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To all face up artists (exchanging experience)

Jun 8, 2018

    1. hello everybody,

      As an active FU artist, I receive doll heads frequently.

      When my client first sent me a message to ask for a FU slot three days ago, I asked for the head’s status, sculptor and for photos.

      The photos didn’t show up all those tiny bubbles and since the FU on the head was kind of poorly made, I couldn’t recognize it as a recast on the photos. So I accepted nevertheless to check upon it myself in person.

      When I unpacked and checked the doll head, I saw it clearly: it was a recast!

      It has tiny bubbles all over, the head cap is broken, the magnets are inserted so poorly I needed a second to realize how poorly made this head actually is! No legit doll would look like that.

      Of course, I do not work on such piracies. So I contacted my client and informed them about the doll definitely being a recast and that I won’t work on that head in any case. They didn’t know about it, because it even had a CoA (or whatever you call a copy like that) and they had no experience with recasts before and apparently were uneducated about this issue.

      We talked about everything calmly, I will send back the head tomorrow and this case is settled between us two now after I educated them about recasts.

      Yet I am kind of curious if any FU or mod artists among you experienced a similar situation, too, and if yes:

      How did you handle it? How do you check the authenticity beforehand? Do you even check it (I definitely do)? How do you avoid such a case?

      To be honest, I held a recast in my hands for the very first time and I am shook about how people fall for this trick (or even aim to buy a thing like that intentionally). No words needed.

      Of course, I will NOT post any photos of this recasted head here on DoA, and also the head is NOT mine. I will NOT name the client’s name.
      This thread is for exchange of sensitive experience among those who frequently work on other owner’s dolls only.

      If this thread is of too sensitive content that breaks the rules of DoA, please feel free to delete it, dear Mods.

      Thank you all in advance,
      Sarah
       
      #1 OnlyPaintMode, Jun 8, 2018
      Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
      • x 2
    2. I paint faces, but I don't take commissions due to lack of confidence in myself.
      But on my end I guess the situation would depend on:
      Did the Client truly know it was a recast?
      How new are they to the hobby?
      And when purchased, were they told it was a legit when it wasnt?

      I feel those who are new to the hobby may not be able to identify one due to inexperience. If it's their first doll, or feel like they're buying from a company for the first time, they may just think 'hey, this is just how the doll is', and never second guess it because they had nothing to compare it to.

      I feel like you handled the situation correctly and were able to help your client along the way!
      There was no way your client knew (as you said), so you were able to educate and inform them of their purcahse not being legitimate.
      I guess asking for as many pictures as possible and potentially asking for receipts of purchases for certain heads/feared molds would be th enext step if pictures can't prove anything and you do have a fear.
       
      • x 1
    3. Thank you for taking the time to answer, dear. It has been a weird experience, to be honest, because as a ‘legit only’ owner I have always been very careful when purchasing dolls checking everything more than three times and never held a recast in my hands. You know, you just try to educate yourself and others, talk about how low the quality of bootlegs are and so on, but really experiencing such a thing... this is absolutely strange. It feels so wrong, and I immediately felt bad for having touched such a thing. Yet, I’m kind of thankful for this experience, because now I not only think of how a recast might look and feel like. Now I KNOW it. And this is very valuable.
      How can one be happy with such a thing?

      This case alerted me to be even more careful when accepting commissions. Double check everything more intensely.

      It was their second head, btw. And they’re super thankful for being alerted so they might get the chance to get back their money, too.
      I’m so sorry that a beginner had to experience such a sick game, but I guess they’re more careful now in the future.
       
      #3 OnlyPaintMode, Jun 8, 2018
      Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2018
    4. I think you did the right thing. My very first doll I was stung with a recast, and I was brand new to the hobby and had no idea how to tell or that anything was wrong until someone more experienced told me. I was devastated! I tried to return it but the seller refused to take it back.

      It was a really hard lesson, but I am much more careful, now. I always ask for original box, CoA and proof of purchase.

      If someone is sending you their doll to do work on, I think it is completely reasonable to ask for photos of the CoA before they ship the parts to you. Any verification beyond that might be a bit excessive... once it gets to you, if it's obvious it's recast, you can just send it back. You were upfront about your policies and did your due diligence to ensure the client knew what they were committing to. In my opinion, the onus is on them to ensure their doll is authentic. If they don't, you shouldn't feel bad for putting your foot down.

      It DOES feel gross to see newbies getting taken advantage of by others like that, though. Empathy is healthy, but you handled it well.
       
      • x 2
    5. Thank you very much, dear. It was hard to tell them, in the first place, because I know that doll heads can be pricey and they might lost both a doll they liked and a whole lot of money, too.
      I never dealt with something like this before, so it’s quite relieving to hear I did the right thing.

      Do you know what bothers me most?
      Face up artists who don’t actually check the authenticity of the dolls they are commissioned to work on even though they claim to only work on legit dolls.
      On Instagram, I see a lot of MNF heads for example which do not come with any proof but ‘she has a FU done by XYZ who only accepts legit dolls’. To be entirely honest about this: the FU is in fact a proof of authenticity that nobody thought of or took seriously before.

      I could name some artists who ‘work on legit dolls only’ but actually do not check one single doll.

      I do not want to be like this. I want to check first and really be sure to only work on legit dolls.
      All this makes me so sick.
       
      • x 2
    6. ohhhh I have absolutely seen dolls sold with facups as "CoA"s. Totally just had a few listed with my local meet up group exactly like that.

      You're right, that does kind of add an additional burden to the FU artist when it comes to due diligence. Making a mistake could ruin your reputation. That's pretty anxiety inducing!

      In that case, I think it's ok for you to ask for whatever kind of verification you need ahead of shipping. If the client thinks it's unreasonable, they can go patron someone else. :thumbup
       
      • x 1
    7. I think that you did the right thing and handled it very professionally.

      I don't do face-ups (I've tried, I'm terrible at them). But as a doll owner if I had a doll that was not legitimate and I didn't know about it, I would WANT someone to tell me so I could purge it from my collection.

      I tend search out a lot of older dolls who weren't released with COAs. One of my most recent was a Shiwoo. I happen to also own a Shiwoo bought from DOA, but this one wasn't bought here. I bought him from an auction. The ONLY thing I could do was ask for more detailed pictures of the inside of his head, look at his resin (He was old enough that he was beauty green), and compare to the Shiwoo I had. I'm 100% sure he's legit. But because I'm overly cautious, I was hesitant to send him to send him anywhere. He was a grail of mine. I would be devastated if he wasn't legit, but I would still want to know so I could do the right thing about it.

      My first doll was legitimate back in 2006. But his resin was yucky. He almost made me get out of the hobby because I hated the way he felt in my hands. I thought that if they all were poorly designed like that, then I would hate them all. My second doll was an Elfdoll. She had beautiful resin.

      Sadly with the way that the recasts are going, they're getting harder and harder to spot. Even for people who have been in the hobby a long time. However, it's sickening that they're still being passed off as legitimate dolls. I'm very hesitant to buy anything anymore from an auction unless I can retrace it back to here. :sweat
       
      • x 1
    8. Ooooh a hard topic.

      So before I was on DoA I had a "friend" who had some recasted dolls, and she was the only friend I had who shared the interest. (I encouraged her to purchase legit and she later did purchase a legit DC body but that's unrelated.)

      I was still trying to practice my faceup skills, so she gave me one of her heads to practice on/do a faceup for her. The entire time I was working on it I felt grimy and paranoid, like the police would burst through my second floor window at any moment because I was holding a counterfeit Volks head in my hands xD

      I would never in a million years touch a recast now, but back then I remember being surprised her head was so lightweight for how big it was. The resin felt very plasticy, and especially now that I myself own a legit Volks SD girl to compare to--the difference is shocking. The legit doll's head is HEAVY. Like, RIDICULOUSLY so. (Though, mine is from 2007 so they might be different now, nor were these heads the same sculpt.)

      People have asked me if I take faceup commissions, and I've definitely considered it, but as for checking legitimacy of dolls, that's... Really hard to do, especially if the owner doesn't have the CoA, the box, etc. Like my Soom Azur--the only way to tell he's legit is because he has the company faceup and I have the CoA. My Soom Dolomi only has the official Soom bag she came in, and no other documentation. And even then, some recasters go so far as to replicate CoAs as well, so who can honestly be sure?

      I think the only real way to tell is if A the customer is honest with you and gives you all the evidence they have (which you should definitely ask for) or B if you get the head in your hands and see the quality of it and see it for what it is. @__@
       
      • x 1
    9. Honestly, I feel so relieved reading your stories and to hear you talk about it without fear.

      Thank you so much for sharing and most of all - caring.

      It’s a hard topic, especially talking about it openly on DoA even though this is the perfect place to do so. This topic is equal to Voldemort in Harry Potter - you kind of live in ‘peace’ with it if you just shut your mouth and avoid getting in touch with the evil, even though you know it’s still there.

      This recast thing going on makes me anxious about second hand doll purchases and working as a face up artist on dolls of unknown origin.

      I know this will be a hard way to go, but I really want to make my face up service a good and honest experience. It’s not like this is the ultimate proof and as much worth as a CoA, because I’m not the company who can exactly tell if it’s a recast or not, but I’ll definitely do my best to identify bootlegs and inform my clients about my concerns if necessary.

      (By the way, thank you, dear moderator, who merged two of my posts into one. I noticed that and I’m thankful.)
       
      • x 2
    10. The mental gymnastics there, wow. *_*

      I haven't been in this situation, but I hope I would handle it as well as you did. I think you were very kind and professional. :)
       
      • x 1
    11. Crazy thing, right?

      If you work as an FU artist, I am pretty sure you definitely will encounter such a situation even though I hope you won’t.
      Thank you so much, dear. If you ever experience something like that, know that you’re not alone with this and I guess you can always ask for help on here, too.