If there’s any batman rogue who deserves the attention and merch, its Jonathan Crane. I’m kind of tired of walking into a store like Hot Topic or Spencer’s only to see the walls littered with Harley and Joker merch. Comic book shops are usually a bit better about this, but no everyone lives near one.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re popular characters and it’s to be expected. DC loves it’s cash cows after all. It’s just nice to see the the more obscure villains shinning in the spotlight. (I suppose Jonathan isn’t really obscure, but merchandise for him sure is) Every time some new figure or to is announced, I’m genuinely surprised, and very excited. I love seeing my collection grow.
This is a fact that I see brought up a lot in the “recast debate,” and I know when I was new, I was curious… How do recasts undermine the legitimate bjd secondhand market? After learning about recasts and how it effects the hobby, eventually I pieced it together, but rarely do I see people talk about the secondhand market in detail…
But it’s effects and sting quite badly. If you were searching for a legitimate doll, and that particular sculpt was recasted and you found that doll secondhand… How confident would you be, buying that doll blank, aged, without a box or papers? I know there are “tell-tale” signs of a doll being a recast that you can potentially get captured on photos, but in reality… I, personally, would not be confident.
But that’s the state that a lot of secondhand dolls, especially from what I’ve noticed minifees, are at. Until 2014 or so (or maybe it was 2013?), Fairyland didn’t offer cards of authenticity with their dolls - you only had the box and pamphlet. Realistically, keeping a doll box is always a good thing, but space gets tight, boxes can get damaged, and moving can always put your collectibles in disarray. In some cases, for much older dolls (like from 2002 or something), people didn’t think of keeping the box or card of authenticity (if there even was one for that company), because recasts weren’t a problem. Until recently, cards of authenticity were not standard practice.
So a lot of times, those dolls… sit. I’ve seen a minifee, posted on facebook, for $300 - much lower than the cost of a new doll at roughly $400 (+shipping) - but it’s an older body with a newer head and neither have a CoA. (If memory serves however, they could provide receipts for both parts though). But, when it doesn’t have those things, even if it wasn’t standard at the time… Would you want to risk it? Knowing the possibility of getting burned might be very real?
So, instead of buying that doll, even if it’s a doll you love and at a price that’s much more affordable to you… You don’t. Maybe you order from the company - that’s great! - but that doll might sit, and sit, and sit. And it’s not a matter of might that there is a chance, but a matter of the fact that this has happened, does happen, and will happen. When the secondhand market is not doing well, however, those old dolls don’t sell… And a lot of times, buying that doll - whether it’s secondhand, or new from the company - might be a gamble. What if you don’t bond and you have to sell it again? Is it worth potentially losing money? BJDs used to be seen as a bit of an “investment” - but when sometimes seems like you might be bleeding money, people might not even bother, which can result in reduced sales for a company… And if things start to get tough for that company, they might become a relic of the past, at least in time.
When a secondhand market is healthy, however, buying the item can be seen as an investment - you can get an item you like, and if you don’t bond with it, you can sell it - no problem! If you have it for awhile and an emergency happens (that’s life!), you can potentially sell it to help out with a crisis. And, when you sell your doll - there is a good chance you can now be able to purchase a new doll from a company, and help create another legitimate doll, which will help fund that company!
Recasts hurt the secondhand market because people get scared. No one wants to get scammed! It can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to a hobby and might not be aware of the tell-tale signs of a recast, off resin texture/color, etc. When a company has potentially quality control issues (especially during a specific period), or changes resin colors, this can make it even harder for people to be confident with their purchases. This is exemplified with the fact that some recasters try to pass their product off as being legit as much as they can - some even give out fake CoAs (sometimes with real numbers!).
There is also the matter of “if there is no counterfeit product, there is no choice but a legitimate doll” as well, but from what I’ve seen, I think a lot of it boils down to fear. Recasts used to be made with really crappy materials, like plaster and sand composite apparently, but recasts now can be rather convincing. When people have to look towards seam lines - which are quite frankly not very aesthetic - as a potential “badge of legitimacy” because recasters often sand theirs… It’s not exactly confidence boosting, to put it gently.
This is really just a “short and sweet” post but if anyone was confused by the issue, hopefully this helps, even if it’s just a little bit!
So after watching a bunch of YT videos, I’ve realized that basically the entire BJD community on there is pro-recast. In fact most of the pro videos on there use some kind o hippy-garbage argument along the lines of ‘’We should all support each other, NO HATE! Hugs! <3 <3 ^_^ bullying is bad!’’
I was completely and utterly shocked. I’ve never seen so many pros in one place. Like. Wow. The amount of concentrated denial and willful ignorance is beyond comprehension. Puking.
I’m sorry if this is too long, but I really wanted to get this off my chest. And it’s fine if this doesn’t get posted.
Pro-recasters like to dismiss pro-artist/anti-recast supporters by saying “They’re just dolls. They’re not art.” Some people like to say, “The artist isn’t getting that money! It’s just the companies.” Some people like to insist that they only support the recasting of discontinued/limited edition sculpts. These are all terrible arguments.
“They’re just dolls. They’re not art!” There have been several detailed posts showing and explaining what goes into the process of making a bjd. They are not massed produced. But this is somewhat irrelevant. The basic argument for “They’re just dolls.” is to imply that pro-artists are overreacting to a very trivial matter, when it really isn’t. What this all boils down to is art theft, which because there are a lot of artists involved in the community, is a big deal. Nobody wants to have their work stolen and distributed against their will. They are people like you and me who had a hobby, then decided to take their art to the next level and succeeded. We should be supporting them, not stealing/paying other people to steal from them. It’s not just about the dolls. It’s about the fact that artists are having to watch their work get stolen and there’s nothing they can do about it. Would you want any of your work stolen and then redistributed/used without your permission? Your photos, your sculpted work? Your LIFE’s work, your livelihood? Would that be okay with you? Then why should someone else have to deal with that?
“But the artist doesn’t get that money. It all goes to the company!” So what? The legitimate business is entitled to make a profit as well. And I doubt you know exactly how the artist is paid by the company (especially if the artist creates new sculpts for the same company on a regular basis). But what this argument disregards is that a lot of companies are owned by the artists themselves. Dollshe, Migidoll, Supia, Mydolling, Art Bimong, Saint Bloom, Unoa and many others. Are you saying that artists are not allowed to be successful? That they shouldn’t be able to make a profit off their work? And even if the company is not run by the artist, that company is the only one that is legally allowed to reproduce and distribute their work. And let’s get this straight, companies may exist to make money and turn a profit, but they’re still made up of people too. Customer service, marketing, photographers, casters, packers, quality control, all of these employees have to get paid somehow. And then finally, “I only support recasts of limited edition discontinued dolls.” No you don’t. And before you protest, think about it. Recasters are able to get new dolls from companies within a month or two of their release date. People are able to contact recasters and request that certain dolls be recasted and even others send their own personal dolls to be recasted. What used to be just Soom and Volks limiteds turned into a free for all rainbow colored frenzy. That money you spent on your lavender Volks Lorina on the SDGr body was used to get recasts from even smaller companies like Lillycat, Kinoko Juice and TriffonyArtwork.
It’s not just about the dolls, it’s about artists being respected and NOT having their work stolen. Don’t tell us that we’re overreacting or that we care about dolls more than people. Clearly you pro-recasters are the ones who have more problems respecting other human beings. But I guess it doesn’t really matter, as long as you get that mint green Dia you wanted for cheap. Because ultimately that’s more important to you. That’s what your actions say, anyway.