What's wrong with the Reborn Market


im not agree with some of you guys!
you all started from somewhere. and im pretty sure your first baby wasnt too beautiful in someone else eyes who was reborning longer!
i just started reborning and im not doing it for business, that is my hobby.
i was in love with my first doll and maybe some people thought it was nothing special. i never have confident in my creations, i wanted to get at least 100$… but happened and i sold it for 190.
next dolls i was more happy about. i read some tutorials and tip on here. and im pretty sure in one year i will think that my first dolls wasnt that good.
but we all start from somewhere and you cant get mad at someone like me… who is just enjoying the process.

other thing i wouldnt sell my dolls because i love all of them… but my Hubby told me that ill have to sell dolls to get next kit.
and again im not confident and cant put high price especially when i am beginner.
people get what they pay for. you can buy beginner doll for around 100… or you can buy a real art around 300 and higher!

i agree there is people who is not even trying to make some little cute angel… i checked ebay and before christmas one lady was selling atleast 10 dolls. and it is the ugliest thing i ever seen!!!
another thing. ive watched video on youtube where little girl (around 12-14 years old) packing doll that someone just bought from her… and her dolls didnt look so good too.

my another hobby is photography. i just love taking pictures. and im blessed to have my camera. i make 400 shots for one photo-shoot.
and there is lots of mad professional photographers who was doing it for 20 years. and they had only one shot to make an art… and now here is the progress, everyone can get camera that will make millions of shots.

what im saying is more and more people getting to this art(reborning). and we all start from somewhere…


not everyone can afford a super nice reborn that looks exactly real thats where the “bargin babies” come in handy …


i agree with trapple 575 and joy .let each one do what they want beauty is in the eye of the beholder .GOD didn’t make us all the same it would have been to boreing.lets be kind.
what each one sell or gives is only there business.GOD BE WITH YOU …JUDY


I agree that I think there is a market for all skill ranges. As long as the dolls are truly represented so that the buyer can see clearly exactly what they are getting I see no problem. If we were all at the same skill level then alot of people just wouldn’t be able to afford to own a reborn.

I believe that the dip in sales is due mainly to the economy but we also have to take into consideration that collectors “who are the main buyers that have purchased my babies” are continually adding to their collections and once they have a certain sculpt they most likely aren’t going to purchase another. Reborns have been around quite a long time now and so the initial buzz has worn off but I do believe it’s a very good thing that we have such a range of skill levels and sculpts out there for every pocket.


to kays kids just want to say i think your kids (reborns )are beatuiful …


Caycee said and I quote below although I could not see how to do that digitally,

— Begin quote from ____

I agree that I think there is a market for all skill ranges. As long as the dolls are truly represented so that the buyer can see clearly exactly what they are getting I see no problem. If we were all at the same skill level then alot of people just wouldn’t be able to afford to own a reborn.

I believe that the dip in sales is due mainly to the economy but we also have to take into consideration that collectors “who are the main buyers that have purchased my babies” are continually adding to their collections and once they have a certain sculpt they most likely aren’t going to purchase another. Reborns have been around quite a long time now and so the initial buzz has worn off but I do believe it’s a very good thing that we have such a range of skill levels and sculpts out there for every pocket.

— End quote

I don’t collect more than one of each sculpt, but I do have two of Lara Antonucci’s reborns, a Stoete and a Knopps. Part of the dip is due to economy, but part is due to this isn’t an investment that people expect to make money on, it is about love and space - and all my cribs are filled.


What I would like to say is that I love to reborn and I understand people like to have the opportunity to reborn and to reborn a kit is a very hard and difficult work.


So…a troll bumped this post to the top. But it got my attention. I read quite a few comments. Here’s what I have to say. Thank God this forum isn’t what it used to be! :open_mouth: I’m sure not all the posts were like this. But it appears there was very little camaraderie…just a lot of hostility. If a post was started like this now, people would nip it in the bud. We keep each other in check, but in a friendly way. (Or someone would flag the post right away.) Also, @anjsmiles I’m glad you decided to embrace customers’ desire for painted hair, even though you didn’t initially care for it. You turned out to be an amazing hair painter. :wink:


I read a ton of comments on this post before I realized it was an older post. I was sitting here thinking, “wow, is this what the more seasoned artist think of us newbies?”
I was actually offended. Good art is always a matter of opinion. Whether you are a new artist or an old one, it really doesn’t matter. Art doesn’t have a right or wrong way of being done. It is done by the eye of the artist and their opinion of what they feel is “good”. No one has a right to tell anyone they are not good enough. Their art might be amazing in some one else’s opinion and exactly what they are wanting.
Honest criticism is always welcome when asked for it. But to tell someone they are not worthy of their hobby or art is just ridiculous. They don’t own “reborning”.
With that said, I’m truly grateful for all the experienced artist who have helped me and encouraged me along the way. All from this forum. Some of us do it for the love of the craft, not just the money.


I get it.

I think a lot of people investing in this art form think they can make some fast money if they learn a few basics and undercut everyone else, or scam.

Mass manufactured dolls (even the cheap ones) have been around forever and will be around forever. I hold onto hope that people will understand the difference. Some people just want an inexpensive cute play thing and that is fine too.

Maybe the best thing we can do is to work hard, perfect our craft share ideas, lift each other up a little and power through.

Barbie never gets old. No matter how many times she has been imitated. She has been around a long time.

People love dolls, and this art form has survived time, recessions, downturns, and yes even China.

Lets keep it awesome.


Well, here I am late in the game, as usual. I’ve just finished reading all of the posts and feel badly that the new artists’ feelings have been hurt. I don’t think that was the OP intentions. Sounds like she was just venting her frustration with the lousy market. I’ve been doing this for 11 years and I still feel like a newbie. Every time I mail a doll out to a customer I get a sick feeling in my stomach. So much anxiety. This is the worst part of reborning for me. I don’t think I will ever feel like I have mastered it. Each doll is a new creation and brings me anxiety. I can’t relax until the buyer has the doll. I think I’m getting close to two hundred now and there were only two that were returned because the customer was not happy with the doll. But then the next buyer liked it so it worked out. I’m still an unknown and I kinda like it that way. The only people I have to please are my customers. And they are the reason I do this. Like most of us I make enough to pay for the supplies to keep going. I love to create. I used to look at the listings on ebay and get frustrated at the dolls that I felt weren’t done well selling for big bucks. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I enjoy this hobby more now that I don’t pay attention to what others are getting but rather just enjoy making each doll, one at a time, at my leisure. I feel good knowing that I am in good company with other like minded artists. Let’s focus on sharing our joy of reborning and not the crappy sales. Viva la difference!


Well said


Wow. almost ten years and people are still interested!
And somehow a student found it (which makes me think they re on here longer than the 2 hour max we allow)

Just like many of the responses here, there were many hair triggers pulled.
At first I thought "wait a minute…why do my threads get shut down? But that was quickly replaced with well thank goodness at ;least this was left up because it brings a LOT of what we dont say to the surface and the tea party turns into a mosh pit,

That Berenguer may have been that adoptive mom’s treasure and joy. I know many of you are aware, but Denise Pratt started with Berenger. And that is what was offered when Bountiful started. We really must be careful when someone is holding their reborn in their arms because all too often someone will leave glowing feedback for an artist and then 6 months later, after listening to another artists. now feels like that baby is substandard,

I will start with the clever class study that evolved.
This was meant to be a one week project, but it is turning into a month long project but we were actually running out of subject matter that evoked excitement, This one is working so well we haven’t had one absent or tardy (s0 far)

We decided to take one kit and have everyone do a part of it. Whatever they thought they could offer. We brought in partitions for 2 reasons, concentration and privacy. We didn’t want them to see what the last/next artist did. We have 10 heads. All the same and its Fei Yen (I know, how much more cruel could we be but I LOVE that little scowl and adore CM’s sculpts).

Once they have finished their part, they put it in the box, initial the transparency report and then take another box with the head they have not done yet. We take THAT box and place it at the beginning so that it can dry. . We really wish we would have come up with this at the very beginning because then we could have waited 24 hours for each application to dry. Acrylics change so much in the first 24 hours you never now what you have until the next day.
They are given the full hour / We label each head with what they are to do. If the last head was eyes (eye sockets and surrounding tissue) the next one may be mouth, ears, nose etc. I know it should not take an hour to do those small areas, but you would be surprised with how many say at the end of class "I wasn’t done yet!"
They start withe the “washes” and continue from there. So since it is done in a specific order, more than likely they know what the next artist is doing. However once we get to detailing this can change. After their initials they put date time and what they did.
We’ve taken some sneak peeks and already we see their personalities come out and we can identify who did what. These are going to be your biggest competition because they already know what to expect of themselves.

One thing I definitely agreed with: ARtists are born. You either are or you aren’t. If you have the passion and desire, the rest is history. But people know when they arent. They tell you "I cant draw a straight line…
Otherwise we would all have a studio full of dolls and no buyers. Even when I taught AutoCAD and managed engineers designers and architects in the field, you new who the artists were because they HATED CAD - they felt it eliminated their personal design freedom.

But lets talk about the elephant in the room. I agree there is a lot of mollycoddling here. But just like everything else, there are people who want to know if they are doing good and others who just want stroking.
There is also a way of doing a critique that does not involve bullying.

“I have seen you do much better than this”
“Have you thought of abandoning that technique and trying…”
“Let me show you an example of what I am talking about”

We dont need to be cruel about it. And responding in a mean vein to someone else who you believe is being cruel makes you no different than that person. Raise people to your level, Don’t lower yourself to theirs
I dont feel anyone has the right to determine who is and who is not not an artist. Art is a matter of personal taste. if everyone was drawn to the same thing, I wouldn’t sell one doll being that I am predominantly a fantasy artist. When I started my art career over 40 years ago I was a surrealist. My art got extreme reactions, few were lukewarm. People either loved it or hated it.

This OP brought back the years of my painful showings in galleries.

The days of brick and mortar galleries is fading into the landscape since you can find so much online. But the big galleries will be here forever. ANd as the galleries lessen the competition is becoming more cutthroat than ever.

First after you have chosen your pieces, you had to create slides. You then gathered up your VERY favorites along with the slides, boarded a city bus (both Chicago and New York) and on the way to the gallery that FINALLY gave you an appointment, you had people bumping into you some asking to see your work, some crushing it physically. And you had all that time to question yourself and wonder WHY DIDN’T I BRING …".

Once you got to the gallery, the curator would have their secretary look over your work first. Yes, THE SECRETARY! Who is most likely working there because they think their work deserves to be shown, so expect bitterness and a lot of cookie crumbs all over your precious pieces because you cannot expect him/her to starve while doing their job. The best thing that could happen at this moment is for the curator to come walking thru. But when that happens you better hope that secretary has no open beverages, because they jump up and do a lot of scurrying so they are not accused of being arrogantly complacent.

Now I could go on and on with this saga but the best thing I did for my class was have them watch The Velvet Buzzsaw (sans the gratuitous sex).

They were all a bit dumbfounded. And scared. Almost completely missing the whole HORROR genre’ of it because to them the horror was in the critics at the showings.

I will admit I have gotten on here and seen things that made me jump back and wonder. Especially when I saw one HUGE compliment after another.
Some students felt strongly this was a way of making certain your competition was not your competition
If someone is nowhere as good as you THINK they should be, your work will sell for more my friend, not less.

From what I have gleaned in the almost 2 years I have been here is there are 3 kinds
The artist who really wants critique and is ready to take it, the artist who would like to be critiqued but when it happens is insultied and the show offs.
I agree if you really want to help them, do it privately because public critique is just humiliation.
If you think this art deserves better, then do better.
WHen I first started doing this I was HORRID. I commented and questioned many things. Some deserved it, some didnt. But my delivery was caustic.
And then I started to create my own reborns and it was so painful I just cant…

I was reigned in a few times here, but some of the way it was done was unnecessary. Truly if you really care and dont want something to get out of hand or repeated, the best way to do that is with your natural grace and eloquence. This gentle art deserves kindness. Even when it is not given by the person you are responding to, you have a chance to help them find that within themselves.
Once that cattiness came from outside of this forum because I made the bad decision to post my address,

I have aspergers. It took a long time for me to come to terms with that diagnosis. But it also answered many questions.
I say things that really sound so much different in my head.
When I created a listing I have to be especially careful because what I THINK I included is usually not there. Very often I will get many emails about my listing that are laziness on the part of the shopper, but in between there are legitimate concerns. ANd someone will be up to their third email saying "Please just tell me what is the cost [height ,color] etc into something its not.

All of you who are on here and give your time are really my best teachers/instructors.

Your audience is not just the members here, but a whole wonderful world of creative people just looking for guidance.

And I for one am grateful!


Wow that is a lot of post. Some very valid points, i am a wordy girl myself.

I came in mid thread and commented on a comment. I just read through the thread in it’s entirety and found it interesting and I think I understand the tension, or maybe not.

I went to a well known conceptual art school (that doesn’t mean I left a well known conceptual artist). I learned the value of critique. It can be painful (and some professors make sure it is) but it is always useful.

The way it works is a project is given, everyone brings in their work. It can go in all kinds of directions but parameters are set so that we are all practicing a set skill. We are critiqued by our teacher and our peers. No one wants a critique, it amplifies vulnerability. In art school most of us are terrified to have our faults revealed because what we make is usually a reflection of who we are.

(“Critique” is a term that misused here a lot and feelings are hurt because not many people understand it. It is not an offhand comment, it isn’t a statement about the market, how things should be, or if you are a good or bad artist. )

It is a tool, It should be specific, you need to understand why you are saying what you are saying and have an idea or solution you also need to respect intention:

“I feel that shade of brown is far too red and makes the skin tones seem a little green, I would have played that down a little unless this was your intention. I really like the way your composition takes me eye from left to right bringing me from the largest to the smallest details in a natural way, over all this painting is pleasing to my eye, it transports me the way you stated you hoped it would”

Now, if four of the ten students say the same thing about the red hair then and it was not your intention you know that next time you need to pay attention to how you are using color a little more carefully, or learn about how using this bold color has an effect and use it purposefully. If only one person says it, it may just be opinion or perception.

Your teacher usually helps mediate comments and helps people learn to construct critique to make sure it remains a helpful tool.

That being said.

  1. The market for reborn dolls is not the same as fine art. This is not fine art. Not to say it isn’t hard work, but it is craft. No one here is creating an original body of work from concept to body. This does not mean that people who make these babies are not artists, many of us are but these babies can be made by people who just enjoy making.

  2. The craft market fluctuates depending on the economy, interest and trend. Dolls are a mainstay in our culture but the kind of doll waxes and wanes and we have to go with it. Kay this is no difference between this and porcelain doll painting, just a different medium.

  3. The same people who collect our babies are the same people who collect action figures. they are not the same people who collect a Basquiat, Modigliani, or a sketch from the Dada movement. These are different people collecting for different reasons. One isn’t better than the other they are just different.

  4. Because this is craft we are going to see a lot of emerging awesome, a lot of fast money hopefuls hoping to cash in on a trend, and a lot of hobby artists who are just selling babies to make more babies. There are going to people who just want an affordable baby and they will have choices, then there will be people collecting for personal reasons and they can do their homework and learn along the way. The serious collectors will be doing their homework, have made their mistakes and will know who they love and why.

  5. There is room for everyone. It is not our job to judge who is ready for the market. I do my fair share of rolling my eyes and complaining about short-cuts (sharpie eyebrows, recycled dog hair, rocks in bodies) Again if it is on purpose and you are making a statement cool, if you are just financially struggling but really want to make these babies with the resources you have, state that and be transparent, but if you are trying to take advantage of people, shame on you.

There is an interesting fine line between “f…k you art” and “scamming”

I don’t take reborning too seriously. I love doing it, its fun and relaxing and it isn’t a statement for me, this does not represent who I am as an artist but it honestly has helped me appreciate realism (never my interest before) it has challenged me to paint more, it has helped me take things a little less seriously and just make stuff for the pure pleasure of it. I also enjoy the extra money, I did turn this into a small business for myself.

I think these dolls can be helpful in a lot of ways not intended and I want to explore that. I also like what these dolls say about us as an evolving culture, we are becoming more tactile now that our minds are engaged in technology more.

The reborn community is diverse and interesting, I really like that. Most people are just here to make babies, have fun, make friends.

Artists…we are all artists, we are human and we are born creators. Everyone can hold a pencil but not everyone will be Escher, and that is ok.


Beautifully said!! Your comment should be a post in its entirety all on its own. :heart:


That’s perfectly well said. Nothing to add to this !


Awesomely put. :blush:


A very well written response from an obviously well educated person. Thank you for clarifying the types of reborn artists for me. I fall into the “hobby artists who are just selling babies to make more babies” category. As long as I can keep selling them I’ll keep making them. I enjoy this craft and find it very rewarding, but not easy. It gives me pleasure to create something that makes someone happy. And when I look at pictures of all the dolls I’ve made since I began I still can’t believe I made them all. I’ve never done anything else in my life that was appreciated as much as this.