I have a very interesting history when it comes to dolls. My grandmother was known for having the Fed Ex man come everyday, always delivering another porcelain doll. She had cabinets full of them, all staring out and trying to make a weird connection with passerby. Or at least that’s how I saw them when I was a small child. When she passed, she left me her dolls, and I wish I knew about this company before donating the collection to a women’s and children’s center. Only because they probably would have had a better chance at survival if they had been adopted out Unsettling Toys.
Unsettling Toys is a company created by Sara Derrickson and Brian Jilson of Portland, Oregon. They’ve created this company to give dolls that are labeled as creepy or unsettling a new chance at life. They will consult you one on one and find you a match that is just right for you. Sometimes when dolls get placed with the wrong homes the owners will find a way to get rid of them, including burning them in a fire. They strive to find the perfect homes so that the dolls, haunted or otherwise will have a nice life alongside their new adopter.
They offer other services as well such as rehoming and toy removal. In an instance of toy removal they will come to your home and compassionately remove the doll from your home. They want the doll to feel loved and be happy with this new transition. They really care about all their toys and each has a name and a story of their life before. When you buy from them you not only get a toy but you get their history so that you know how to properly care for them. Some of the dolls have experienced a trauma and need special accommodations.
You can watch VICE’s interview with the couple in the YouTube video below. Though I have to warn you, if you get unnerved by seeing creepy things, you may want to pass on watching it.
He’s a bartender and she’s a school psychologist, but, on the side, they help haunted or otherwise creepy toys find new homes.
Sara and Brian take us behind the scenes of their business removing and rehoming creepy toys that are “with spirit” or just unsettling. Portland couple Sara and Brian try to keep up with what started on a lark but is quickly becoming a growing community of people and strange dolls.