real fix
BizarreGeneralMost PopularFormer Model Takes Dolls Travelling Around The World – Attracting An Instagram Following Of 80k

Former Model Takes Dolls Travelling Around The World – Attracting An Instagram Following Of 80k

A British woman has travelled the world with her collection of highly-prized dolls to create this set of extraordinary, enchanting images of them.

Eileen Lam created dozens of quirky scenes using figures from her 100-strong collection of ‘Blythe dolls’ which all feature strange looking large heads and eyes.

Some of the pictures reflect the location they were taken in, others instead focus on creating little scenes or stories about the dolls.

The peculiar dolls, which she has named ‘The Little Mischiefs’, have been pictured in a total of 60 locations and 12 countries.

They have even been pictured standing on the Great Wall of China, Tokyo and in Milan.

The pictures are all included on Eileen’s Instagram page called Dolly Treasures.

The page has now gained over 80,000 followers, but was only started as a means to keep in touch with her daughter, who left to go to university.

She said: “About five years ago, when my daughter went off to uni, she was worried about leaving me and so she set up the Dolly Treasures account so we could send each other pictures.

“All of a sudden the page just gained instant attraction and it grew very quickly.

“I’d done nothing on social media at all, not even a Facebook profile, so the whole thing was a completely new experience for me.

The Little Mischiefs are dressed, styled and staged by Mrs Lam, and consist of Blythe dolls, which are highly collectable due to them only having been in production for a year back in the 70’s.

In 2001 a Japanese company began to make new editions of them, and their popularity has since massively grown.

Mrs Lam has taken her dolls all around the world, including places such New York, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and France, and are always sure to attract a crowd.

She said: “There’s a big energy when I’m out on location.

“The public are always so good and they often stop to watch, and before I know it a crowd has gathered.

“When I go out I’m always on my own and I like to walk around until I find a good location.”

Travelling all over the world, isn’t just for holidays though, Mrs Lam takes her dolls abroad whenever she attends doll conventions.

She said: “Until I started the Instagram page, I never knew such things existed.

“Now I’m invited to doll conventions all over the world, mostly to make an appearance and for people to take pictures with the dolls.

“It’s a wonderful experience with everyone selling things, and looking at the other exhibitions.

“It’s all so very flattering.”

Mrs Lam, from Ipswich, Suffolk, first got into dolls as a young girl, when her mother, who used to make them professionally, would pass some over to her.

She said: “I grew up with five brothers so I think for me the dolls were my only way of escaping.”

Speaking of her dolls, Mrs Lam receives many as gifts from her fans and insists on featuring each one in a photo-shoot.

She said: “People send me their dolls, and some they’ve made especially for me.

“Therefore my family has just grown and grown, and I now have somewhere over 100 dolls.

“I always make sure to feature any doll that I’m sent in a picture, because I know how much time and energy has gone into them.”

While the dolls have brought about lots of exciting holidays and opportunities, they can be quite costly too.

According to Mrs Lam the average price of a Blythe doll is about £1,200.

Her most expensive doll cost about £4,000, and has become one of the stars of the show, featuring in almost every picture.

She said: “The price of the costumes can quite quickly mount up.

“The best designers can charge up to £200 per outfit, while someone just starting out will cost in the region of about £50.

“I’m quite fortunate that I get costumes sent regularly to me and they’re made especially for my dolls.

“I have quite an expensive hobby really, but it’s not all about the money.”

Mrs Lam still has some of the original dolls from her childhood but doesn’t like to photograph them, as they aren’t as ‘expressive’ as the Blythe dolls.

She said: “When I first started on Instagram I didn’t actually collect these particular Blythe dolls, and so I used to photograph some of my antique dolls.

“But I found the Blythe dolls so expressive because you can move their eyes and dictate where they’re going to be looking, and so they make better photographs, whereas the antique ones don’t look as particularly interesting.”

Photographing dolls however, soon became a little boring, and so Mrs Lam found a new way to liven the dolls up.

She said: “I love styling anyway so for a while it was fun, but then I wanted to do something more, and that’s when the characters developed each of their personalities.”

Mrs Lam, who used to make hand-made jewellery for Harrods, has written three books about, ‘The Little Mischiefs’.

“I wanted to do something more than just take pictures of the dolls, so I developed characters and personalities, and from that, story-lines.

“Although the dolls are naughty and get up to no good, they’re not bad characters, just a little mischievous,” said the former model.

Mrs Lam, who goes to flea markets and car boots to pick up props, said, “I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

“Some of the sets can be up in my house for days, my family will often just have to move and work around them.

“I work only by natural light so often it’s not the sets that are time consuming, it’s waiting for the right light.”

As her fan-base has swiftly grown over the last five years, the impact her dolls have had on fans has also been as dramatic.

She said: “I have such a great fan-base.

“I’ve had many fans tell me how the dolls brighten up their day, and some have found them inspiring.

“Some have even told me that the dolls have helped them through some bad times.

“I think it’s important to remember that it’s good to be playful and not too serious, and that people are never too old for fun.”



Get Your Fix

Sign up to get your fix of real life delivered directly to your inbox! We hate spam and promise we'll only use your email address to send you great stuff from Real-Fix.

Follow Us


Contact us

Media Centre, Emma-Chris Way, Filton, Bristol, Avon, BS34 7JU

Back to Top
Like us on Facebook for regular updates and access to exclusive content and competitions: