One of the most unique crazes to hit the Internet in recent years is the marketing of reborn dolls. It seems the term reborn has come about due to the process these dolls go through to reach reborn status. A reborn doll is one that began as a normal toy doll and evolved into a very lifelike doll that closely resembles a human baby. The process used to create these lifelike figures is known in this collector's group as reborning.

The reborn dolls craze was born, if you will, in the United States in the early 1990s. Reborning is not entirely unlike what has been done for years among little girls, big girls and collectors alike in that each of these people have taken their baby dolls and attempted to enhance their appearance in order to make them appear more lifelike. However, this effort mostly involved simply dressing these dolls in real baby clothes and trying to do their hair in a style that looked more realistic.

The reborning process of today involves the makeover of a vinyl doll or a kit containing the parts of a doll that can be purchased from one of several doll manufacturers catering to this market. The doll or parts should be very close to the size of a newborn baby. What follows is a step by step process that in summary involves a complete disassemble of a regular doll; the removal of the factory applied paint; the application of a blue color wash to the skin; the painting of the babies skin to make the doll appear to be as lifelike as possible; the replacement of the eyes if the baby is going to be awake; the application of new nails and implanted hair; and finally any electronic devices to simulate a heartbeat or breathing are installed.

These reborn dolls can sometimes appear so lifelike that they really do fool people enough to make them think it is a real human baby. Take the instance where police officers in the United States broke the window of a sport utility vehicle to rescue a baby that turned out to be a reborn doll. This is not the only case of the mistaken identity of one these babies either, a similar situation occurred in Australia when police in that country rescued a reborn doll from a locked vehicle.

As time goes by, I am sure reborn dolls will continue to improve and evolve becoming more and more realistic. Some even now come with heating packs that cause the doll to appear to be warm to the touch. While some of the reasons that people are attracted to these dolls seems somewhat counter intuitive to me, such as filling the void from a lost child, I hope that the people obtaining these dolls enjoy their possessions and reborn dolls continue to meet the needs of these people for many years to come no matter what that need may be.