YouTubers get a bad rep for constantly shilling their merch, but this family channel’s commitment to getting personal with fans is on another level.
The Inghams, and their 1.2 million subscribers, welcomed their fourth child Jace into the world in March. His birth was documented and shared in a video titled “EMOTIONAL LIVE BIRTH – LABOUR AND DELIVERY!”
But for subscribers who weren’t satisfied with being invited to Jace’s delivery room, parents Chris and Sarah Ingham went even further. They designed a lifelike baby doll, modeled after Jace at two weeks old, that followers can buy and take care of for only £279.00, or about $340.
Here’s baby Jace, at just over two weeks old.
And here’s his reborn baby recreation, available on reborn baby retailer Mary Shortle.
The couple surprised their two older daughters with Doll Jace No. 1 in a video posted last week. In the vlog, Sarah says there are “only 250” dolls available for purchase. Each Doll Jace comes with a onesie printed with a design from Esmé, Jace’s sister.
For an additional £65 — or about $79 — followers can also purchase an accessories kit that comes with Ingham family branded diapers, three onesies, a blanket, a pacifier attached to a beaded Jace string, and a birth certificate “hand-signed” by the Ingham family.
If that doesn’t make you feel close enough to the family, customers who buy the Doll Jace will also be invited to one of their “specially organised baby Jace Tea parties” to meet the Ingham family in person.
“Strictly for the new owner of baby Jace reborn,” the Mary Shortle product description notes.
Doll Jace is part of a larger reborn collection associated with the Ingham family. Dedicated subscribers can also buy pacifiers, booties, hats, and other doll accessories.
Reborn dolls are popular among parents who lost children, or people who don’t, or can’t, have biological children of their own. While it’s seen as a coping mechanism, some social media users were thoroughly creeped out by the family pushing a silicone recreation of their son as merch.
They’re called reborn babies and they’re meant for people who’ve lost their new borns to help cope with their less but the Ingham family are doing them as merch and it’s their baby, they’re just asking for pedos to buy this ffs
— James (@JPainter_) July 24, 2019
Even their own fans found it unsettling.
Chris dismissed the negative comments, which he claims have been “the minority.” In a statement to BuzzFeed News, he said people “thrive on negativity” and “tend to only focus on that.”
“Completely disregard all the positivity and overwhelming support in favor of the gossip and ‘drama’ side of life instead,” he continued. “Which is very sad.”
Last year, the Ingham family faced backlash after a 16-year-old accused Chris of hitting on her, and said he encouraged her to skinny dip with him at his hotel.
Twitter users brought that up, too.
Chris Ingham + family are also holding a meet and greet for the first 250 who buy that doll, there’s proof from at least four girls that he’s a creep, he manipulates his viewers buy using HIS kids in an attempt to make people feel sorry for him, he cannot get away with this https://t.co/eYr2c8nlpq
— amy (@fumerosbeatz) July 25, 2019
The family did not respond to Mashable’s requests for comment.