Every Collector Collects For A Different Reason
Before I jump right into posting, I want to clarify why I have created this blog and break some common misconceptions about reborn collectors. As this hobby only really came into the public light in recent years, it's common to hear people making generalizations about it that just aren't true (or at least not true when applied to the majority of collectors).
First things first, the purpose of this blog is to educate collectors and those just generally interested in the subject. I'll be covering pretty much anything to do with reborning as an art and reborn dolls from a collector's perspective. The opinions presented here are of my own design, and will not be intended to insult artists or collectors alike. So with that out of the way, let's move onto what a reborn doll is, what their purpose is, and how they are viewed by the general public.
|Example of a reborn doll. Credit goes to HBN Art dolls and Evon Nather.|
What exactly IS a reborn doll?
A reborn doll is any doll that is crafted and painted to look as realistic as possible. This can be from a pre-made kit (such as those on Bountiful Baby) or a regular play doll (the most common to be reborn is the Berenguer doll company brand). The majority of reborns many collectors buy today come from Bountiful Baby unpainted kits. Sculptors such as Denise Pratt and Reva Shick create baby-like head and limb forms from clay and they are then produced on a mass scale by Bountiful Baby and companies similar to it. Artists then buy these unpainted soft vinyl kits, which consist of the head and limbs of the particular sculpt, then proceed to paint the vinyl as realistically as possible, including realistic veining and mottling that would be seen on a newborn. Cloth bodies may be included or sold separately, depending on the seller.
|An unpainted reborn doll head from the Maisie sculpt by Marissa May|
Many hours of hard work are spent on a realistic looking reborn doll. It's not uncommon to hear of an artist spending more than two weeks painting and applying hair to one single doll. In short, it's art that you can hold in your arms.
Although tens of thousands of people enjoy collecting and the art of reborning, not much is known about the inner workings of it by the general public besides daytime TV shows that have portrayed collectors to be 'crazy' and 'obsessive'. (See Dr. Phil on reborns and My Crazy Obsession's reborn episode )
If you have seen those videos before, or are watching them now, I must point out to you that the way they portray artists and collectors is rude and wrong. Speaking as a collector myself, who is involved with a wide network of other collectors and artists, I can verify that what you would see on TV is nowhere near an accurate depiction of the majority of collectors and artists. The typical mental image of a crazy old woman sitting in her living room surrounded by baby dolls and baby parts is just not the way it is in reality.
So what is it like in reality? Well, from experience I can say that there is definitely not a "right" or "wrong" age to be a collector of reborns, and although the majority of collectors and artists are female, many males enjoy the hobby too. While it's very easy to imagine anyone who owns one of these dolls is obsessed with them, very often that's far from the truth. I won't say that no collector treats them as a real baby, as I have met some who enjoy doing so, but I will say that again, that's not the majority.
Most collectors of reborns do exactly what their title implies- collect. Now when I say collecting reborns I can imagine someone easily thinking that this means every collector's goal is to have them all. Wrong. Many collectors are happy with just one reborn to pamper, while others enjoy having anywhere from 2 to 30. As the dolls run at a price of $150 USD minimum, collecting can get very pricey very fast, which holds back most collectors from having a wide assortment. (After all, they are just dolls, and collectors have bills to pay too!)
So with this introductory post drawing to a close, I want to say that I'm very happy to be expressing my love of the hobby through a Blog medium and hope to encourage and educate others. I welcome questions, and I welcome advice and criticism alike. If you feel I have left something out, tell me! I'm not an expert by far and am willing to admit I don't know EVERYTHING about reborns but I have been collecting for about 2 years and have quite a bit of experience under my belt. Thank you for reading and if you like it put a 'Follow' on it :)