1. Resin quality: Recast resin is usually pretty good quality, and there are rarely seam lines if you get them from the right recasters. You need to watch out for extra thin areas, particularly around the eye wells and the hands where magnets often show through. Both recast mnfs I handled had small pinholes in the elbow. Thinner resin may break if you string too tight or are not careful. Most thin areas can be reinforced with epoxy.
2. Weight: My legitimate mnfs are heftier than the recasts, so if the doll feels unusually light you may want to investigate more.
3. Resin Dust: Recasts often have tons of resin dust built up inside. My legits had a little bit occasionally, but with my recasts it was like snow. Recasts will often need to be washed and dried thoroughly to remove this dust.
4. String Channels: Look at the inside of the doll or ask for pictures if possible. Recasts generally have uneven channels, bubbles in the resin, and other small flaws inside. A legitimate doll will have smoother channels.
5. Flashing: Legitimate dolls can sometimes have flashing, but it is usually worse in recasts. For example, a pukifee Pongpong had flashing in his mouth that needed to be removed. Flashing can also occur in eye sockets, between fingers and toes, and inside string channels.
6. Extra Parts Fit: Legitimate parts like hands, feet, face plates, etc will sometimes fit on recasts. In my experience, the legitimate parts were a bit too big for the recast. My littlefee legit face plate did fit on the recast head back, but the color match was off. Sometimes the color will match really well, and it will be hard to tell.
7. Size: Recasts are smaller than legits by virtue of the way they are made. Depending on the generation of the recast, the size difference will be more or less noticeable. A mold is made of a legit doll; dolls cast from this mold will be smaller than the legit doll used to make the mold by virtue of shrinkage. This is a first generation mold. When a mold is made of a recast, the resulting doll is even smaller.
This size difference is most noticeable when the doll stands next to a legitimate doll. The dolls are often shorter and parts are overall smaller.
8. Joint Flush: Often with recasts the joints are not completely flush. This usually isn't the case with recast FL bodies, but if you look at the headcaps you can often see where they don't quite match up. This is isn't a fool-proof way to identify recasts though, as even legitimate dolls can have this problem.
9. Certificates UPDATE: As of January 2014, FL is now sending certificates of authenticity with their dolls (finally, and a good choice on their part imo).
- Any doll produced before this will NOT have a certificate.
- While I have not yet seen any fake FL certificates, this does not mean there won't be in the future. I'll update if I come across this and see pictures.
Ways not to tell:
Smell: Smell doesn't tell you if it is recast or legit. I've had both with strong resin smell and those will weak smell.
Texture: Though recasts often feel smoother to the touch in my experience, it's not foolproof because even legits can feel quite smooth and shiny.
Update: As of January 2014, FL dolls will now come with certificates of authenticity. Yay!
Posing: Recasts pose just as well as legits.
More comparison pics here.
Next I will post pictures of a side-by-side body comparison of a recast and legit mnf girl.
This is a legitimate plate on a recast body. You can see a slight difference in color, but the fit is pretty good.
Here you can see that the recast plate does not fit flush against the headback.
This is a side-view of the legitimate plate on the recast. The color difference is more noticeable here, as is the difference in fit.
This is an example of flashing. Areas like this will be smooth or mostly smooth on a legit.
This pinhole in the elbow occurred because of weak resin. This usually doesn't happen in legits.
This is a legitimate head on a recasted body. The color match is perfect in real life and in photos. The scale is nearly perfect too. You can see the neck hole on the head is ever so slightly larger than the recast neck.
The recast hands in this picture are the white skinned hands. Though these are different styles of hands, you can see a marked difference in size and heft.
This picture shows how the legit hand is nearly too big for the wrist of the recast (the white body). The magnets are also reversed, meaning that the legit hand would not stay on.
Example of flashing inside a recast.