I do not make, sell, or traffic in bootleg/recast dolls or any other product.

I do not provide information on where or how to buy them.

Any recast information on this blog is for information purposes only, for identifying recast products on the second hand market.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Recast BJD FAQ

I think there is some misinformation spreading around regarding recasters, recasts, and the people who own recasts. I feel that correcting this misinformation can go a long way. I am working on a post about cyberbullying and delving into research regarding the legalities of recast ownership, but for now this should help.
What is a recaster?

A recaster is a person or business that buys legitimate dolls and uses those dolls to make molds. From these molds they cast a new doll, called a recast.

When a doll is cast from a mold, it is smaller than the original version used to make the mold. So in the case of legitimate dolls, a mold is made from a clay version of the doll that is slightly larger than the finished product. Since a recast mold is made from a finished doll, the resulting doll is smaller than the finished doll. This is referred to as shrinkage.

I refer to recasts in generations. What this means is that the first mold to made from a recast is the first generation. First generations usually have minimal shrinkage. A second generation recast would be made from a mold made of a recast, resulting in greater shrinkage when compared to the original, legitimate doll.

Recasters are usually located in China, and the country has very different laws regarding copyrights and bootlegging than a lot of other countries, including the United States. One goes about purchasing a recast through direct communication with a recast or through various places on the Chinese marketplace, Taobao.

What is a recast collector?

In general, recast collectors do not make the dolls they collect. As with all things, I'm sure some exceptions to this rule exists, and I have heard of some people recasting individual parts for their own personal use.

As far as my current knowledge regarding legalities of recasting goes, it is illegal to make a bootleg of a product and sell it within the United States.

So, a recast collector can safely be assumed to be someone who has purchased a recast doll, and did not make that doll.

How do I know if someone is a recaster?

There are some tips for identifying pages belonging to recast dealers:

1. There will be many different dolls from different companies listed as for sale on the page.

2. The prices for these dolls will be very, very low compared to legitimate dolls. Sometimes they are not marked lower. In this case, you will want to check other tips.

3. The pages will rarely have copyright information.

4. The recaster usually does not own the domain name and will use a template or free site.
5. The recaster will tag the doll with popular tags such as "Soom Fairyland 1/3 1/4 BJD", even if the tags do not directly relate to the doll being sold.

6. The recaster's page will usually be in broken or confused English (I am unsure about pages targeted at those in other countries, but I assume the language will be choppy).

7. Often dolls for sale will be hybrids, with the sculpt head on the wrong body.

8. Other times, the site will use pictures taken directly from the company's site advertising for limited or long sold out fullsets at cheaper prices.

9. Sometimes recasters will host pictures for their sites on Flickr and other image hosting sites, but these will usually be photos of the dolls, blank, with the recaster's name or contact information across the pictures. These will often be dolls from different companies pictured together, with a mish-mash of parts, or otherwise strange hybrids.

10. Be wise. If something seems off or fishy, do some digging. Ask around to see if others are familiar with the recaster. Practice safe buying.

11. If it seems to good to be true, it is. Be wary of low priced, high end dolls. A Volks Lorina is NEVER going to sell for $200. 

Recasts sold second hand and general safe buying practices:

One would like to assume that everyone is honest enough to note if the doll they are selling is legitimate or recast. Many recast owners are faced with the stigma that they will try to sell their recasts as legitimate, thanks to the unscrupulous actions of a few nasty people.

Here are a few tips concerning those who are selling recasts second hand and how to tell if a second hand doll is a recast:

1. Most of the time the person selling the doll will not if the doll is recast.

2. Ask to see pictures of the inside of the doll, as well as headplates and other information that typically come with company's dolls. Please keep in mind that not all companies include certificates of authenticity, head plates, and other identifying features.

Related post: Identifying a Recast, Fairyland Edition.

3. Please see this post concerning how to identify a recast for tips on looking at joints, the inside of the doll, and other such indicators.

4. Do your homework. Be an educated buyer. Research the person from whom you are buying. Ask the buyer lots of questions. Ask for pictures. How is their feedback? Know what you are buying and what it usually comes with.

5. Never pay via Western Union or Paypal personal. These methods could result in you never getting your  money back if there is a problem.

6. If you are nervous about sending a sculpt off to someone who is recast friendly for modifications or paint jobs, consider marking the doll in an unobtrusive manner making it easy for you to identify your head once it comes back.

7. Just because someone is selling a recast second hand, it DOES NOT mean they are a recaster or even know where to get one from a recaster.

8. Whether recast or legit, if it seems too good to be true it probably is. When in doubt about a seller, second hand or recast, contact the people who buy recasts on Castaways and other places for opinions and information. It can safe you a lot of heartache to be informed.

Are recasts legal?

Yes and no. The truth is, the law is murky, and even lawyers admit that many laws really are up to interpretation. In fact, when a case goes to court it is usually lawyers arguing for various interpretation of the law with the judge having the final say on the matter….at least until someone contests it again. That said, there are some things we do know for sure:

*Knock-offs are perfectly legal to buy, own, and sell. A knockoff looks like but lacks the specific identifying marks of the original, like headplates.

*It is legal in the United States to own bootleg goods. It is illegal to make and sell for profit bootleg goods.

As of right now, there is a great deal of research going on into the detailed legalities of recast ownership, so please stay tuned.

Update 4/17/14: A few companies are cracking down on illegal imports of bootleg products, most recently Iplehouse. While personal use and personal importation does appear to be legal, mass imports, imports for purposes of distribution, and helping in the sale of bootleg products could potentially be illegal. I will update as I learn more information.

Are recasts toxic?

Yes and no. All resin is toxic, and some more so than others depending on fillers. If you choose to work with resin dolls, recast or legit, please use proper respiratory protection. [Further information for this is forthcoming, as I am researching the science of this for a future post.]

This person owns recasts….any tips for dealing with them?

1. Don't be a bully. Just because you disagree with someone does not give you the right to harass them or treat them inhumanely. Read the post on cyber bullying, and how it applies to the doll community and you.

2. Do not assume that the person who owns the recast is a recaster.

3. Do not assume that the person who owns the recast has no morals…don't judge someone based on one facet of their lives.

4. Behave with common courtesy, recast owners are people too.

5. First world problems: there are far more important causes to champion than the recast debate. Consider channeling your ire into fighting poverty or pollution or something.

6. Check your anger. While it may be satisfying to report the person to every doll company, forum, and blog you can think of, you really won't be doing anything or anyone a favor. Think of it this way: if you block the recast buyer's ability to buy legitimate dolls, where do you think they'll continue getting their dolls?

7. Don't assume the recast buyer purchases recasts just to have a "cheap" doll or out of any sense of entitlement. Those who own recasts have as many varied reasons for purchasing them as there are owners.

8. If a doll is tagged as a recast on Flikr or other photo-sharing site, it does NOT mean the person is trying to sell the doll. Sometimes recasters will host pictures for their sites on Flikr, but these will usually be photos of the dolls, blank, with the recaster's name across the pictures. See point 9 for How do I know if this person is a recaster? above. 

9. Just because a person owns a recast it does not mean every doll they own is recast. Don't assume all their dolls are. Just ask.

Where can I buy a recast bjd?

I don't give out that information. 

As always, thank you for viewing. I hope this clears up some misconceptions about recasts and those who own them. If we conduct ourselves maturely and with kindness, I think we'll find this hobby becomes a lot less dramatic for all of us.

Happy collecting!


  1. Such a great blog! As a newbie I've been debating the recast thing around in my head. I'm interested in hearing why you stopped collecting recast. What changed your perspective? I'm sorry if it's on your blog already. I'll do more in depth reading tonight!

    1. Hi! Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for checking into my blog. I do have a couple posts on it I'll link here for you, but if they don't answer your questions feel free to ask more. ^_^


Thanks for reading! <3 I try to follow up on every comment my readers make.