In this Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 photo, a "child angel" doll is offered food by its owner Supavadee Tapmalai at a Japanese restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
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Mix one part superstition, two parts fashion, a dab of celebrity idolatry and a heap of media frenzy, and what do you get? "Child angel" dolls, the latest craze in Thailand.The dolls occupy a niche somewhere between Buddhist amulets, beloved by gamblers, gangsters and policemen for their reputed magical protective powers, and Furby toys, adored by children for their cuteness.It's not a strictly Buddhist practice, and at least one temple reportedly banned the doll blessings, but easygoing Thais aren't fussy about blending Hindu ritual and other elements into their religion.Dolls are more popular with a younger, urban crowd, including celebrities.It has been suggested that the dolls also have more macabre associations, or at least antecedents.
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