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Their vacant stares give nothing away, but their maker insists these dolls carry secrets


EL RENO, OKLAHOMA-- She came from a family of seven kids.

So toys, especially dolls, were a kind of luxury Qupid Warren could rarely afford.

"When I was young we didn't have dolls," she chuckles. "We had work."

Years later, all grown up, Qupid doesn't just play with dolls.

She builds them by the dozen.

They're all girls to start, white, brown, red.

She gives them haircuts, dresses them, and sells them at craft fairs and flea markets around Oklahoma.

"You build them, stack them up, then go back and dress them," she says.

But these figures don't just offer a chance to re-visit lost childhood.

They aren't necessarily Warren's method of keeping arthritis at bay.

Each one of her dolls also has a secret.

"You can see that all of my babies have nice little smiles," she says. "Like, 'I know a secret'."

Civil War soldiers were the first to use dolls to smuggle medicine or documents past enemy pickets.

Qupid's sister bought her another doll years ago and that got her thinking about what she could to re-use and repurpose old materials.

The secret each of her dolls carries, they're all hollow, built around a jar where no one would ever think to look.

Warren demonstrates, "Put your money in. Put the head back down, and you see no money anywhere."

In 2011 she received a patent on these doll receptacles.

They now sit quietly on shelves all over Oklahoma concealing extra keys, loose change, medicine.

No one would ever think to steal and old doll let alone rip its head off to look inside.

That's the secret that belongs to Qupid, her customers, and to her dolls who will never, ever tell.