"If we are going to be the creepy doll people, we are going to own it," says Madeline Dressel.
A couple, obsessed with all things vintage, have a new obsession- collecting plastic dolls. Childhood sweethearts Madeline and Malachi Dressel, both 35, are so obsessed with collecting dolls, that they have about 200 of them. This includes 30 life-sized dolls, and the couple treats all their dolls as their "plastic children", according to Daily Mail. The couple opened their home in South Carolina to accommodate their dolls. Madeline Dressel says they haven't been collecting for long, adding, "The majority of our collection together, especially the large dolls, has been the last three years."
"About 2016 is when we stumbled upon the first big [doll] at the thrift store. And it really grew from there." Madeline has always been a huge fan of collecting dolls, especially since she was a child, but for her husband Malachi, it all began when he got married to Madeline. He described his childhood as a "quintessential male upbringing in the US" and was always encouraged to play with something "manly." Of course, back then, dolls were just not considered masculine. But all that's changed for him and he loves his dolls just as much as his wife does, and he's even contributed to the huge collection.
The couple, who want to share their obsession with the world, have an Instagram account through which they share updates. They also have a website called "all my plastic children" where they share photos of their adorable 'family' playing in the park, baking and having tea parties together. The couple say they started the account to poke fun at friends and relatives who keep asking them why they don't have children of their own. The couple claim they're aware that dolls aren't a replacement for children, but it's a creative outlet for them, as they love to play, restore and create scenes with dolls. They even make memes about their plastic children!
However, not everyone is a fan of the lifestyle that the Dressels lead, with Madeline saying social media comments call them "very disturbed." She said, "I think most people actually... when it's explained to them a little bit in context, they think it's pretty interesting, it's pretty funny. They may not want to meet the actual dolls in person themselves but they get a kick out of the picture and the idea." She added, "If we are going to be the creepy doll people, we are going to own it." Since some of the dolls they own are over 50-years-old, they take utmost care of it, and even give them "spa days."
They even go thrift shopping for the dolls to dress them up! While some friends of the couple understand their obsession and encourage them, others don't really know how to react to this, including Malachi's best friend Michael. Michael has admitted that he finds the whole thing creepy, but he believes their hobby is simply "amazing." "I think it's one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my entire life. The fact that they are so candid and really don't care what other people think. That's one of the reasons why I love both of them. They are some of the weirdest, most upfront people." But despite it all, the Dressels aren't afraid of their collection and they want nothing more than to let the whole world know about their obsession.