In my most recent YouTube upload, I discussed the topic of Real vs. Fake Reborn Dolls and how to tell the difference. I decided to keep a non-biased opinion on the topic when it comes to reborn dolls, but here in this post I also want to talk about other dolls and my opinion on their counterfeit market.
Resin Ball Jointed Dolls
Much along the same lines as vinyl and silicone reborn dolls, BJDs that are fake are pretty much frowned upon in the doll community. Most BJD sculpts are created by Korean and Japanese companies, so it is easier for Chinese manufactures to get ahold of them to create fake duplicates (*Note* There are legit companies based in China that also create BJDs). These knock-offs are called recast dolls. The word recast implies that a mold is made from the original doll parts and recasted, or produced, in whatever low quality materials the imposters are using to create ball jointed dolls. As for myself, I am sticking to the same notion that you get what you pay for. If you’re interested in the hobby and expect a good experience after shelling out hundreds of dollars, make sure to purchase a legit doll from the start. The difference between $200 and $300-500 may seem like a big jump, but it is visible in the quality of the product.
When I very first dipped my toes into BJD several years ago, I ended up purchasing a second hand doll that was a recast body, but legit sculpt head. Now that I have a full legit doll of my own, I can immediately tell the difference. What is funny is that I ended up paying more for the fake, than I did for the real one! I learned my lesson the hard way and was so disappointed. Here are some signs of recast dolls:
- Light in weight – real resin of quality is quite heavy and feels sturdy in your hand. A fake doll..not so much.
- Bad Pose ability– some fake dolls are known to pose poorly, no matter how well you string them together, due to poor joint construction.
- Low in Cost – spending less money may sound great, but you’re actually wasting your funds on a fake doll.
- No CoA – missing certificate of authenticity from the manufacturer or forged/fake copies of the original. BJD CoA’s are usually created on a stiff plastic card, similar to your credit or debit card.
- Strange Facial features – some fake BJDs will have less detailed facial construction and look odd, due to recasting.
In short, you’re probably not going to be as happy with a low quality recast BJD on the first go as you would a legit doll. Furthermore, collectors who prefer recast dolls are quite shunned in the community. Even some second hand sellers will not sell to you, unless you collect only legit dolls. I do believe this is to help stop imposters from getting their hands on legit doll sculpts to do their dirty work, but in all actuality, from a photo it may not be so obvious you have a recast doll!
It is so amazing how the varying doll hobbies can differ like night and day! Of all the doll types I collect, Blythe dolls are the only ones where fake Blythe dolls, aren’t such a bad thing. Just as there are Barbie dolls created by the Matel line, there are other dolls created like Barbie, but under different manufacturer…it’s sort of like that with Blythe.
The type of Blythe I purchase are customized Blythe dolls. The base doll is more often than not, a fake (or more accurately, a reproduction under a different company name). Artists usually take these base model dolls and sand them, sculpt facial features and more. By the time they are done, you would never know if it was an original Blythe or not, anyway. Authentic Blythes are usually left unaltered in their stock form. (They are worth more, that way!) Original Blythe dolls usually have a limited range of hair, eye and skin colors, but the range is limitless with fake Blythe. Most customizers prefer fake Blythes to do their work on, for this reason along with cost.
A great blog post from veteran Blythe collector, Michelle is A Beginner’s Guide: Different Molds by BlytheLife.com 🙂