Friday, May 18, 2007

Seriously Creepy Shit

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for this quite frankly insane bit of business.

produces made to order dolls, based on digital photographs that customers upload to the website. The company was founded by two parents whose youngest daughter was starting day-care. To help make her feel safe and secure, they created mini versions of themselves that she could take with her. The concept spread by word of mouth, and it turned out the dolls weren't just popular with children. Grandparents order pocket versions of their grandchildren and long distance couples order mini-me-and-yous.

Yeah, they'll make you a cheap doll with a photo of a loved one plastered on the head. For real.

If folks all over the Internet weren't swearing that it's real, I'd think this HAD to be an elaborate gag. These things cost $50. And the concept doesn't even make sense! You're supposed to miss this person less because you had their likeness attached to a cheap piece of cloth? How superficial would you have to be for that to work? I mean, don't people miss one another's companionship and personality, as opposed to simply their presence? It's like, I miss my friends who live in far-flung locations...I don't miss having something around that vaguely resembles them.

The website itself is really creepy. Photos of children hugging these dolls, caressing them, even. What a wonderful message to send that special kid in your life. "I'm too busy to spend any actual time with you, little one," the doll seems to say, "but please accept this overpriced trinket made up to resemble me, in a kind of half-assed fashion, to tide you over until some actual human companionship can be arranged by my administrative assistant or, if he is busy rolling calls, someone from the mailroom."

My one remaining question: do they have fat dolls available to resemble portly loved ones? If not, isn't that discriminatory? And if so, are there frequently cases in which the doll company is forced to make a fat person into a slender doll in order to spare someone's feelings? Is this what a tough executive decision is like at the Tiny Pocket People (creeeeeeeepy...) doll company? Because that would be pretty awesome.

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