This woman has over 300 in her collection. Around 500 in fact. Marilyn Mansfield cares for her collection just like a mother would with her kids. She says cuddling her dolls and caring for them just comes natural for her.
Talk about lifelike.
The dolls are positioned all over the house. Some sleeping in prams and cribs, others displayed in seated poses, and all wearing different outfits.
Marilyn goes in to the living room where a lot of her dolls like to “hang out” as she says. She spends on real baby furniture too. Everything she shows the cameraman has a purpose to it. Do you see Chucky? How about Pee-wee Herman?
When Marilyn has a stressful day, all she needs to do is hold one of her “babies”, hang out with her family and that’s enough to take away the day’s worries. But how did her obsession with dolls start?
She says her fascination with them started as early as she can remember. When she was around 7 or 8, she had a doll called “Real Baby”. It weighed around 2 pounds and it was as realistic for her back then as her newer ones today.
She still has that doll too.
Thirty years on and Marilyn’s New York home is filled with around 500 dolls.
All kinds of dolls too.
Including a life sized doll that she rescued. Her husband and 2 kids are very supportive of mom though. They help her take good care of them and in some ways, even treat them as part of the family.
Her husband Zoth says,
“I don’t necessarily feel that the dolls take over the home, after all this is a doll house and what would the doll house be without dolls.”
He makes a good point. Where other homes have paintings or sculptures, their home has dolls. And there is always room for more.
Marilyn cradles a new baby doll she calls Divina Star. The doll uses her son’s hair so “she has the family DNA”. Her kids do see the dolls as their little brothers and sisters to an extent, holding and grooming the dolls themselves from time to time.
And just like any family, she takes them out for walks too.
Those strollers belonged to her kids and since they’ve outgrown them, it only made sense to Marilyn to use them for her dolls. Imagine the reactions she gets from strangers. It does come with the territory.
Marilyn doesn’t expect people to understand nor does she judge others but she admits that they do get judged from time to time.
“Some people get it, some people don’t. And that’s fine, we don’t expect everyone to understand and we really don’t care what people think.”
There you go. It’s not like they’re doing anything illegal. There are much stranger and unorthodox practices out there that would shock many people. In the end, Marilyn and her family are just like you and me, living their lives with a hobby of theirs. What do you collect?
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