How recast ball-jointed dolls and other bootleg collectables hurt the industry

Bootlegged and counterfeit goods are not a new concept. For as long as high quality goods and artistic works have been produced, people have always wanted to own a copy - Whether through legitimate means or not.

I have written this article (and one like it, a few years ago) because I want to add my voice to those who are pro-artist.

recast bjds hurt their creators

Just to get this out of the way: I am, in general, opposed to the concept of counterfeiting - However, I am particularly against it when it affects small-time artists and small businesses.

Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t buy recast dolls or bootleg collectables

  • The recast/bootleg product will always be of inferior workmanship, and potentially be made with inferior resources - thus, it may be dangerous to your health and that of the people who made it.
  • The profits from the sale are not going back to the people who originally conceived the piece of work.
  • You are saying your desire for a pretty object is more important than the people who put in the hours of research, labour, and love into the creation of it. For me, part of owning such exquisite piece of work is the appreciation of the people who made them.
  • By supporting these counterfeit products, you are instantly devaluing the talent and workmanship of the original maker.

The money issue…

The cost of something isn’t necessarily an excuse to say, “Meh, they have lots of money so it won’t be a big burden on them.” Just because an Asian ball-jointed doll can cost up to $500 (or more) does not mean that the seller is rolling around in piles of money. Many ball joint doll makers are small businesses owners and independent artists - And the cost of raw materials and overheads for these pieces of work can add up. Makers use high quality materials in their production process - You wouldn’t want a dolls clothes to wear out or face paint to chip off.

It takes a lot of time, talent and care to make BJDs. If you can understand how difficult it is to create one, you can understand why it’s important to appreciate the artists who work on them.

If you really want a BJD (or other collectable), and thinking of going recast/bootleg, consider these things:

  • If you were able to be patient and save (for example) $250 for a doll that would otherwise be $350, you’ve already proven you can be patient and save! Just wait a little bit longer.
  • You’ll look cooler amongst your friends and the hobby community if you don’t support illegal bootlegs.
  • If you miss out on a doll that was limited edition, just note that there will always be another cooler limited edition doll just around the corner!
  • Your investment into the legitimate work helps to keep the product line and industry going. The opposite is also true.

Image credits: Ventus 17 – Pixabay (cover photo)

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