I Thought I Had An Unnatural Fear Of Baby Dolls – Until I Saw These

Babies-in-BloomWhen I was a child I had a friend whose mother collected baby dolls. There were a ton of them, all lined up in her living room. They were all decked out in Victorian-looking clothes and had that real-looking baby doll hair. They scared the shit out of me. But they had nothing on these undead reborn baby dolls.

I still hate baby dolls, but I’m not quite sure why. I can’t really explain the unreasonable part of my mind that truly believes if I owned one of these it would awaken in the night and try to eat my flesh. My nightmares have come to fruition – sort of. As if the traditional baby doll wasn’t scary enough, the Twisted Beanstalk Nursery now makes a zombie variety. I may never sleep again.

They’re not called “baby dolls” anymore. They’re called “reborns.” How freaky is that? I never understood the obsession with these life-life dolls. Dare I say it’s a totally creepy habit to have? I hate to be judgemental – oh who am I kidding, I love being judgemental. I can’t help but think collecting “reborns” is the weirdest hobby ever. Well, it was the weirdest hobby ever. Until these zombie-variety reborns were invented. These definitely take the cake.

When Lexi Friberg saw her baby for the first time, it was love at first sight.

“The eyes, glowing and without a pupil, really captured that vacant, infected feel for me. But the happy, smiling face juxtaposed with the black sludge coming from her mouth is what really stole my heart.”

Um, what? These dolls are for serious collectors. They range in price from $650 to upwards of $5,000. And I thought my shoe-obsession was pricey. Some of these little dolls cost more than pretty much anything I own. Bean Shanine, owner of The Twisted Beanstalk Nursery in Bellingham, Washington told Today Moms,

“I never in a million years thought I would be making reborns, and especially monster reborns. I don’t even LIKE monster things!” says Bean, who is surprisingly bubbly for someone who spends her day recreating undead babies. “After I made my friend her doll, I decided to make another with zombie eyes, just for fun. I listed it on eBay for $125 and it sold within 10 minutes. I couldn’t believe it.”

Either can I Bean – either can I. I do love your entrepreneurial spirit, but no way in hell will I be buying one of these anytime soon.

No way in hell.

(photo: thetwistedbeanstalknursery.com)

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    • http://www.facebook.com/alice.longworth.7 Alice Longworth

      Agree that those things are beyond creepy, They are worse than Chucky. At least he looks homicidal; these have that stealth factor going. Personally, I prefer the monster reborns (yes the word “reborn” is as creepy as the dolls) to the regular since the monster babes are made to be scary. The idea that the others are supposed to be “normal” and that the owners treat them as if they are alive just sends it way off the creepo-meter.

    • K.

      Okay, so I have to be honest: IF those dolls were sold at the normal kiddie-friendly pricepoint (more like $30-40, rather than minimum $650! which puts them in the ridiculous category), then the creator is a fucking GENIUS. If only they WERE for a mass audience…

      Do I, as an adult, find them creepy as all getout? Yesiree, Bob. But I’m also, as stated, as an adult. And therefore, I’m pretty sure that whatever I designate as creepy and inappropriate is automatically irresistible to anyone under 12.

      And as proof, I know some little girls who would think that carrying around zombie babies would be the coolest thing, like, ever. Screw traditional domesticity, screw baby bottles and tea parties–these things can forage for themselves.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alice.longworth.7 Alice Longworth

        Ha, ha. Just imagining the adult going “Oh, let me see you cute little ….AUUUGGH! And I agree that a kid would probably love the monster versions (but I still find the “real” versions much creepier myself).

      • K.

        “Just imagining the adult going “Oh, let me see you cute little ….AUUUGGH!”

        As a point of reference, my younger sister received one of my grandmother’s old fox stoles that used to be really popular–the kind in which the paws and the face were left intact (usually, you’d use the mouth of one of them as a clip to clip onto the tail of another to make your scarf)–to play with, and boy did she love it. She fastened a ribbon around its neck and dragged it everywhere on a ribbon-leash as her “pet fox.” The look on adults’ faces as she proudly showed off “Robbie” (that was his name) was awesome.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000913577719 Elisa Probert

      I collect and make reborn dolls. Can’t shed any light on anyone’s reasons. I just like them because I DO. Minimum $650 is a flat out lie though, only the VERY most well known artists get that, the rest of us barely get back the cost of materials. I like making “monster” babies (Hellboy and a random vampire so far) because they allow for a more creative approach and more of a challenge. Pointed ears, horn buds, HellBoy’s Right Fist Of Doom, figuring out how to make crimson skin that doesn’t look flat…it’s fun for me. I’m not a crazed maniac dreaming of dead babies. I’m not a child hater. I’m not an emotionally stunted woman-child who can’t find a man. (all things NORMAL reborn artists have been called) I just like painting dolls. No WAY I would put one of my dolls in a child’s hands though. The paints are NOT child-safe, the clay additions of ears and such could break off, and the hair…aaaack, don’t get me started on the hair. They are NOT intended for play any more than a collection of ceramic unicorns or Elvis Presley plates or beer steins are. (all of which, last I checked, are socially approved for adults.) Okay, shutting up now.

    • Portia

      Sick, twisted. Kinda awesome.

    • Paris Troika

      The one on the right is making a pretty convincing baby poop grimace. That, to me, is the real gem in all of this.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      It reminds me of Children of Men when everyone in the world is infertile so lots of women look after baby dolls instead of the babies they don’t have. It’s creepy and I wouldn’t have one, but I’m not going to judge on someone else’s reasons for having them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stina.kolling Stina Wargo Kolling

      Some people enjoy and collect dolls of all types. Personally I find dolls of all types creepy as f***. Especially those ones that are all dressed up in some lace-maker’s idea of Victorian clothes. Those ones wait till you’re asleep and then roam the house looking for souls to eat.

    • http://www.rebornstore.com/ Karen Long

      Whether you think they are “creepy” or not, there’s no denying the sheer skill and determination it takes to much these dolls.

    • Sarah

      When I was a child my grandmother ( a hoarder) would bring me these dolls from the dump..yes the dump and combined with watching Child’s Play waaay too youngI developed an irrational fear as well …The dolls were horrifically maimed with missing eyes and matted hair, usually had fingers chewed off and one was even burned. They were weird where you laid them down they closed their eyes and picked them up they opened one had a string and said “mama”. I cried about this when i told my husband two days ago it’s why I get rid of my kids stuff the minute it looks slightly used…why someone would collect a doll that ive spent my lifetime recovering from an encounter with, I dont know but I pray their children and grandchildren never encounter them!