Madeline and Malachi Dressel are childhood sweethearts who share a love for vintage clothing, secondhand goods, and throwback design.
In 2016, they found a child-sized doll at the thrift store and felt an instant connection to it.
While Madeline always loved dolls as a little girl, Malachi only realized his affinity for them after the couple moved in together. He says he was always encouraged to play with “manly” toys as a kid, but after seeing the doll, he was happy to embrace an entirely new type of hobby and lifestyle.
And so the couple brought home their first life-sized doll from the thrift store that day … and the rest is history.
For the last three years, Madeline and Malachi have collected more than 200 “plastic children,” including 30 life-sized dolls, and live with them in their home in South Carolina. The dolls, they say, are not meant to replace actual children, but instead they use them as a creative outlet.
On Instagram, the Dressel “family” documents their daily lives as they participate in all sorts of activities from shopping to tea parties. Madeline and Malachi say they started the account to poke some lighthearted fun at their friends who constantly share staged family photos and ask them when they’ll have children of their own.
“Some of the dolls are over 50 years old, so they pamper them with ‘spa days’ where they spend hours cleaning and restoring them,” Barcroft TV reports.
While some critics call the Dressels’ plastic family “creepy” and “disturbed,” Madeline and Malachi say they’re proud of their massive collection.
Due to restrictions, this video cannot
be viewed in your region.