The collector doll market is now dominated by reborn Berenguer dolls. A quick search of Ebay shows that a majority of the auctions for rebrons involve the Berenguer dolls in some way. Reborns are referred to as such because skilled artists have taken a normal doll and created a new, life like creation. The doll has been reborn!
These creative creations first started appearing in the early 1990s in the United States. As collectors and owners started seeing the high level of skill, unique techniques and rare quantities created their popularity and value grew. Increasing their popularity, the world wide media picked up coverage of these dolls.
The media, and the public in general, find these dolls very interesting. They are so life like they are easily mistaken for real babies. Police have even broken out windows in cars to "save" these "babies"! Perhaps more than the life like appearance, they way many owners treat these dolls is the cause for the media attention.
Many reborn owners are more than collectors. They do not keep their purchases locked in glass cases to be paraded around only at conventions and expos. These reborn Berenguer doll owners treat the dolls as though they were real babies. They are dressed, washed, groomed and talked to as though they are real. They are taken out in strollers and on shopping trips to the store. The life like nature of the dolls is so uncanny they can easily pass as real babies unless you are virtually inches from them.
Some people find this kind of attention lavished on a doll as "weird" or "creepy" but in reality most owners are completely normal. Some enjoy the feeling of playing with dolls just like they did as a child. Others buy the dolls to fill an emotional void in there lives. Mental health professionals have found that using reborn Berenguer dolls to help them get over their feelings of loss and sadness after a child has passed is very helpful.
While a reborn should never be bought for someone else who has lost a baby or is dealing with other emotional traumas, if a person thinks it will help them, they should buy one for themselves. As long as the dolls are used in moderation and person does not literally think they are real, they can be useful tools is mediating grief.
Reborn Berenguer dolls are the most popular because of the high quality of the base doll. Berenguer dolls come from a long line of Spanish master doll makers. They are known for their top quality and expressive faces. Salvador Berenguer, the patriarch of the doll dynasty, used the faces of his children and grandchildren for inspiration for the faces of his dolls.
If you're interested in purchasing a completed reborn doll or kit, make sure you're getting a Berenguer doll as the basis for the new doll.