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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 12:36AM

At first I thought you were talking about refurbishing dolls that had been trashed. Then I saw them on Google and realized that they are a very specific type of doll.

I have been collecting American Girl Historical dolls for YEARS, and I have refurbished any number of them. One online group I belong to has people who know a LOT more about this stuff than I do, and it is fascinating.

I wanted to get my granddaughter a set of "Bitty Babies" (twins - they can be same-sex or boy/girl) but a brand-new set, including stroller, was about $125 at that time. I found a fairly trashy pair on ebay for $25. I took them completely apart - removed the head, arms and legs from the fabric body - and machine-washed the bodies (which were GROSS.) I very carefully cleaned the vinyl parts (there are several ways to do this, depending on how stained the vinyl is,) and then the FUN part - NOT! Their wigs were like hay - I think the previous owner had tried to use a curling iron on them - a definite no-no - so I worked the wigs off (this is not easy) and cleaned off the remaining glue. I had ordered adorable new wigs from a doll supply place and carefully put the new wigs in place. The dolls looked brand-new!

I made matching outfits for them from leftover fabric (free) and used socks and shoes that I already had in my collection.

So for about $50, I had a pair of cute Bitty Babies for my granddaughter! Since she herself was past the "stroller" stage, she thought it was great that she could put both of the dolls in her own stroller and give them rides.

Since then, this has turned into a fun hobby. I only work with American Girl dolls, since I am very familiar with the line. I have gotten some throw-aways from second-hand stores and taken on the challenge of making them over, and then giving them to kids at local children's shelters.

I've never understood why some people go crazy over the "newborn" ones. They don't have any personality! I love the dolls I have from various historical periods because they have books with them that are well written and tell a lot about that particular period of American history. They are girls between about 9 and 11.

Anyway, picking up something that has been thrown away, putting some work into it and then giving it a whole new life with another child is a great hobby if you have the time and energy.

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Posted by: not-a-smith-fan ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 12:53AM

I love to read a post like the above and thank you for sharing your hobby and interest. Not only did your desire to provide for your beloved granddaughter result in discovering a creative side of yourself, it was far more valuable to both of you than if you had the money to purchase new ones out right.
I think you have provided a wonderful example to many here ( myself included) that we recover faster when we venture outside of ourselves and our pain to help or please another.
If religion could just be reduced to this---- pure loving, and giving, we could toss the doctrine aside and just be there for others. In giving to others, like you did, we give and feed ourselves as well. And I am sure those dolls will be well loved and cherished by her for years to come and especially in her memories.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 01:01AM

I collect dolls of all kinds and have some reborns. I have even made a few. I love them and do not see them as creepy. They are a hobby and not a replacement for children.To each his own. I find them very realistic and lifelike myself if done well.BTW, my favorite dolls are antique,but I do like reborns.I am not fond of American Girl dolls except as toys for children. They are a good way of teaching history though.The clothes are fun, but the dolls dont have much individuality IMO. Interesting that we like different things.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2014 01:18AM by bona dea.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 02:55AM

And the bears of course but I find this reborn thing rather interesting when you start digging into it. It is quite an artform. Not positive I am ready to take on another craft but I would like one. I have watched Martha Pullen for years and I want to try some heirloom sewing. And with the time that takes and the cost of the materials I want to put it on a doll that will not piddle on it :) I am finding out that all things are not equal. If I understand correctly "sculps" can be produced by a bunch of different people and the quality varies. Now I am more lost than ever! I did find one board but it isn't very busy and most of the people are either UK or AU. If anyone knows about this or has recommendations PLEASE let me know.

So far these are the frontrunners. I like a FAT baby :)

http://store.macphersoncrafts.com/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Shopper_id=23806152314462380&Store_id=236&page_id=23&Item_ID=10984

http://store.macphersoncrafts.com/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?Shopper_id=23806152314462380&Store_id=236&page_id=23&Item_ID=13398

http://www.gobabydollkits.com/Sugar-Kit-By-Donna-RuBert_p_155.html

As I was doing more research today I also found out that these are used as therapy dolls quite a bit. They are used for dementia and alzheimer patients but they say to only use ones with closed eyes. If you want to go really high end they have some that BREATH and have a heartbeat!

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 03:37AM


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Posted by: nevinpratt ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 03:25AM

"Reborn Dolls" is what my company does. My company is Bountiful Baby (www.bountifulbaby.com). It originally began many years ago as my wife's hobby, and has since grown to become the largest Reborn Doll Supply Store in the world, with a couple dozen employees and contractors.

"Sugar", by Donna RuBert (from your third link) is one of ours that we produced. Donna is a good friend of ours (myself and my wife). She used to own "The Doll Artworks", and several years ago we purchased the entire business assets of "The Doll Artworks" from Donna. We have produced about 150 different doll kits to date, with more coming every month.

We also have invested heavily (about a half million dollars) into high-end 3D scanning, 3D computer image editing, and 3D printing, and are now beginning to produce a line of reborn dolls that we call "Realborn Dolls", or "Realborns" (we have trademarked that name). We are scanning real babies, and producing vinyl doll kits from the scans. It is actually very high-tech.

If you have any questions about the Reborn Dolls, I'll try to come to this thread to answer them.

Nevin Pratt
CEO, Bountiful Baby
http://www.bountifulbaby.com

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 03:31AM

I have used Bountiful Baby and recommend them.They have some good videos on reborning and the supplies,prices,and service are good.

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Posted by: Kendal Mint Cake ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 09:32AM

There could be a market for adult size dolls to fill empty seats at General Conference.

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Posted by: Fashion police ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 09:34AM


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Posted by: nolongersearching27 ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 09:40AM

I have initially viewed them as creepy. But after the thread and talking with some people and doing my own research I found some that were actually pretty cute (I admitted that the creepiness was with my own insecurity with loss and newborn babies, alive or in doll form) and didn't creep me out. I don't know I would buy one, but I truly appreciate the art and love that clearly goes into making them. Acknowledging people of all kinds in whatever state they are in and helping them. If it can help someone then I say this is a good thing. And if people just simply collect them just to collect then good for that as well.

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Posted by: fiona64 ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 12:02PM

I have to admit, at first I found the whole concept creepy. I was never fond of baby dolls even as a kid, and these just kind of, well, let' say the effect on my stomach wasn't good.

And then I lost a kitten to a fatal disease when she was only 14 weeks old (feline infectious peritonitis). There is no treatment for it; it strikes hard and fast, and then your kitty isn't there anymore. :-( (I am tearing up as I write this, so I hope it still makes sense when I am done.)

Anyway, I would have given anything to hold that precious kitten just one more time ... and I searched long and hard until I found a stuffed cat that looked like she would have as an adult (I never successfully found a kitten like her). It was while I was looking for a stuffed kitten that I really understood why it was that these dolls mattered so much to those who had lost infants or had miscarriages.

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Posted by: newnameabigail ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 01:35PM

I'm sorry for that. My Mom is a catlady and recently one cat of my brother died. We all were supersad.
But actually there are some artists doing pets as well. I saw some really cute dogs so far. ;)

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Posted by: catnip ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 01:58AM

It is devastating. He was so full of mischief and energy, and then he became lethargic. We called him Obi Juan - my son wanted to name him something out of Star Wars and I wanted to put in a Southwest touch. I had never lost a kitten before.

I scoured all the hard surfaces of my house with a 1:10 ratio of bleach to water - my neighbor the vet said this will kill the FIP virus if any is lingering.

And then we chanced to adopt another kitten. Nearly 9 years later, she is still with us - treated like a princess, and very, very lovable.

On the doll topic - my neighbors are used to this now, I think. During various holiday seasons, I take some of my dolls out, put them in the back of the car dressed in holiday themes (Fourth of July, Fall, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, etc.) Some of my neighbors are still young and energetic and go to great lengths to decorate their yards with all kinds of cute holiday things.

If I think that their yards will make a nice backdrop for a photo, I'll carry a couple of the dolls to the door, explain that I would love to use a small portion of their yard as a backdrop for my dolls, and ask for their permission. Since I have a digital camera, I explain that their house will not be identifiable - only the decorations and the dolls - and I show each photo to the homeowner and give them the final say about whether I can use it or they want to delete it. (So far, nobody has wanted to delete anything!)

The pictures are cute and they are fun to show to grandchildren or to send to friends in letters. Most homeowners seem flattered that I appreciate their creativity and want to include it in my pictures. And if they ask, I give THEM copies of the finished photos.

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Posted by: fiona64 ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 12:02PM

Thank you for your kind words, Catnip. I had never lost a baby pet before either, and I was devastated. I kept thinking "What did I do wrong," no matter how many times the vet told me there was nothing I could have done differently. Like your little Obi Juan, our Gigi was doing well ... and then she crashed hard.

My husband adopted a kitten from our local shelter not too long after we lost our little Gigi. The new kitty, Lulu, attached herself to me like Velcro; she is now five years old and doing very well.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2014 12:03PM by fiona64.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 12:03PM

Are their ears on straight? Is their nose in place? Do they have a cute expression on their face?

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Posted by: nevinpratt ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 12:51PM

Elder Berry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are their ears on straight? Is their nose in
> place? Do they have a cute expression on their
> face?

With our "Realborns", the recreation comes out exactly like the real baby that was scanned to produce the Realborn.

Nevin Pratt
CEO, Bountiful Baby

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Posted by: Kendal Mint Cake ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 01:41PM

I feel sorry for Princess Pug then.

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Posted by: nevinpratt ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 01:45PM

Kendal Mint Cake Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I feel sorry for Princess Pug then.


I was speaking of our upcoming "Realborn" line :)

And, yep, we also have some animal kits. But they are not part of our "Realborn" line.

Thanks for noticing, though. :)

Nevin Pratt
CEO, Bountiful Baby

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Posted by: newnameabigail ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 01:53PM

I wish shipping wasn't that expensive. You definitely should have a distribution in Europe too. Can't waitt to see that kits.

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Posted by: scmdonanothercomputer ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 12:00PM

Elder Berry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are their ears on straight? Is their nose in
> place? Do they have a cute expression on their
> face?
Are my blue eyes bright?
Do I look alright
To be taken home Christmas day?

I had to sing that song with my kindergarten class for our school's Christmas program. Even as a little kid, it didn't make sense to me that the toy repair shop would be open for business on Christmas day.

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Posted by: serena ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 02:04PM

There is a big difference between adults who refurbish dolls for collections or for children to play with, but there are women who play with them themselves. That is just disturbed. They pose them, dress them, take pictures of them, take them out in public and role play with them. Icky. Might as well start sucking their thumbs. I won't pretend that this is healthy behavior.

I've seen these Reborn dolls. They look like dead babies. It's repulsive.

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Posted by: newnameabigail ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 02:21PM

its not more disturbed than adults playing with Lego, laying on the floor and making engine noises or playing with a train.
I dress them, I pose them I go out with them in a pram. My ones doesn't look "dead".
To each their own.

One collects starwars figurines and never play with them to not "damage" it and some have dolls, and simply collect them for many reasons. I have seen a lot of people who had a huge gain of livequality from this dolls. I have seen dement people who got a new quality in their life having such dolls, I have seen challenged people who got a new quality of life. I have seen women after loss and miscarriages who could overcome their pain and grief (depressions) with this dolls.
They have a value for those people. Its so wrong to say it is disturbed. What is normal, what is disturbed - who are we to judge anyone?

For sure there are freakos, who went crazy and impulsive having hundreds of them, but this is not the common collector of them. But rhose hoarders you might find anywhere. And still better hoarding dolls thanliving animals or garbage.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/16/2014 02:23PM by newnameabigail.

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Posted by: scmdonanothercomputer ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 12:15PM

Y7
Newname Abigail, you may be the exception, but I'm sorry, it is more freakish even than playing with Legos or toy trains, not that playing with those is all that on the up-and-up when adults are doing such without children also participating. Collecting is one thing. Dressing dolls up and taking them out in strollers in public is quite another. I'd be concerned if one of my thirteen-year-old nieces engaged in such behavior.

My wife was given her mother's "Casper, the Friendly Ghost" terry-cloth doll a few years ago when her mom learned how much Jillian had always wanted to play with it when she was little, but her mom wouldn't let her because she didn't want to get Casper dirty. My mother-in-law came to her senses and realized that it was nothing but terry cloth, plastic, and stuffing, and took it out of its box and gave it to my wife. Jillian is quite fond of Casper and keeps him on our bed during the daytime, but the day I see her putting a diaper on him, putting him in a stroller to take him out in public, or pretending to feed him a bottle is the day I take my wife to a psychiatrist.

newnameabigail Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> its not more disturbed than adults playing with
> Lego, laying on the floor and making engine noises
> or playing with a train.
> I dress them, I pose them I go out with them in a
> pram. My ones doesn't look "dead".
> To each their own.
>
> One collects starwars figurines and never play
> with them to not "damage" it and some have dolls,
> and simply collect them for many reasons. I have
> seen a lot of people who had a huge gain of
> livequality from this dolls. I have seen dement
> people who got a new quality in their life having
> such dolls, I have seen challenged people who got
> a new quality of life. I have seen women after
> loss and miscarriages who could overcome their
> pain and grief (depressions) with this dolls.
> They have a value for those people. Its so wrong
> to say it is disturbed. What is normal, what is
> disturbed - who are we to judge anyone?
>
> For sure there are freakos, who went crazy and
> impulsive having hundreds of them, but this is not
> the common collector of them. But rhose hoarders
> you might find anywhere. And still better hoarding
> dolls thanliving animals or garbage.

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Posted by: Kendal Mint Cake ( )
Date: June 16, 2014 02:22PM

You could have hours of fun with a baby pug or gorilla in a pram. Passers by would get a bit of a shock. When I was little I had a Rupert Bear with plastic human looking hands in my pram. An elderly lady saw the hand, and then the face and she jumped!

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Posted by: AFT ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 05:15PM

As someone who bought a reborn, shortly after the death of my baby, I do NOT think they look "dead" (and I KNOW what that looks like) nor do I think they're repulsive. I don't 'play' with the doll, but I think he's very cute. His eyes are open and he looked uncannily like our son.

That being said, I don't think we should judge people on their hobbies (unless it involves something awful). My doll has played baby Jesus in the Ward Christmas show, and he is usually in a manger in our house during the Holidays. We jokingly named him (say it with a southern accent), "Baby Jesus" and one of our cats LOVES him. She HAS to be able to be where he is...she'll sleep on top of him, eat the manger hay and, I think, complain about us to him.LOL

Anyway, every now and then I get sad about our son and have been known to hold the doll whilst I cry. It's little weighted head feels real and there is something comforting about it. (But there's something comforting about cuddling a cat, too.)

Please don't judge...I've never bought him an outfit, other than the one he came in, and the only other thing he ever wears is the occasional swaddling cloth. (For Xmas)

You don't have to be crazy to like them.LOL

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Posted by: ExMoBandB ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 05:46AM

I had a childhood friend who wouldn't play with her dolls. She kept them in their boxes, for the sake of value. Most were Madam Alexander dolls. My dolls, on the other hand, were well loved and cared for. I had a toy sewing machine, and made them clothes, and beds out of wood and mattress ticking. Each had a name and a distinct personality. Each was a part of my life, and we had great adventures together. (I wonder if I have a split personality, sometimes). It was the same with my stuffed animals. I still have them. Elizabeth still wears the dress I was blessed in.

My doll-hoarding friend ws given a doll with roller skates, with real wheels. My friend didn't even name the doll. The doll had never been taken out of the box to roller skate. Sometimes I would cry for that poor doll. Dolls can be very real for a little girl. One time, when my friend had to go do chores with her mother, I sneaked the doll out of the box, and had her roller skate, and I talked to her, and named her "Sandy." I won't go into detail about what kind of mother that friend grew up to be. When our children were grown and gone, I went to visit my old friend, and asked her if she remembered the roller skating doll, and the doll was in her closet, still in the same box, never played with by anyone, and tears came to my eyes. I offered to buy it from her, but she wouldn't sell it to me. It wasn't worth a whole lot.

I read too many Hans Christian Anderson stories when I was little, I was abused, which left me extremely sensitive.

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Posted by: fiona64 ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 11:41AM

My mother may have had the same roller-skating doll, dressed in overalls and her hair in braids. Her name was Susan ... my mother didn't have many dolls, and Susan was precious to her.

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Posted by: Jersey Girl ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 12:24PM

I still see a distinction between little girls loving dolls, and some adults still loving and keeping or collecting them, and these overly realistic dead baby dolls. Dolls should look like dolls. They do not seem to be made to be played with but more like some kind of fetish. Creepy.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 04:19PM

Or maybe we think they are cute and look like real babies. Mine are on display and I don't play with them or think of them as real. I collect them. I also collect other things such as ceramics and ancient coins and artifacts. As others have said,"To each his own."

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Posted by: serena ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 04:44PM

Check out 'cindybin2001' on youtube, she plays with reborn corpse-babies.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/17/2014 04:46PM by serena.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 04:45PM

That doesnt mean all or most collectors do.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: June 17, 2014 04:58PM

To do heirloom and ribbon work I want a pretty doll to display things on :) Martha Pullen is the Queen of Heirloom work and I watch her show when it is on. She makes these lovely time consuming things out of high end fabric and then puts them on UGLY dolls! I always promised myself that if did it I would get a PRETTY doll and that is what I am going to do :)

And Catnip you have been holding out on us! You will have to put your holiday pics up with the bear pics :)

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