I attended the Rose Doll Expo in Layton, Utah on July 13th and 14th, 2018. I had an exhibitor table and I distributed a paper survey to attendees. I had hoped to obtain enough responses to help shape my approach to researching reborns and reborn enthusiasts. I met so many kind people and I received a total of 67 survey responses. I would like to thank everyone who participated. People were so open to speaking with me. I felt honoured to be welcomed into this unique community and to hear so many touching stories.
Here are some of the results. This information will help guide my research on reborn babies. I welcome your thoughts or questions. Please feel free to comment or contact me.
1. Age : # of respondents
Age 18 – 24: 21
Age 25 – 34: 9
Age 35 – 44: 12
Age 45 – 54: 10
Age 55 – 64: 8
Age 65 – 74: 7
Age 75+: 0
3. Have you had children?
51% said yes.
49% said no.
4. Are you a reborn collector, artist, or both?
5. How many reborns do you have?
75% of respondents have fewer than 10 dolls.
13% have between 10 and 30 dolls.
8% have over 30 dolls.
3% have over 100 dolls.
6. In what year did you get your first reborn?
Range: 1985 – 2018
Mode (occurs most often): 2016
Mean (average): 2013
Interestingly, 37% of respondents got their first reborn in 2016 or later.
7. What activities do you enjoy doing with your reborn(s)? The top activities were:
- Dressing (changing clothes)
- Shopping for accessories
- Socializing with other enthusiasts
Other (less popular) activities offered as options were: shopping for doll kits, selling reborns, role-play, arranging in a scene, going out in public, make-believe baby care, trading reborns.
Any other activities you enjoy doing with your reborns? (responses)
- “Sharing them with people who don’t know about them”
- “Playing music”
- “Teaching others about them”
- “Displaying them”
- “Making them clean, comfy, & cute”
- “Attending doll shows”
- “Holding them”
- “Showing our friends who don’t like them!”
- “Holding them. They help my anxiety & depression”
- “Taking out in public pretending there are real”
- “Showing them”
- “Going on outings with them”
- “Learning new techniques”
- “My daughters like to play pretend”
- “Putting to bed”
- “Carrying around the house, sleeping next to them”
- “Making character dolls, cuddle therapy – making portrait babies”
- “Taking them out in public”
- “Shopping, going on adventures with him”
- “Mostly just holding them”
- “I donate my babies to alzeimer patients & people that need comfort”
8. If you use online platforms (web sites or groups) to interact with a reborn community, which ones do you like and why?
No (don’t use): 6
(many use more than one)
9. What is the primary benefit of reborns for you personally?
All respondents (artists and collectors)
Collectors only (those who don’t make reborns)
10. Should reborns become more mainstream and popular?
I don’t know: 33%
11. If you had to describe one feeling that reborn babies give you, which would you choose?
Comfort and joy were the most commonly chosen, followed by love and nostalgia. Other feelings also described were security, freedom and (a sense of) identity.
12. Do you regularly take your reborn(s) out into public spaces?
I asked why (or why not) take your reborns out in public and received so many interesting answers, particularly about why not to take them out. I will make a separate blog post about this question.
I haven’t shared all of the survey data here, because I’m still working on ways of interpreting and presenting the results. But, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the world of reborns according to Rose Doll Expo attendees!