"Reborn babies" are incredibly lifelike dolls

Originally published at: "Reborn babies" are incredibly lifelike dolls | Boing Boing


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contrary to what many assume about collectors, she estimates that half of them already have children of their own.


the dolls aren’t child substitutes so much as companionate props in something like a large-scale roleplaying game.

Having a parent who spends a lot of time and money roleplaying with her fake forever baby must be quite an experience.


Suggest to people to watch ‘Servent’ on AppleTV and this trend will take on a whole new life.


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If you hadn’t gone and changed and exhibited threatening signs of individuation maybe mommy wouldn’t have had to get her good child. Mommy’s good child is always just as she imagined she’d be.

(edit: on consideration I think what squicks me a bit about it is how it seems less than entirely unlike someone having a partner who goes and gets a realdoll as a supplemental partner; except that anything parent/child lacks the ‘well, if it’s honest and consensual you do you’ carve out that adult relationships are amenable to. Not really DSS material; but if your child or children are less than thrilled with you about it I can’t really sympathize.)



Every so often someone will leave one of these things sitting in a car seat in the back of a locked car on a hot day and send bystanders and first responders into a panic. (Note to ultrarealistic doll collectors: Do not do this.)


Everyone needs a hobby.

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I’m sure these things were a minor plot point in a William Gibson novel. All Tomorrow’s Parties maybe?
There was some detail about them being more valuable if they were modelled on a kid who had died, which I took to be his take on the “For sale: Baby’s shoes, never worn” story.


So why would the post up stream about Servant get flagged? It’s a major creepy series with one of these dolls front and center.

When I was a small child a woman on the street where we currently live lost an infant to a drowning, she would carry a baby doll everywhere she went. She would even even row up and down the canal in a small row boat with the doll.

Her husband eventually left her and she lived alone with the doll until one day she set the house on fire by accident, she moved in with her brother one street over until she passed. I believe she was in her 80s.

It was very sad and unfortunate that she never got the help she needed.

No real point to my story, this article just reminded me of someone I hadn’t thought about in years.

From the link in the article, you can get non human dolls as well. I wonder what the difference is between a $100 doll and a $20,000 doll.



I do have to admit that I’ve wanted one of the customized vampire reborn dolls for a while.

I don’t think I’ll ever shell out that much on a doll and if I did it would probably be better spent on a quality ball joint doll instead.

But the hyper realistic little vampire dolls are so delightfully creepy.

I do already have something much cheeper along those lines. She is a lovely repaint and weighted nicely to hold but the reborns are on a very different level.


How is it any worse than fifty yo dudes who paint cartoon characters tho?

Or build big fake train tracks…

Or leggos.

I think it’s interesting how deeply demonized play is for middle aged women.


This one seems slightly more fraught than model railroading or Legos because it has the potential of the obsessive hobbyist giving equal or greater priority to a fake child over a real one, with all the psychological harm that situation would imply.

Still, you’re right that there are other situations where the potential for harm is as great or greater. @fuzzyfungus above mentioned the RealDoll hobbyists, some of whom doubtless have human partners who might not be too thrilled with the “rival”. I’ve met obsessive collectors who lost their spouses and more because their hobbies came first. And then there are the ammosexuals who oppose any form of gun control because they’re afraid their carefully amassed armouries of deadly masculinity tokens and fantasy props might be taken away.

This article happens to discuss realistic baby doll hobbyists, but as you say this isn’t the only a hobby that has the potential to be destroy relationships with family, friend, and community if the hobbyist becomes over-invested in it.


To what extent do we need to police non-lethal toys and how adults play with them in order to monitor and control their possible mental health problems in a given demographic though? Do middle aged women really need more social policing and social strictures and fewer creative outlets that acknowledge the realities of their actual lives? Are more stigmas and fears ever helpful?

Or do people just feel uniquely entitled to control and monitor the actions of that demographic… for their own good even?

I think it’s the latter.


Fortunately , I doubt anyone’s opinion of anyone else’s hobby is going to stop them from engaging in it, unless it gets so obsessive that it might result in real damage. That includes baby doll hobbyists, RealDoll hobbyists, and just about every other hobby not involving deadly weapons that one could imagine.

I do get what you’re saying. Unlike hobbies once associated with stereotypical “nerds” (D&D, videogames, comics, computer programming etc ), those hobbies stereotypically and derisively associated with women have never been “redeemed” and incorporated into popular culture in the same way.


YKINMK … and that’s ok. Please note I am not using the “K(ink)” designation here in a derisive way; in this instance, I’m using as phrase from the world of kink to describe something vanilla for specific reasons. Yeah, my reaction to the thumbnail of the video in the article above is to nope right out of there. It’s definitely a bit disturbing to me, but that’s ok. It’s just not my thing, but I’m into a lot of activities that would undoubtedly be disturbing to other people. As long as you’re not harming anyone else, there’s nothing wrong with it.

(Harm can include alienating your children by obsessing a little too much on that perfect “child” that never changes in a way you don’t want, but that’s an individual issue and is not within the scope of any concerns I may have.)


It’s something that’s obviously going to be discussed given the nature of the items. As with RealDolls, though, I think a lot of people are going to find it disturbing based mainly on the “Uncanny Valley” aspect.


I guess I’m broken in some way, but my first thought was “Wouldn’t it be great to get one of these and then trolley people with it by going out to drop it, throw it in the air, walk away from it ‘sleeping’ in the stroller.” Would need a videographer accomplice to capture reactions for the youtube channel.

Edit: the CMS is changing “t-r-o-l-l” to trolley for some reason. Are we not allowed to say that word?

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Would that it were so. Getting off the topic of the dolls now, but a lot of middle aged women have spent their entire lives being told what’s appropriate to spend their time on, and will most certainly forego doing things they find enjoyable, or only do them in private and feel shame about it, if others in their lives mock them for it.
I’ve seen it happen with adult coloring books, another hobby more typically enjoyed by women.