Monday, October 31, 2022

Creepy Baby Doll by Spirit Halloween

Happy Halloween!  I know I posted a review very recently, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to do a little something on this spooky day...

Creepy Baby Doll from Spirit Halloween, $26.99.

This actually wasn't the doll I intended to review today.  I had my sights set on this nightmare-inducing duo:

The Grady Twins from The Shining by Living Dead.
But that would have been a fairly long review, and I simply didn't have time this week.

I also bought some haunted dolls on Etsy, and they'll make an appearance on Patreon.  

But what really distracted me is that my husband showed me an article in the Washington Post last month, and immediately knew that I'd have to say something about it here--preferably on Halloween:


The article is about an adorable little girl named Briar Rose, and how she saw the Creepy Baby Doll at a Spirit Halloween store, begged her mother to buy it for her (saying, "it needs me, mommy"), and then proceeded to take "Creepy Chloe" with her everywhere.  It's an amazing story and I love it.

Also, the doll looks unexpectedly high-quality in the beautiful photos from that article, and so I was curious to see Creepy Baby Doll for myself.  The promotional photos on Spirit Halloween don't make her look very good--especially given the $26.99 price tag:

Creepy Baby Doll, $26.99.
The doll's head and limbs are meant to look crazed, like an old composition doll, but the crazing lines look painted and fake in the promo.  They look much more three dimensional in the Washington Post article.

Let's see what this unusual baby actually looks like.

She comes simply packaged against a black sheet of cardboard with a subtle tree branch silhouette design:

The card that she's on is very minimalist.  All it says is "Creepy Baby Doll" with the Spirit logo:

Straight to the point.
The doll's coloring is less tacky in real life than it is in the advertisements.  Her eyes are pure black and her lips are a sickly dark lavender:


I'm not sure why I decided she's female--there's no designation anywhere.  Maybe it's because she was named Chloe in the Washington Post article?  I think I'll call her Drusilla, after the doll-loving vampire character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Drusilla has a floppy cloth body and so she can't sit up on her own.  I had to prop her against various objects:


She's about 14 inches in length, so would be taller than my fearless assistant, Lena, if she was able to stand up straight:

I have some skin cream you could try, Dru.
Her face is quite realistic...and a little sweet.  I can see why Briar Rose was drawn to her.


And, indeed, the crazing lines have texture to them!  All of the little cracks are actual indentations in the paint:


There are paints available these days that automatically generate a crackle or cracked finish, so maybe that's how they achieved this look?  It's pretty cool.

The eyes have a simplified, alien shape and are shiny black plastic with some dark shading around the edges:


Here's a closer look:


And I didn't even realize this as I was taking pictures of Drusilla, but if you look carefully at this next close-up, you'll see that there's a baby spider crawling on her eye!  Ack!


Her mouth is opened and has a shaded center.  There are some small scuffs and chips in the paint around the lips:

But no spiders in her mouth, thank goodness.
The textured paint on Dru's hands is especially well-done.  The surface feels coarse from all of the little cracks:


It almost looks like the hand of an authentic antique doll!


The feet are not painted as well as the head and hands, though, and I'm not sure why:


The dark lines here don't have as much subtlety or dimensionality, and they don't look as realistic:


Drusilla has a short-torsoed body that is made out of fabric and designed to look old and moldy:


The fabric is a light, sickly green and is covered with realistic-looking darker mildew spots:


There's a velcro seam on the back of the body:


This seam opens to reveal a large black box with wires coming out of it:


Drusilla has a sound and light feature that is controlled by this box.

The box has a battery compartment (with batteries included!) and a switch with three settings: "sensor," "off," and "try me."


When the switch is in the "try me" setting, pushing forcefully on Drusilla's tummy activates the rectangular button on the bottom left of this box.  When the switch is on the "sensor" setting, the small metal sensor on the right side of the box detects the smallest contact with Dru's tummy--causing the sound feature to activate much more frequently (basically every three seconds):


Here's what happens when the button is pressed or the sensor is activated:


Yikes.  I don't think I'd want my child to have a doll making that sound at night time!  The box is hard, too, and takes up a lot of space in the torso.  Hopefully Briar Rose's mom took Creepy Chloe's batteries out or replaced that box with some extra stuffing.

I wondered if Drusilla would be more or less spooky if she was dressed in real baby clothes, so I bought her some cheap jammies:


I think she looks like a baby alien here...and maybe a little less spooky.

I tried her in an orange-colored romper that I thought might be more appropriate for Halloween:


She's a little creepier in this outfit:

But I think she's more of a mold than an autumn.
While I was playing with Drusilla, my mind kept wandering back to the DALL-E image generator I talked about a few weeks ago.  I came up with some pretty terrifying baby doll pictures the last time I was experimenting with that software!

So I went back to DALL-E to see if I could recreate Drusilla's appearance by requesting "a photograph of an old, antique baby doll with cracks on its face, no hair, and black eyes, wearing a romper and sitting in the dark."

Here are a few of the best results:


The lighting is ominous in that photo, but the doll looks pretty cute overall.

This one is more alarming...

Scarface.
DALL-E couldn't reliably figure out the "cracked face" or "black eye" part of my request, which is too bad, but what it really struggles with is generating hands and feet:

Especially feet.
This next one wins, though, because nothing is more gruesome than a melting eye!


Anyway, I'll end with a few more photos of Drusilla, who I think looks best in this grey floral romper:


She looks good enough that she could lure you in...

...and eat your face.
It's fun to use photo filters with Dru because she's so unusual.  These bring out the alien baby vibe even more:

Area 51 Polaroid.
This one is my favorite:


But Drusilla doesn't really need filters since she has her own demon-eyed special effect!




Bottom line?  I think Drusilla is a great Halloween companion, and I hope she spooks some of our trick-or-treating visitors tonight!  I was pleasantly surprised by her quality and would like to thank Briar Rose for the indirect recommendation.  There was a larger child doll on the Spirit Halloween website who sold out quickly, and now I kinda wish I'd purchased her, too.  Maybe next year.

For now, Drusilla and I wish all of you a safe and spooky evening!

Sleep tight.

12 comments:

  1. I didn't expect another review so soon, and a festively spooky one at that! Happy Halloween Emily!

    Lena is very brave, and very helpful, lol.

    I wouldn't have expected this much quality from a doll from Spirit! The cracks on the head look like pretty realistic aging, and that spider? An awful and well deserved chef's kiss to the sculptor.

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    1. Thank you, Bitty! I don't deserve Lena. She's the best assistant ever--and somehow always manages to look good. And I totally agree about the pleasant surprise in quality! As doll collectors, we don't expect a doll that's sold open-faced on a card to be much good! But this one is interesting. That little girl Briar Rose has good taste. Happy Halloween to you, too! :)

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  2. What an endearing story! Such a clever design too - any dirt and chipping will only add to her appeal. I'm a bit worried about the electronics, but the terminator eyes are pretty cool.

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    1. Right? I feel like that little girl has a kind heart and will be good for the world. The type of person who adopts an unwanted older pet or something like that. And I agree that Dru could suffer some bumps and scuffs and only look better. Terminator eyes is a perfect reference; wish I'd thought of that! I'll be back. ;D

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  3. not gonna lie, I *love* that sound/light effect. it makes me want to buy a drusilla of my own!

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    1. She's pretty great! Watch for promos; if you put something in your cart at that store, they might send you a discount (20% off) a day or two later... ;)

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  4. Oh my Lordy, I love everything about this doll! You're right, she's perfect for Halloween!

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  5. I think I love your Halloween reviews most of all!—MnGrl

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  6. Not gonna lie, she's kinda terrifying, especially with that lights and sound feature! But I can appreciate how nice the design and paint/texture are. Definitely a cool Halloween doll.

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  7. Thanks for my nightmares tonight, Emily :<
    (I still love you but I'm really not good with scary stuff!)

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  8. Hi emily! Do you have an email? I have a mytwin doll that i would love to get restored!

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    1. I do have an email (emily at toyboxphilosopher.com), but I'm no longer working on My Twinn dolls (unfortunately!) since I have not been able to find the time. Sorry! :(

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