And the Harry Potter eBay offerings just got weirder: For several hundred pounds, diehard fans can "adopt" ultra-realistic renditions of the franchise's characters as veiny, sleepy-eyed newborns.
British artist Tracy Ann Lister has been unveiling two dolls a night on eBay to much curiosity and revulsion. Complete with baby wrinkles, heavy heads and that matted, post-nap baby hair, the dolls - known as "reborns" - all but breathe.
There's Harry Potter in his Gryffindor jumper, a lightning scar marring his brow. For £569, he can be yours. Looking more like Gollum than a newborn, gnarly Dobby the House Elf is a steal at £125.
Points for creepiest go to Severus Snape, who at four pounds and 20-inches long, sports a scowl and stringy black hair, just like his counterpart Alan Rickman.
"Behold the twisted limbs of baby Dobby, the furry face of Baby Remus Lupin, and stare into the snake eyes of Baby Voldemort!" Meredith Woerner teased at io9.com, a science fiction blog.
It may not be the kind of attention the reborn industry had in mind: a budding community of dollmakers working mostly in Canada, the United States, Britain and Australia, the artists and sculptors say they've been maligned by the freak factor of their beyond-real creations; they say they merely cater to collectors who used to amass porcelain dolls.
The reborn dolls are typically made of vinyl, their heads topped with individually woven mohair treads, their limbs filled with fine glass sand. Some are scented with baby powder and a handful even get heartbeats. They range in price from $200 to $11,500, depending on the level of detail. Each tot comes with an adoption certificate.
Who buys them?
Aside from collectors (most of them women), reborns are sometimes used in nursing homes with dementia patients. Some parents who have lost premature babies buy the dolls as memorials, special ordering replicas of their preemie. Others buy dolls in their own likeness for their grandparents, while others still buy likenesses of their own children, which they hand off as these children grow up and get married.
Obviously a snake-eyed baby Voldemort would do nobody any good in these situations, but Harry Potter fans: Would you splurge on a baby Remus Lupin?Report Typo/Error