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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Should you get a recast as your first doll?

Probably the last post for a bit. My baby is due in a couple weeks so I might not have the time or energy to put into any useful posts for the next month or two.

There's a few things you will want to consider before deciding on a recast as your first. My answer has always been no, even when I was a pro-recast supporter. Here are a few things I thought of when I was into recasts and a few thoughts after I left that part of the hobby. This is just my opinion, it's not gospel, and I'm not billing it as anything other than my opinion and experience. Your mileage may very of course. Yes I'd like to sway you towards buying legit instead, but I'm also objective enough to see the good points of recasts.

I'll probably update this as I come up with more ideas or change opinions on things. XD

Reasons you might want a recast for your first:

Reason #1: I just want a cheap doll to test out the hobby.

There are some absolutely adorable, cheap (sometimes cheaper than recast) dolls out there to buy, and I'm not even talking about Resinsoul or Bobobie. You may need to do a little research or check out the following list of dolls under $300.

For example: Magic Time bjd makes an MSD with a body IDENTICAL to the minifee body minus magnets, it's not banned on DoA (I asked), and they make a head that looks amazingly like a Chloe. This doll is barely more expensive than a recast minifee Chloe.

Reason #2: I just want a cheap doll to practice mods and face ups on.

See my answer to Reason #1 above. Additionally, keep in mind if you're using proper materials you aren't going to ruin a doll. Seal, don't use oils or sharpies, and you don't need a "practice" doll. I never had one myself.

Mods could be great to practice on recasts so you don't ruin a legit rare or expensive doll, and I can see the temptation there. I'd never have been brave enough to mod a legit Aileen Doll dragon before practicing on my recasts, so it would be hypocritical of me to dissuade you entirely on this point.

Reason #3: Company doesn't make the skintone/resin color I want.

This one is tough to argue against, as many people have ideas in their heads of what they want a doll character to look like, so I can't tell you any options for this, beyond dyeing or blushing. This could be a valid point for you.

Reason #4: I want my hybrid to match!

Hybrids aren't something newbie collectors need to be worrying about, imo. Hybriding can be an overwhelming process, and you can never be 100% sure that the head will even fit on the body unless it's a hybrid someone else has already done. My recommendation is to start with a full, inexpensive doll, or save up for that expensive doll you really want. Having your first doll full and complete is a great feeling.

Reason #5: If I make a big enough order, I'll get free dolls!

This isn't always guaranteed. Recasters sometimes forget free dolls or don't get the sculpts you request right. They're not likely to offer to replace a free doll. The other big thing here is that if you "can't afford" legit dolls, then how can you drop the minimum order value (usually at least $400 for the cheapest free option) on recasts? If you can afford $400 or more on a recast, you can afford a legit. You might not get as much quantity for your money, but you'll generally get better quality, that awesome box opening experience, more community avenues, help a company or individual artist continue to produce more dolls, avoid drama, and generally better customer service (even legit companies screw this up sometimes though).  This is a moral issue that you'll need to weigh and consider for yourself, however.

Reason #6: I can post it on legit only places, because no one can tell!

Sometimes they can. If anyone is like me, I can easily peg user names to dolls. I generally recognize people's facebook names, their dolls, and their usernames on sites where those dolls are posted. I have a good memory for that, so when I see a person I know owns recasts posting that recast somewhere it shouldn't be, I can tell, and I know I'm not the only one. Resin color and height are big giveaways as well. I don't recommend posting a purple Minifee to DoA….

So what if you can get away with it? Generally, it's considered rude to break the established rules of a community, and you'll find yourself the center of drama, ostracized, and banned if (when?) you do eventually get caught. Most people really don't care what you own on the side, so just be respectful and don't post recasts where they aren't welcome.

Reason #7: The doll I want is no longer made or sold out!

This is a tempting reason for recasts, even I can admit that. This is another issue where there is no direct argument or warning against it beyond what's already been mentioned. If you're deadset on something like a Volks Charlotte, recasts may be the avenue you choose to get her. Still, as a newbie in the hobby you need to be prepared for the amount of maintenance you'll need to do on the doll when it comes, and if you aren't sure whether you really want to be a part of the hobby, perhaps you can find a more easily attainable sculpt to test it out first.

Reason #8: The doll maker is racist/hard to buy from/has a reputation of bad quality.

Nothing good comes without effort, in my opinion, but I can see how this might  motivate someone or justify buying recasts. For example, in the past, and sometimes now, Fairyland has bad quality. Even now, the Soony event heads don't fit on the bodies without modding. This is really sad, and hopefully something they'll correct like they did with the Siean event heads. This is another moral issue you'll need to weigh yourself.

Accusations of racism are something I'd investigate yourself rather than just believe 100%.

Reason #9: I don't like "cheap" companies, but don't want to shell out for a Fairyland.

On this point, I have to say boohoo. I don't like Resinsoul, Bobobie, Magical Angel and tons of other companies. I'm also not a Dollshe fan (not cheap). Most Volks aren't quite my style either. I STILL saved up and bought a legit Iplehouse girl for my first. I'm sorry the other dolls aren't your taste, but if you want a doll purely on the basis of it being cheaper than going legit then you should know how selfish and entitled that does make you sound. Yes it does suck. I have four Fairyland heads needing bodies. It would be easy to just order a few recast bodies because I don't want to pay legit prices, and really I can't, right now. BUT, I recognize that it is entitled of me to expect something for less, so instead I'm looking for alternative bodies and saving up.

Example: I'm considering a mini supia, soulkid, or Magic Time body for my incoming minifee Soony head. Yes I'd love for her to have a legit FL body, but it's not going to happen for a long time.

Reason #10: Anti-recasters are loud, obnoxious bullies, so I'm going to be spiteful and buy recasts.

This is dumb. People are assholes on both sides of the debate. No loud, bullying behavior persuaded me to change sides, and like most extremists the loud mouths don't seem to "get" this. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If your sole intention is to be a rebel, a fighter, to spite someone else, maybe you need to reevaluate yourself and your intentions in the hobby. There's nothing edgy or cool about recasts. They don't make you special, unique, or taboo. You shouldn't be buying dolls based solely on other people anyway (see how important is the community below), especially not for silly petty reasons like that. Why would you hurt a company that has no control over what the extremists are doing? Just some food for thought.

Things to look out for that newbies might not consider:

Thing #1: Recasters fuck up. A lot. Most recast orders get something wrong, and I'm saying that from experience. I was pretty lucky to only have a few issues, but for every good order there were at least two or three complaints. Recasters often get bodies and hybrids wrong, wrong skintones (especially with tan), send wrong sculpts, forget parts, etc.

Usually the quality is still good, but in order to get your missing parts you'll have to piggyback on someone else's order or make another order and hope they don't forget again.

Playing Devil's Advocate, you can avoid  most of the hassle of dealing with recasters by purchasing second hand recasts or joining a group order.

Thing #2: You'll have resell if the color is wrong.

Generally, if you get sent the wrong skintone, you're SOL (shit outta luck). The usual advice we gave on the Haven was to sell the doll and try ordering again. This happens quite a bit, especially with the irregularity of recast tans.

Thing #3: Community.

Which communities do you want to be a part of? Have you heard horror stories about DoA? Stories about Castaways? Facebook groups? Explore those communities for yourself before believing all the drama you hear, and make a decision based on that. If you get a recast, you won't be welcome at places like DoA or LDoll. Some meets are not recast friendly, because simply including part of a recast in a picture on DoA could get you banned.  DoA is a wealth of resources and knowledge for new collectors, and I wouldn't be collecting dolls today without it.

Thing #4: Maintenance

Every recast I've ever gotten has needed some work. Most of the time, they need new, better elastic and restringing. The eyes sent rarely fit. Many times, I've had to drill out elastic channels to get elastic to fit properly or not stick and catch, impacting posing. Recast Feeple 65s have been modded to the point they don't even have the same jointing system as the legits, and recast Moe bodies can't sit up without help. Often magnets pop out or are installed wrong, hands often don't fit.

Weak resin is another risk. Many of my recasts ended up with pinholes from weak resin, cracks, breakage, etc.

While it is true some companies can have this issue, I'd never run into a recast that didn't require effort to get it ready to go, and I've had lots.

Thing #5: Shrinkage

The more popular a recast I've noticed, the more it is likely to have shrinkage. Shrinkage occurs when a mold is made from a recast, and the cast is then smaller. This goes until you can end up with a minifee an inch shorter than a legit (and yes, I've had this happen). Dolls with high shrinkage don't always fit together properly, are obviously shorter/thinner than their legit counterparts, clothes don't always fit the same, etc.

Thing #6: People Selling Recasts as Legit

This is the main reason in my opinion it's best to go direct from a company for your first, or buy from a reputable person on Den of Angels, and only if the doll they're selling has paperwork, etc. The problem is not all recast owners sell recast as legit. Pretty sure 99% of them wouldn't do it. However, the assholes that do make them all look bad, and as a newbie considering your first doll you won't have the experience to know what questions to ask or how to tell if you've been sent a fake. Choosing to buy recasts knowingly after your first doll is something you'll have to decide on yourself, but it's generally best to avoid the hassle with your first in my opinion.

Thing #7: The Box Opening Experience

I missed this with recasts. For some reason, it never felt the same as my legits. Legits come with that big beautiful company box, a doll nestled in pillows, all put together, with paper work and postcards and sometimes other extras on top. Recasts are usually bubble wrapped (SDs aren't usually fully strung), in an innocuous brown box filled with packing material. Fake Sooms will come with fake certificates. In my opinion, you kinda need this experience for your first doll. It makes it so special. It becomes less important down the road, and having bought and sold many dolls over the years it doesn't bother me as much. Nothing compares to that straight from the company experience though, even secondhand. (Most of my current dolls were bought secondhand. XD) This may not matter at all to you, or it might. Just something to consider.

Thing #8: Special Snowflake (aka a bad reason XD)

Be honest… is being a special snowflake important to you? If so, avoid recasts. I admit to being something of a Doll Hipster, and I personally get burnt out on dolls that I see too many of. I sold all my Chloe's because I just couldn't love her sculpt anymore. This broke my heart, because she'd always been my favorite mold (and still is in some ways), but seeing 50 of them a day kills me. If you're a doll hipster, avoid recasts. You'll be able to find unique dolls that aren't recast, that are uncommon or unpopular in a variety of price ranges that can indulge your inner special snowflake.

Thing #9: Quantity?

Is a large collection or small collection more appealing to you? Do you want an army of minifee or Iplehouse? Why? Popularity, status, just because you like them? If quantity isn't an issue or you don't need a massive collection, it may be worth it to save up for legits for better experiences and quality overall. If you just want a big collection of cheap dolls (e.g. cheap minifees) then maybe recasts are the way you want to go. Just be sure not to use the "I can't afford legits" excuse if this is the case.

Thank you for reading, and happy collecting with whatever you choose.

List of posts that might help:

DoA's under $300 List!
My Newbie's Guide to Fairyland
Ettiquette Posts
FAQ's and other useful information