Information about recast BJDs

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What is a recast?

A recast is a copy of a doll (or doll part) made from moulds of, or digital scanning of, existing dolls. When done without the express permission of the original artist or company, this is a violation of the original artist's or company's exclusive right to control the reproduction of their own intellectual property. These recasts are a violation of the artist's or company's exclusive rights whether they are made for personal use or for sale.

What does it mean to be ___?

  • Recast: An unauthorized copy of a doll or doll part made from an existing part without the express permission of the original artist or company. This is a violation of the artist's or company's exclusive right to control the reproduction of their own intellectual property. Synonyms: counterfeit, bootleg.
  • Legitimate: An original doll or doll part made and approved by the original artist or company. Synonym: legit.
  • Recast Friendly: A stance that is for recasts or actively looks for and purchases recasts. Synonym: Pro-recast.
  • Recast Neutral: A stance that accepts recasts without openly supporting them. In practice, it is similar to being recast friendly.
  • Pro-Artist: A stance that is against recasts. Supports the original artist or company by purchasing a doll directly through them, their approved vendors, or through research on the second hand market. Synonym: Anti-recast.

How to Spot a Recast

Ebay, Facebook, Tumblr and other sites are filled with recasts. Some people label them as recasts, but others do not – they may just not think about it, or they may try to purposefully lie and say that their recast doll is legit.

Here are some things that may be an indication of a recast doll. Most recasts, especially newer ones, will not have every one of these traits.

Color: A doll may be a recast if it is offered in a color that is unavailable from the original company. For example, if the original company only sold dolls in white or normal skin, then blue or purple dolls may be recasts. If a used legit doll has been dyed, this will usually be noted in the description, and there is usually some unevenness to the coloring.

Markings: Some dolls have stamps or engraving on the inside of the head or headcap, or right/left indications inside arms and legs. Legit dolls' markings are usually deeper and cleaner. Markings inside a recast doll may be missing or look faint.

Connectors: Recasts may have resin hooks or metal s-hooks where the legit company usually uses magnetic parts, for example in hands or feet.

Price: Recasts are often – but not always – much cheaper than legit dolls.

Seller: Only official dealers have the authority to sell a company's doll as a 'new' item. Research sellers to make sure they are official dealers for the dolls they sell. If you are buying a used doll, ask if the seller has feedback on DoA or another site.

Rarity: If a doll has been sold out for years on a company website, be wary about buying from a seller that has ‘new’ dolls in stock or available to order, especially if the price is too good to be true.

Quality: Most recent recasts are of average quality. However, the quality of older recast dolls may be noticeably lower than legit dolls, with rough edges, large seams and extra resin in abnormal areas. In a few instances where a legit company was having trouble with quality control, a recast may be better quality than the original, but this is rare.

Shrinkage: The process of recasting can result in dolls that are smaller than the original. If a doll is significantly smaller than a known legit version, it could be a recast. This issue is less frequent on newer recasts.

Channels: Sometimes the channels for elastic inside doll parts may be smaller or larger than those on a legit doll, or have extra resin inside, or noticeable seams inside the parts. This issue is less frequent on newer recasts.

Headplates: Some companies attach plates on the back of dolls’ heads to mark that they are legit. Recasts may be missing the headplates, but be aware that headplates can be copied. A replicated headplate may be made of a different material, be a slightly different color, shape, or size, and any text may look blurry or fuzzy. If there is a serial number, it might be random or might be the number for a different doll. However, some do have the correct number and appear similar to an authentic one.

Note that many dolls – especially older ones – do not have headplates. Sometimes headplates come unglued and fall off, so if you are buying a used doll with a missing headplate, check for other clues to determine whether it is legit.

Certificates of authenticity: If a doll is sold as new without a certificate of authenticity, it may be a recast. Older dolls may not have come with CoAs, but most newer ones do. However, CoAs may be copied. Some recasters do a good job of copying CoAs, but here are some things to look for when comparing an unknown CoA with a legit one: • lower quality with blurry text or incorrect colors • the wrong font for stamped serial numbers or dates • paper that is too thick or too thin • serial numbers that are random or for the wrong doll

Identifying recasts on Ebay

Here are some things to look out for on Ebay listings:

Generic listing titles: Some Ebay recast sellers use generic listing titles like '1/3 BJD SD head' and never say anything about the company or sculpt name.

Long title using multiple company/sculpt names: Some recast sellers mix up multiple companies' proprietary names and sizes in their listing titles, like '1/3 SD Uncle’. Some use multiple company or sculpt names in the same title 'Volks DOD Soom,' or 'SD fairyland littlefee reni mio shue soom.'

No official dealership: Some recast sellers offer a wide range of sculpts from a wide variety of companies, many of which do not have official dealers. Official dealers (such as Doll'sSinging/jeeryama) will mention it in their listings.

Doll doesn't come like the photo: Some recast sellers show photos stolen from company websites to advertise their recasts. They will frequently offer 'free faceup+eyes,' but the faceup will not look like the photo. They may even say something like 'the faceup will only be 75% similar to the photo.' The wig/outfit/shoes shown in the photo are normally not available either; recasts are sold without clothes.

What BJD makers say about recasts

Click the company name to read their statement.