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Homage Dolls - One company's no-no is another's fortune?

Dec 21, 2010

    1. This discussion started over at the Soom Idealian page and we needed to move it somewhere else, so I wanted to start this discussion with a question.
      Why was it not okay for Nobility Doll to make two Twilight dolls and RingDoll to make an homage doll of Grell from Black Butler but it's okay for Soom's Hyperon to be a fairly blatant homage to Vampire Hunter D?
      And if there is no problem, why?
      Also, if we feel there's no problem with these dolls, should we let companies know that it's okay?
      Also, if you feel there is no problem, how do you feel about people who are a part of this community emailing these companies to tell them to stop?
      I want to know what people think!
    2. I think homage dolls are going on all the time. I just think that things happen to be more ok when a super popular company does it vs. a not as popular company. That seems to be my impression of how it seems to go. Some companies are so well loved that no matter what they do seems to be forgiven whether it is less than imaginative sculpts, defective merchandise, poor customer service etc.
    3. That's honestly how I feel about it too.
      I'm bringing this up because of the situation with RingDoll's Judges and now with the new Soom Idealian.
      If you haven't seen it, here's a picture.

      Honestly, when I look at this doll, I see this.

      I'm curious as to people's opinions.
    4. I don't see Soom's as a copy, unlike Ringdoll's and the other one. They were copied to the detail.
      Sure, this guy looks alike, but there's alot of characters that look like that. It's a more generic look than a doll that's modeled after Robert Pattinson really.
      And homage is one thing, a copy is another.
    5. It's tacky no matter which company does it. End of story for me. Not necessarily illegal, but tacky as all hell and not something I would buy even if it was a character I loved.

      Of course, popularity will forgive any of a number of sins in this world, so Soom prob won't see any issues from it, and it's disappointing since they are supposedly such bastions of creativity that they couldn't come up with a dhampir character without copying D.
    6. double standards, nuff said. Popular companies, especially if they're well established, will get little to no flack while younger companies are more likely to get tons of fuss. Even if both of the homage dolls have details that aren't 100% true to the source, the younger company will be hit much harder than the popular company.

      As you can see, I personally have a problem with that mindset as that was what came to mind the moment I saw Dhamphir. Even though I don't know D personally (I've only seen photo covers, etc), I still recognized him in the new Idealian. Same thing with judges, though I don't know every detail of Grell, I recognized it. And same thing with IOS Osiris, not all 100% accurate but I recognized it as Sebastien. Difference is the popularity of the companies behind the sculpts.

      Also apparently sculpting out of scratch for homage =/= paying homage by taking a pre-existing sculpt and making it feel like the characters it's paying homage to. :?
    7. (Edited: After reading surreality's arguments I actually agree the hypocrisy isn't clear-cut, and I changed my mind on the matter.)

      Also, I'm not sure about the copyright situation. If SOOM is breaking copyrights, sorry, but I don't think it's fair to the original artist, even if the SOOM doll is gorgeous. However, I know that a lot of anime/manga/etc. from Japan are not copyrighted, so then you could get away with the doll.

      I think once whether the copyright thing is cleared, then no I have no problem with copied dolls. Even if it might not be "original," I care more about whether the original artist's rights are being protected than the debate over originality.

      As for customers complaining, I always give them full support. If the company doesn't know what customers want, they will lose money, so it is in the best interest of companies to give some consideration to customer complaints.
    8. I'd have no issue with it if the person who created the character got a small cut but really the vampire hunter D doll is a generic look. yes he looks like vampire hunter d- he also looks like my ex bf. especially in the goth community its not uncommon to see a dude with long dark hair, long coat, and funny hat. :P there was a twilight doll??? i want to see this lol just for the laugh.
    9. I make a living creating characters in a roundabout way. I've done two that are inspired by real people... that I did badly enough that pretty much no one recognized them, or no one really commented. That's in a field where 'celeb lookalikes' are very common, and no one has much of an issue with it. Some are even formally sanctioned, down to the person in question coming in to get bodyscans and photographs. The vast majority are original creations, with designed looks, specific to them.

      They get copied pretty often by 'fellow' vendors.

      I don't like it, but I can't bring myself to get venomously riled about it. Maybe that's part of the reason I can't get too riled about the lookalikes. They're much like the wink-and-a-nudge 'Arachnid Boy' someone may make of Spiderman, or the various toys that we see in toy stores that aren't the licensed commodity, but are the same theme, a very similar look, and with a name and marketing and packaging that call the original to mind -- sometimes enough to outright confuse the two. It happens in so many industries, and is so commonplace, that it's something I genuinely consider a part of day to day life.

      Sometimes it's perfectly legal, and sometimes it isn't. It depends on what is copyrighted, what is trademarked, what is trade dress... it's a lot more complicated than simple copyright. Sometimes things that are actually legal get pulled because the people doing it simply can't afford to fight to prove it in court, and it's easier to stop making the item than spend a fortune to defend the right to keep making it. Larger companies know this, too, and they often do not hesitate to take advantage of it. Some very legitimate things get harmed by this practice, and I actually find that much more problematic than the collection of 'inspired by' goods.
    10. XD i don't get it, make a doll based on a prettier character XD edward just isnt pretty imo, sry twilight fans. jacob doesnt look like jacob tho but edward..hes hilarious XD. i guess for me the jacob dolls fine cause it doesnt really resemble him anyways but robert pattinson should get a cut on his doll sales just for that scowl on the doll lol

      oh and btw, what about the countless minimees out there? ppl get them made based on a character or a real life person. unless you drew the char yourself or its a person you know personally that says its fine, you are paying a company money for a copyrighted character or person-neither of which will see a cut from the sale of their likeness or character. so the company is still profiting at least half the time with the minimee orders for copying anothers likeness. do ppl feel its ok just because its only 80% likeness? :P 80% stealing is still stealing isnt it.
    11. In all honesty, I don't think it's okay to be making money off of another artist's designs unless you have their explicit permission. Just because it is soom does not make everything better. To me, all companies in that sense are equal.

      My opinion on the matter is very consistent. I just don't see the appeal in something that isn't originally designed. I find it unimpressive, and personally, distasteful. I'm not a fan of minimees, homage sculpts, copycat outfits, whatever, you name it. I'm just..uh.. hmm..apathetic? Disdainful of it even?

      Disappointing. It's disappointing.

      I fully recognize that some people would REALLY LOVE to have that unattainable sculpt or whatever, but to ANY ARTIST who has EVER had their work ripped and then profited off of, it hurts. Even if the money itself is not a factor, I would never copy someone else's work without their explicit permission. [provided that i desired to copy =u=;; which i never do.]

      It is one thing to pay homage to an artist or something you love. It is another thing entirely to be making money via that route. The two are discrete and identifiable, I don't see the reason for any confusion of the distinction.
    12. To be fair, I hope they pull this guy off sales for the same reason the other dolls who were pulled. I didn't buy any of the pulled dolls so that's not the reason for my hoping, it's the hypocrisy of the fanbase reaction that makes me sick. But since it's Soom and it's a new (shiny) type of doll (Idealians are bigger aren't they?), I doubt people will throw enough of a fit for Soom to take him off.

      He is beautiful but the double-standards is not.
    13. I keep seeing this accusation slung out, but I am still waiting to see what I asked in the previous thread: is there anyone who said the other ones were not OK that is saying this one is? Seriously, I don't see a single one. I see different people commenting, but as for people who have discussed these issues in other threads, I see them having the same opinion in those threads as they did in others.
    14. Personally I didn't/don't care either way. If companies want to make a bunch of homage dolls, that's fine by me. Because if you ask me I don't really think much of anything is "original", and just about everything is a derivative of something else.

      As far as the Soom thing goes, the people posting in that thread didn't look to be the same people posting in the RD thread, from what I can remember. I kind of left early on because stuff like that isn't for me. So I think that's why the atmosphere was different.
    15. So far no, but the silence actually does speak loud about the issue. Also the downplaying of Soom's D homage compared to the stink about AS, RD, etc. Also even if the homage isn't 100% with the Dhamphir, the same goes for the pulled dolls, which somehow escapes notice. :\

      I have no problem with homage dolls, I find them ingenious as long as they're not recasts of pre-existing stuff but the reactions towards them are what's bothering me.
    16. The only people entitled to "throw a fit" are the original artists/copyright holders. Period. Where does this alleged "fan base" get off, pretending to protect the true interested parties by driving a product off the market? It's mind-bogglingly arrogant.
    17. Honestly? Then it isn't hypocrisy, and that accusation is misplaced. From the brief glance I gave the Ringdoll thing, people noted the differences also. I don't see anything different. The community is NOT of a single mind on this issue. If it was, maybe this accusation of hypocrisy could stand -- but as it is? No, not really. Maybe individual people, if they are suddenly giving Soom a pass and they wanted some other company nailed to the wall, but I am not seeing that either. I am simply not seeing it 'being different because it's Soom'. I'm seeing different people -- who have different feelings on the matter -- discussing it.

      It's really fashionable for some sick reason to single out popular companies like Volks or Soom for this or that, as though they're getting some kind of special treatment. Maybe they are at times, but this doesn't look like one of those times. If it was, this thread wouldn't have brought in the same people who have an issue with the situation regardless of who is involved or not, because 'but it's Soom' would have granted them a get-out-of-criticism-free card -- which they don't.
    18. I don't understand why you think it is arrogant, hymn...?

      As an artist, I appreciate it if people are at least alerting me of these sorts of things. There are more than two parties involved. The world is never so cut and dry. Raising awareness about the similarities and such is a way of alerting the general public of what they are supporting. If they are fully aware of what companies are doing and still choose to purchase anyways, oh well.

      A lot of people though, would prefer not to purchase something which is 'inspired' in that sense though...It isn't arrogance to me, it's just an alarm bell.
    19. Alert the artist? Yes. Absolutely. If the artist isn't aware, let her/him know. Then is is up to the artist to pursue the matter, or to decide if there is even a matter to pursue in the first place. But that is the artist's call.

      The arrogance I see is a) if the fan-base (instead of the artist) decides that there is a problem, and b) raises a stink to get the product pulled. That's just bang out of order.