A YouTuber family from the UK is selling a doll version of their newborn son for $340 so fans can feel like they are cuddling him in their very own homes.
The Ingham Family, led by parents Chris and Sarah, have 1.2 million subscribers who watch their vlogs chronicling the lives of their four children.
Little Jace was born on March 27 and at 10 days old got his own Instagram account. He joined older sisters Isabelle, 13; Esmé, 9; and Isla, 7.
His entire labor and delivery were of course recorded and posted to the family’s YouTube channel, with the eye-grabbing title: “EMOTIONAL LIVE BIRTH.”
On July 19, the parents surprised Isabelle and Esmé during a vlog by telling them they had designed an extremely lifelike doll version of Jace.
The doll was designed by UK-based toy designer Mary Shortle, and retails for $340 — £279 — by itself. The customer can also add a “hamper” of baby accessories and outfits, bringing the total up to $418, or £344.
The toy company said on its website the doll is based on Jace at 2 weeks old, and is a limited edition. Only 250 dolls will be produced and sold.
“The realistically adorable features allow you to have your own little Jace!” the company said.
For superfans who buy the doll, the company is also offering “the opportunity to bring your Baby Jace reborn to one of the specially organized baby Jace Tea parties to be announced, where you will meet the Ingham family.”
This special privilege will be “strictly for the new owner of baby Jace reborn” and will consist of meeting the family and having dessert and drinks with them.
Chris Ingham told BuzzFeed News the family has an “incredible” relationship with Shortle, and their daughters are huge fans of the dolls. He said the idea came up during a meeting the family had with the company.
The doll is not “a replica doll of Jace or even one that has been manufactured to look like him, Ingham said, “but a normal baby reborn doll that was called Jace Ingham and meant to represent our baby boy.”
He added he thought the collaboration was a “great opportunity” for their fans.
“Baby reborn dolls bring so much joy and happiness to so many children and people alike throughout the world — our children included,” he said. “So why not bring something positive to our own followers like that?”
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Doll Jace and Human Jace. Can you tell which is which?
Human Jace is on the left.
After the couple announced the partnership, some people online questioned why they were doing this.
Many were worried about who exactly would buy this.
Some said it was “next level.”
“It’s a big yikes from me.”
However, the family’s fans said in comments on their YouTube video that they liked the idea.
“Aww this is so cute and such an amazing idea, i was starting to think Jace has a twin!” said one commenter.
“This is so cool!” another said. “I’m proud of you guys for following your dreams and that you’re doing whatever you want to do. Don’t listen to people‘s ‘creepy’ ‘weird’ ‘unfollowed.’ They just can’t see what we others see. Love you guys.”
Chris Ingham said the majority of the responses have been positive and the negative comments have been “the minority.”
“Unfortunately we live in a world where people thrive on negativity so tend to only focus on that,” he said. “Completely disregard all the positivity and overwhelming support in favor of the gossip and ‘drama’ side of life instead. Which is very sad.”
This isn’t the first time the family has faced controversy. Last year, Chris Ingham was accused of sending “seedy” texts to teenage girls, according to the Sun. He declined to comment to the newspaper at the time. Ingham did not immediately return a request for comment on the matter from BuzzFeed News.