THE ‘REBORN’ festival in Bilbao took place last weekend. Not to be confused with a musical festival of some sort, the trade fair displayed a selection of baby dolls, known as vinyl babies, that have been made with such precision it is incredibly hard to tell if they are real or not.
The life-like creations by designers from Los Babyclon workshop are made by painting layers of platinum silicone (the same material used by cosmetic surgeons in their operations) over a traditional vinyl doll.
Attendees over the weekend were able to see a set of baby Avatar dolls, a trio of new-borns with strange markings on their heads and even a baby chimpanzee wearing a hat.
There was also a selection of animatronic dolls that can move and make noises, albeit when they have been sufficiently charged.
The dolls come with a hefty price tag with the stars of the show, the Avatar types, costing around €2,500. The animatronic dolls fetch over €3,000 each, although the more basic creations are available for around €1,200.
The show was the first of its kind in the northern Spanish city and continues a craze started in Germany.
Cristina Iglesias, the Director of Los Babyclon, told Vice that they are the only company in the world that specialises in making the babies made from silicon.
She said: ‘This business is practically the only of its kind in the world you could say. There are various doll designers but they are made in a more traditional way.’
‘At first I thought this was very strange, I didn’t understand that baby dolls could be made from silicone. After I saw that the products are saleable I decided to pursue the business but make them in a distinctive and better way than what already existed in the market.’
Despite looking incredibly realistic Cristina says most who come across the designs do not confuse them with real babies as most of their key clients are collectors or those who wish to create their own with the starter kits they sell.
Cristina added: ‘’There are two branches in the sale of these dolls: one is the final collector who buys at a factory price and another is the reborn artist, who buy the Babyclon directly from the mould, paint it and prepare it and then they sell it to collectors.’