Buying kits - A Cautionary Tale

So— here’s a lesson I learned the hard way. I’m new to the reborning art. That said, I’m not new to art or painting. I also try to not invest too much money into things until I see if they will work for me. My husband is always saying— you get what you pay for— and of course, he’s right.

I’m hoping by telling my tale that it might help another newbie out there like me. I purchased my first kit from the internet - honestly, it was just one that popped up when I googled “reborn vinyl kit”… it cost 45.00. I later learned, after I painted it - that it was a knock off of an artist’s kit. She came out cute as can be but she isn’t exactly like the pic for her kit and she has a bit more of a “doll like” look to her face rather than a real baby — but I marked that down to it being my first one.

So— second kit — I saw a local lady who was selling her kits (I don’t think she had ever really gotten the hang of reborning from what she said) and I purchased a kit from her for 25.00. She said she would make me a deal on all of her kits as a bundle, but I declined. Thank goodness. The kit I bought was so different and even after I washing and using an alcohol rub down and primer etc— that kit did not want to take color at all. It was way worse than the knock off kit I had painted. I contacted her and said whomever you purchased this from- don’t purchase any more from this source. She kindly offered to switch out the kit. I happily accepted. While waiting for her to do the switch—

Enter Kit 3 — by this time, I had learned about Bountiful Baby and all you wonderful people And so I purchased my next kit directly from Bountiful Baby.

I received it and started on it before the lady got around to switching the other kit. Oh my goodness- I thought I had gone to kit heaven. The difference in the BB kit and the others was night and day. No comparison. I made the most beautiful, and pleasing to me, newborn reborn ever! The way the paint and kit interacted was perfect!!! I may not have been but that kit sure was. Perfect.

Next, while Still waiting for the lady to switch
The kits out— I reborned a Berenguer baby
That I had. While nothing like the BB kit, it was still a good experience and looked so cute when finished.

Next came some very welcome and exciting news - a lady in one of my groups was retiring from the reborning business and because she knew I gift a lot of dolls (usually porcelain) to ladies of a certain age and because none of her fam were interested in her hobby - she graciously gifted them to me.

When these arrived, they too had the look of the BB
Kit I had purchased. In fact, most all are BB kits long discontinued. I’m very excited to get started on one of these.

But right before these all arrived, the lady switched out the kit. I thanked her and went on my way. Before starting on the windfall of BB kits, I thought I’d give the switch kit a try. Not a good move.

Not only did the kit give me fits to paint and I ended up stripping it off this morning- but I discovered that it wasn’t even a “kit”… it was supposed to be a kit called Stella by artist Melody Hess — and the face looked similar and so did the hands. But the legs were pieces that had been ripped or cut from a manufactured doll and still had the pristine pedicure on the nails. The legs were not the ones that go with Stella. They would have trouble taking an end cap because of their ragged opening from having been violently disengaged in some way. The hands and the legs had previously
Been stuffed. The head was such a dark tan that to get it to the place where the arms would match was taking a major effort that is not yet in my wheelhouse. And the legs were of a completely different color shade and grade of vinyl.

I finally just stripped it all back down and washed it and put those parts away. I had spent time, effort, and supplies trying to make it work.

Now some of you seasoned reborn artists could probably reborn this mismatched mess with no problem. That’s above my skill and experience level right now.

So beware new reborn artist is like myself - a kit is not always a kit.


Anytime you see the term “silicone vinyl” be prepared to be scammed. There is no such thing as the two aren’t compatible. I think scam companies think that if they use the term “silicone” in there, people will think they are getting an upgrade to their cheap knockoff crap.


They stole that term from Puppentraumland. They used it to refer to their very soft vinyl kits, though they now say “silicone-like vinyl”


Yes! So much! Anytime I see “silicone vinyl” I know they don’t know what they have (and it’s likely a cheap knockoff), that phrase is a marketing tool to sell to the clueless!
Big red flag!


Yep, we learn the hard way. But it makes us smarter!