literally translates to “Music Box” in Chinese because I guess Jenna couldn’t be bothered to think of a better alias that day. Made me giggle anyway.
But why care about backlinks? Well, if you know much about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) hacking you’ll know why. They’ve littered the internet with crappy spam links wherever they could leave them because search engine bots, crawlers and algorithms are as dumb as the instructions they are given.
The idea is that the more a site is referenced by other sites on the internet, the more relevant to the user that site must be. I mean, why else would so many people keep referencing the same site across the internet? Except it’s not that hard for unscrupulous crooks to farm up those backlinks to boost their SEO rankings by leaving spam comments, registering dummy accounts, and finding many other ways to spam up the internet with totally irrelevant backlinks that an algorithm will have a hard time figuring out. Because it’s only a bunch of code afterall, it can’t tell the difference.
So that’s all I have for now on this horrible, lying, bad bad scam site that is deliberately setup to prey on new Blythe collectors not yet in the know.
I’ve tried reporting them to their domain hosting providers (GoDaddy), Hasbro directly (I was told the information would be forwarded to their legal team and never heard anything else), TrustPilot (I was told they were looking into it but nothing else since), TrustedSite (nothing happened), and I’ve also reported their Instagram page as impersonating the Junie Moon account because Instagram doesn’t give an option to report an account as lying scamsters. So far, nothing. So I hope that this run down will at least help others getting into the hobby by giving them the full tea on the present day thisisblythe․com website.
Avoid it at all costs!