Every community/social circle/hobby has a sticking point, an issue, that keeps the members talking, debating, arguing, or just in general thinking. So far as I can tell, THE issue for the ball-jointed doll community is recasts. Which makes sense. I mean, it equates pretty well to the other issues. Organic vs. GMO. Breeders vs. Puppy Mills vs. Adopt. Recasts/Counterfeits vs. Artists/Legitimates. There’s always a line in the sand, although in this case I can almost see both sides.
BJDs are expensive; there is no changing that. I held off from jumping into this hobby for years because of the prices. But you gotta know the what goes into those beautiful dolls. The artist first sculpts the original, then makes the molds, the prototypes, maybe goes through a bunch of stages… the end result is selling pre-orders and casting all the pieces and assembling the dolls by hand, after which they are sent off to buyers all over the Earth. But then one of those dolls is bought by a recaster. They use the doll to make a mold. They didn’t put in all those work hours, so they can sell their cast of the doll cheaper. Sometimes another recaster buys a recast, and on, and on… like a xerox of a xerox. Eventually the resulting dolls have a significant height difference, and maybe by this point flaws are starting to add up. These recasts are still relatively expensive, but they aren’t the real thing.
I’ve seen other arguments against recasts, too. That they aren’t as well finished; the seams aren’t sanded; the resin is a lower quality and bad for your health [all resin is technically bad for your health, but hopefully you aren’t eating your dolls…]; they don’t pose as well; the resin is brittle and cracks… on and on… I’ve also seen some arguments FOR recasts. Custom colors. Retired sculpts. Cheap way of starting into the hobby. Still, for the most part, people who buy recasts are shunned by the whole ‘social’ part of the hobby, and even by some shops [MoC won’t sell to known buyers of recasts or supporters of recasts]. I know they are controversial, and I also know everyone has their own thoughts on the matter. I’m not going to shun someone for buying a recast, but I’m not going to buy one of my own, either [and honestly, I don’t plan on engaging the social side of this hobby, anyways, so the idea of me ‘shunning’ anyone is a little silly]. I really don’t mean this post as a bashing of recasts or a support of recasts, but more an expression of my own frustration :[
I can’t say I haven’t been tempted by recasts– and I don’t mean by their prices, which, honestly, aren’t THAT far off from some of the cheaper or medium legitimate doll companies. Mostly it’s by rare sculpts. I really haven’t been in the hobby very long at all, and there are a few older, discontinued sculpts I would have LOVED to have had the chance to purchase. Soom made a salamander-themed set of two dolls that look just like anthros of one of my favorite animals, the axolotl. That set was limited edition in 2012… I ain’t going to be finding one. But what’s this?~! A seller on eBay that has them?~! Wait. No. They mention making the dolls. They’re recasting.
I guess you could say my reaction to recasts of my favorite discontinued sculpts is the same as my reaction to puppies in the pet stores [because, you know, puppy mills]. On the one hand, part of me is captivated and wants so badly to drag one home. The other part is disgusted and uncomfortable with the whole situation and heading for the door.
Guess I’ll just [eventually] buy a Lupy instead. Axolotls rock.
…and if anyone has a Pipos Dali they’re willing to let go for a fair price… please let me know 😛 *sigh* six-year-old sculpt… ain’t gonna happen…