Recast Asian Balljointed Dolls

Table of Contents:

Introduction

What is a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

If Recasts Are Available Why Would Someone Want to Purchase a Legit Asian Balljointed Doll?

Why Would Someone Want a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

What Are The Risks in Purchasing Recast Dolls?

Closing Thoughts:

Further Reading

The End

Introduction

I recently purchased my first recast dolls (Shown in the featured image) (Sorry for the bad photo >.< I will update once their wigs and clothes arrive). Anyways, when I purchased these lil cuties I was nervous and not sure what to expect despite having done my own research as well. I own 13 and counting legit ABJD, and although I’m not super active in the doll communities I do like to share photos of my dolls and attend annual meetups or bring the dolls to conventions, and I have a small circle of about a dozen friends I’ve met through the hobby and I worried how owning a recast doll may damage those friendships.

If you’re like me, and have been considering purchasing a recast doll for awhile now, there are some things you need to know, many of which you may already be aware of. Or if you’re like some of my readers, you may have no idea what an Asian Balljointed Doll even is, or why so much controversy exists about the recast dolls.

This post aims to be “Recast Neutral” and present both sides of the argument. At the end of this article you will also find links to external resources for both Recast Friendly/Neutral and Anti-Recast resources for further reading so that you can come to your own conclusions.

Once my dolls’ wigs and clothes arrive I will also do a separate post to review the dolls here on my blog.

I understand there are strong feelings about recast dolls, but please keep the comments civil. Negative comments are fine, but comments that evoke bullying or harassment will not be tolerated. Also if it is your first time commenting on my blog, your comments will be held for moderation automatically due to a setting in the back end. I will publish all comments, yes even anti-recast comments as long as they are civil, but since I am the only moderator there may be a delay of a few days. Thank you for your understanding.

What is a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

An Asian Balljointed Doll is a doll with balljoints that allow it to move and take lifelike poses. The dolls come nude, bald, without wigs, without eyes, etc. And unlike other dolls they are meant to be customized by the people who purchase the dolls. They even come unpainted. Many manufacturers offer painting services and other customizations for a fee. Others will send their dolls to “Faceup” Artists to be finished and customized.

A Recast Asian Balljointed doll is made by taking a Legit Asian Balljointed Doll, and creating a mold from the doll, then using the molds to reproduce the original dolls often times to resell to people buying them for personal use. Buying counterfeit items for personal use is not illegal in the united states. See below under legal issues surrounding copyright or visit the following source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html

A Recast doll is basically a knock-off. Often these dolls are made in China where their copyright laws are very different from most other nations.

There is controversy and drama surrounding Recast Dolls, unlike other counterfeit items, many people feel more strongly and get more heated about Recast Dolls than say, a fake coach handbag, or fake barbie doll. But ultimately a recast Asian Balljointed doll is no different from other counterfeit items. There are pros and cons to purchasing a counterfeit items, such as more affordable price, vs quality. This post wants to help you form your own decisions on the issue at hand.

If Recasts Are Available Why Would Someone Want to Purchase a Legit Asian Balljointed Doll?

  • The number 1 reason to purchase Legit Asian Balljointed Dolls is to Support the Companies and Artists Who Create New Dolls For Everyone to Enjoy

    • Without Our Financial Support, these companies cannot stay in business and cannot continue to design new dolls.
    • Fewer companies making dolls = fewer dolls to choose from
    • Less competition from doll companies = higher prices / longer wait times / quality issues as demand for dolls from the remaining companies will increase
    • Artists, and the companies employing these artists, deserve to be paid for their work
  • The 2nd most important reason to purchase Legit dolls is so you can join in and be accepted and included by the majority of large doll communities both online and off.

    • Most of the online communities have strict rules that forbid you from posting any photos or information about your recast dolls
    • Many offline meetup groups, and special doll events and conventions also have strict rules against bringing recast dolls to their events
      • Which they have every right to do, because it is their community, or their event.
      • The problem becomes when a user shares their recast outside of these anti-recast communities, there is still a butterfly affect, and backlash received from members of the anti-recast communities, who feel it is OK to bully users on their personal websites, personal social media accounts, personal emails, or even harass them in real life.
      • The grey area is also the case where a moderator or admin of an anti-recast community may join or browse a supposed recast friendly or recast neutral community and then decide to ban anyone it finds who also has an account in their community.
        • This is a big concern for a lot of people who would be more likely to be openly recast neutral or recast friendly because they fear repercussions and witch hunts from within the larger anti-recast communities even if they don’t own recasts themselves.
        • It’s a grey area because on one hand, it is still their community and they can moderate it as they wish. But on the other hand, if a user follows and complies with the no recast rules within the anti-recast community, that should be where their jurisdiction ends. In other words, theoretically it could also be argued that a user should be free to associate with or join other sites or with members of other sites and their activities on those sites should not impact their membership on other communities as long as they comply with the rules while within that community.
          •  Remember that owning a recast doll, or not, if you’re participating in the recast neutral or recast friendly communities you are at risk, even if you do not own a recast doll yourself.
    • Many faceup artists will not work with a recast head.
      • There have even been horror stories of artists smashing/breaking heads and/or not returning heads to recast owners
      • If you do choose to do faceups on recast dolls, even if you do not own any recast dolls yourself, you are forbidden from advertising your faceup services even for legit dolls in many of the large online communities which hurts your ability to promote your services and affects your profitability.
    • Even if you find and join recast neutral or recast friendly communities, there are “spies” and “cyberbullies” from anti-recast communities who can find you and not only ban you from their communities, but also publicly humiliate and harrass you online or off.
      • Even if you yourself do not own a recast doll, and merely want to label yourself as “recast neutral” that means you don’t buy recasts, but you don’t care if others buy recasts, these “spies” will label you as “Recast Friendly” and bully and harrass you the same as they would an actual owner of recast dolls.
        • I was in a number of facebook groups when the whole recast neutral thing first took off a few years ago. I merely wanted to say, hey, I don’t really care what you do with your money, that’s up to you, and to label myself AGAINST all this cyber bullying drama that goes on in the hobby.
        • But I left the communities due to fear of becoming a victim of bullying myself by association with those owning recast dolls.
        • On one hand, I see the bully’s point of view, if you are “turning a blind eye” from the problems of art theft and copyright infringement, you are enabling others to continue to purchase recasts
        • But on the other hand, similarly, if you “turn a blind eye” on all the cyber bullying and drama, you’re enabling users to continue to cyber bully, threaten, and harm other users as well.
          • You might think, well they own a recast so they deserve to be bullied or threatened but you don’t know anything about this person and owning a recast doll is far from the worst thing a person could do.
          • Many people take the bullying to such extremes that it becomes very stressful for the victim and spills into many other aspects of their daily life.
          • Many people view owning a recast as negatively as robbing a bank, or other “large scale” theft. Which is blown pretty out of proportion. For one thing, owning or purchasing a recast (yes even when you know it is a recast) is NOT illegal in the United States as long as it’s for personal use, while other forms of theft and robbery are illegal. Source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html
          • I’m not saying owning a recast is perfectly OK or that there are not victims or consequences that the industry experiences, or that recasts should be viewed as widely acceptable, but it’s far from the level of extremity that many anti-recast users view it as and does not necessarily instantly make someone the scum of the earth or invalidate them as a person. People all have flaws, weaknesses, sins, etc. Not a single one of us on this Earth is perfect.
            • Many anti-recast people jump to wild unfounded illogical accusations / assumptions / conclusions about the people owning a recast about their other morals, characteristics, personality traits, and personal life that make the person appear as scum.
            • They tell everyone to shun and not associate with this person. Even if they already know or are friends with the recast owner.
              • This is in my opinion horrible, encouraging people to end years long friendships because their friend owns a recast
              • Encouraging friends to shun and not associate with their friends who own recasts, and even encouraging them to join in on the cyber bullying against recast-owning friends
              • If you choose to end a friendship with someone because they own a recast doll, you’re not a good friend.
                • I personally don’t care if a friend owns a recast doll. It doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t change my opinion of them, and it doesn’t break our friendship or invalidate what I already know to be true of that person.
                • Friendships aren’t about doll drama. Friendships are about shared memories and experiences built together over time and about other personal traits and qualities.
                • Being a good person, or a good friend, isn’t automatically negated by owning a recast doll. That’s silly. I much rather have a friend who cares about me as a person, makes time for me, gives me good advice, shares things in common with me, does things for other people, makes me laugh, smart, fun, funny, witty, caring, warm, etc. Owning a recast doesn’t negate all those other things or the years of history we’ve built together.
                • This is just hypothetical as I don’t know anyone who actually owns a recast, before you want to witch hunt or harrass any of my friends, I’m just saying that if I discovered one of them did own a recast doll, it wouldn’t really change my opinion of them. My love for my friends goes deeper than if they own a recast doll or not.
          • In my own opinion, and in that of many recast neutral / recast friendly users, owning a recast doll is no different from downloading a “free” mp3 without the artist’s permission / without funds going to the artist. It’s no different than owning a fake Coach purse handbag, or fake pair of “designer” jeans or sunglasses. It’s no different from watching a stream of a mostly text/visual video game (visual novel, otome game, most rpgs, etc), or no different from watching a new release movie online for free.
          • All of these things are crimes and “wrong” – but how many people, including yourself and your friends do at least 1, or more of these actions? If it’s up to the cyber bullies, you should end all friendships and relationships with these people.
          • I’m not saying everyone does these actions (downloading MP3s, owning knock off fashion items, watching movies online, using their friends’ netflix accounts, or etc)
          • But I am saying, think about someone you know who does these things… If you don’t know anyone who does those things, picture hypothetically that you discover a very good friend has done this. Would you automatically hate that person and never hang out with them or talk to them ever again? I doubt it. You’d be more likely to remember all the times that friend was there for you, that they did something nice for you, nice for their community, nice for their country, nice for their other friends, nice for their kids, nice for their spouse or significant other, or nice for a random stranger even.
          • You might be thinking, oh my friend is so nice and so good, and so moral they would never own a recast doll (or download an mp3, or watch a movie online, or buy knock-off fashion items or login to their friends’ netflix account, or etc.) — But the reality is, there are millions of people like your friend who is so nice, and so good, and so moral (in other areas of their life perhaps) that DO own a recast doll, (or download mp3s, and etc). Owning a recast doll, doesn’t necessarily make someone deserving of the extreme levels of bullying that exist in the hobby.
          • You have no right to make assumptions about a person, especially regarding their character, their personal life, their moral judgement. Yes they made a poor moral choice buying a recast doll. However, there are far worse things than owning a recast doll. There are people who lie, who cheat, or murder, who commit adultery, have affairs, harm animals, harm children, commit fraud, or numerous other more serious crimes / immoral decisions.
          • And owning a recast doll does not automatically make someone more likely to commit these other more serious crimes / immoral decisions, not anymore or any less likely than anyone else.
          • The wild jumps to conclusions / assumptions about people’s personality traits, morality, and judgement are where I take huge issue with a lot of the “anti-recast” drama. – If they left the personal assumptions aside, and just made it about the dolls, that’s one thing that no one could really take issue or offense with, but instead, they launch these horrible personal attacks and witch hunts, and in my opinion that behavior is way worse than owning a recast doll. If you ask me who I rather be friends with, I would choose the person owning the recast doll, any day, over the person who is committing cyber bullying and harassment.
    • If you own a “mix” of legit and recast dolls, it tarnishes your name/reputation in the community, and may hinder your enjoyment of the community aspects of your legit dolls. Once you’re labeled as owning a recast, even if you own 20 legit dolls, and 1 recast, that 1 recast reflects so strongly against you that most anti-recast communities will treat you poorly even if you never share that 1 recast anywhere on their community and only share your legit dolls. Once you are discovered to own recast dolls it is a big risk. Are you willing to take that risk? You have to ask yourself how important is being part of the community to your enjoyment of the dolls? Not everyone cares about sharing photos of their dolls or participating in meetups, etc. But if you do, then owning a recast is sure to bring you a lot of misery and stress.
      • For example, you might post pictures of your legit dolls, with or without your recast dolls, on your own personal site or social media, and you might receive negative comments, even if that picture contains no recast dolls, because maybe your account has other pictures that do have recast dolls.
        • Online drama in other communities:
          • There are hashtags that many of the anti-recast users want recast owners to use.
          • Many recast owners are afraid to “oust” themselves by admitting to owning a recast doll because they know:
            • 1.) that it is wrong
            • 2.) that they will have to suffer cyber bullying and possible repercussions from other communities and users.
          • Other recast owners do not even know they should be tagging their dolls as recasts, because they do not participate in the anti-recast communities where these hashtag “rules” originated.
          • Anti-recast communities and their members try to enforce their views/rules/regulations outside of areas of their control (such as wanting to enforce hashtags or ban photos of recasts from popular social media sites, such as instagram, youtube, twitter, or going as far as wanting to shut down or bully users who build websites for their recast dolls, not to sell their dolls, but maybe to share photos, roleplay, write stories, character descriptions, and so on.)
            • In reality though, the only thing they can really do is report the content to the site owners, such as reporting your content to youtube or facebook for violating some sort of facebook or youtube policy about bootleg items if even such a policy exists hypothetically speaking.
    • Even if you are just posting the recast dolls on your own personal websites / social media pages, you will get a lot of hurtful comments from anti-recast users so you must be prepared to deal with the cyberbullying that comes with owning a recast. You must have very thick skin. The comments do not stop at just remarks about your dolls, but remarks about you as a person, your morals, your ethics, and even calling into question details of your personal life, relationships, or other drama, anything they can find against you, they will use to their advantage to shame you for owning a recast. Some remarks even go as far as telling recast doll owners to kill themselves, or talking about breaking, burning, trashing, or harming the recast dolls, and or even suggesting committing theft and property damage or even bodily harm of recast doll owners, through doxxing (posting private details online such as address or phone numbers) or other harmful cyber bully tactics.
    • Or you could always just always keep your recast to yourself, do not ever mention owning a recast and never show photos of your recast or take them to events, even ones labeled as recast friendly, for fear of being discovered. But this eliminates your ability to enjoy many aspects of the hobby which may be important to you.
    • This is a lot to think about – and even if you don’t care about supporting the artists, chances are, you do care about being bullied and/or want to enjoy your dolls with other members of the doll community. You should really think carefully about if you can withstand the cyberbullying and about what you are giving up or missing out on by owning a recast. If it is your first doll, chances are you want to do all of the things that come with owning a doll and being part of the hobby and community. Owning a recast will paint a large target on your back right from day one and forever tarnish your reputation in many online and offline doll communities. Once you own a recast you can never redeem yourself in the eyes of most of the community. Even if you sell or throw away or give away your doll, you will always be looked at with suspicion by the anti-recast community.
      • That suspicion even spills over to those who have never owned a recast before; there have been countless instances of someone owning a legit and being accused and bullied for owning a recast, when the doll was in fact legit to begin with.
      • The best way to protect yourself against cyber bullying is to never purchase a recast, and always keep your COA, box, and other items, as well as registering your dolls online if the specific company where you purchased your doll from allows registration.
  • The 3rd reason to purchase Legit dolls is concerns over quality or communication and for more peace of mind/buyer’s protection

    • Even many anti-recast communities admit that newer recasts have improved in both quality and communication practices and that it is getting more difficult to easily spot a recast based solely on quality alone.
    • However, just like not all legit doll companies have the same levels of quality assurance, the same goes for different recasters. Some recasters have higher quality and better communication than others.
    • Even those recasters with higher quality sometimes make mistakes or deliver poor goods, just like even some high quality legit doll manufacturers sometimes make mistakes.
      • The most common quality issues surrounding recasts include:
        • Shrinkage; when a recast is made, they use an existing legit doll as a mold. When that mold gets old, new molds are created from the mold of a recast, as time goes on, each mold gets slightly smaller and smaller and the resulting doll therefore gets smaller and smaller too.
        • As a result of shrinkage and/or the molding process, there is sometimes a loss of detail around fine areas such as the eyes, nose, lips, or ears of the recast doll.
        • Another issue is often the magnets used to attach fantasy parts or hands/feet are weaker than those supplied by the legit companies.
          • Sometimes too there will be wrong magnets, where it repells the body part instead of attract, making it impossible to assemble.
        • Stringing and other issues internally in the doll can result in a doll with inferior posing abilities compared to the legit versions.
        • Sometimes dolls arrive with two left feet, legs, or other mismatched body parts, this is perhaps the worst flaw of all because it significantly affects pose-ability.
        • Sometimes dolls arrive broken, damaged, etc in shipping. Sometimes shipments get lost. Sometimes they send you completely the wrong dolls or wrong parts.
          • When this happens sometimes you’re left with poor customer service (or no response at all) and lose your money and receive damaged goods or no goods at all.
          • Even legit doll companies can have issues with quality control or communication; however, the problems seem more common with the recast companies. Some people get perfect dolls and perfect, prompt, friendly polite customer service even from recasters. It just depends. It seems most legit doll companies have a better more consistent record at providing better quality products and customer service.
            • The 4th reason to purchase Legit dolls is a wider variety and a larger selection to choose from.

    • Although dozens, maybe even hundreds, of dolls have been recast, not all dolls have been recast yet. Recasters only buy dolls they think will be popular enough to sell many units. Even though recasters have cloned many dolls, there are thousands more that they do not offer.
      • If the doll you really love has not been recast, you should save your money to get a doll you love, and not just settle for one you like. In the long run, you won’t be happy, because you’ll always be comparing the doll you have, to the doll you’ve seen that you really wanted but couldn’t afford.
      • You might say but I will never afford it, or even if I could afford it, I’d feel so bad spending so much money on a doll.
        • There are numerous distributors which offer layaway options, even some of the doll manufacturers offer layaway too to help ease the financial burden.
        • You will love your doll more if you have to work hard for it. It will be precious to you. It will mean something to you. Just like anything in life, things feel BEST when you earn them through hard work, instead of things just being given to you with minimal effort.
          • Even if you are a child, or you are disabled, or you are elderly, or some other reason you cannot have a traditional job, there are ways you can make income to fund your hobbies.
            • Here are a few examples that anyone can do:
              • Start a blog – you might not get rich, but you’d be surprised how much you can earn each month. For example my little blog here averages between 100-300 a month. There are many many dolls in this price range, that could be a doll a month. I use my blog all the time as my “hobby money” buying things like games, dolls, anime, cosplay, or whatever. It feels “good” to me, because I’m not taking the income out of my regular paycheck, nor am I using expensive credit cards with high interest rates, and I’m “earning” things for my hobby through hard work and dedication.
              • Take up crafting, especially doll related crafting. You can sell wigs, eyes, clothes, faceup services, etc. And then you will have left over materials, and a lot of experience and skills making these items for when you finally have a doll of your own.
                • Even if you don’t have experience or talent making anything, you can always learn! There are so many tutorials online, and it’s fun and part of owning a doll that many collectors enjoy in the hobby.
                • You can start with smaller less expensive doll clothing/eyes/wigs such as for pullip, blythe, icy dolls, and etc. This way you can purchase a doll to get exact measurements and have a doll to model your finished pieces to help sell and promote your items more quickly.
              • Have a yard sale, or ebay if you prefer to do it online, to get rid of old items you no longer need. You’d be surprised what some people collect that you no longer want, such as old toys, clothes, housewares, home goods, video games, anime goods, etc.
              • Do chores – even if you’re a tiny child, ask your parents, friends, family members, neighbors, etc if you can earn 20 bucks helping them do chores that you normally don’t do.
                • Here are a few examples:
                  • Shovel snow
                  • Rake leaves
                  • Wash cars
                  • Walk dogs
                  • Babysitting (for older kids / teens)
                  • Cleaning challenging rooms/areas such as attics, garages, basements, etc.
                  • Helping with computer, internet, printer, and other technological devices
                  • Running errands
                  • Delivering groceries or other items
                  • Uber or Lyft driving (for teens/adults)
                  • Lemonade Stand / Baked Goods sales
              • Online surveys
              • Create virtual items in free games such as IMVU and Secondlife, then sell the in-game currency for real money
              • Write and self publish a book or ebook and sell it on amazon or similar
              • Photography for older kids/teens, see if friends and family members will pay you to capture special moments, such as wedding/engagement photos, baby announcements/baby photos, family portraits, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for money. At my first wedding, a friend of the groom was our photographer, but he still charged us 200 dollars – which was cheap really because we had him for the whole day (10+ hours).
              • Many other ideas and suggestions I have probably forgotten – there are many ways you can earn money to get the doll you really want. You just have to be creative and think outside the box! Age, disability, or other factors are just an excuse. They may hinder you from having a “real” job, but don’t have any impact on many other things you can do to earn money “on the side”.
  • The 5th and “final” (at least for this post) reason for purchasing Legit dolls is to help maintain the value of the dolls.

    • Doll collecting is an expensive hobby. Even many US dolls are worth a lot of money on the second hand market, like old barbies, my little ponies, etc.
    • When something goes out of production, it’s a simple lesson in supply and demand. As supplies decrease and/or demand increases, prices also increase. But as supplies increase, and/or demand decrease, prices decrease.
    • Many limited edition Asian Balljointed Dolls are EXTREMELY limited. Sold only for a month, or even some only for a few days. I think my Crobidoll Sinbi was only available for about 4 days – And even “better” inside her headcap it says “01” – I think maybe she was the first Crobidoll Sinbi to ever be produced. I feel extremely excited / proud about that.
      • Another example is my Iplehouse Claude, currently my most expensive Asian Balljointed Doll. I paid over $900 for him. He used to just be a standard doll, that Iplehouse sold, but then they decided to retire him. Now he is only available very rarely and for only a few days at a time. And his price has increased. They do open him up for sales, I don’t know if it’s yearly. I don’t believe so at least. They occasionally have “auctions” on Iplehouses site, or have “Custom” sales where you can order any head (from a list of available heads, in which Claude is not always offered).
      • Another example is many Dollmore dolls do limited editions of like 10 dolls. That’s it. TEN. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. And they sell them WORLDWIDE.
        • To put it into perspective, a European doll manufacturer that I collect, called Masterpiece Dolls, also makes limited edition dolls that they sell “Worldwide” but you know how many “limited” dolls they release? 10,000…. That doesn’t even sound limited at all!!! (but yet they do sell out and there are some highly sought after ones on the 2nd hand market)… Now imagine that “hype” times 1,000…. That’s how rare and sought after some limited edition Asian Balljoint dolls are! There are even companies such as Volks which make “One Off” dolls, where there is only ONE in the whole world. (my dream is to someday own one of those lol)
          • Now imagine the rage and hatred that someone feels when someone recasts and makes unlimited numbers of a limited edition doll. Suddenly you go from having 1 or 10, to having thousands, and growing as time goes on…
            • This kills the 2nd hand market for a user who may one day wish to resell their doll. Why they would want to resell their doll, is their business. Some people fall on hard times, other people outgrow the hobby, or some just want the money to spend on more newer dolls.
            • Back in 2005, a user might pay $600 for a limited doll, and be able to later resell it for 2 to 3 times the purchase price (1200-1800 typically, and sometimes for really sought after sculpts, 3000 dollars and up)
              • But along come recasters, and with that, there goes the 2nd hand market.
                • Why would someone want a yellowed, possibly cracked, stained, used doll for $3,000 dollars, when they can get a brand new mint condition doll for $200?
                  • You can easily see how this destroyed the 2nd hand market.
                    • Nowadays people have trouble selling 2nd hand dolls, and the recasters are one of the primary reasons.
                    • To prove that it is a primary reason, you can look at other similar asian dolls which have not yet been recast, such as Dollfie Dreams or Smart Dolls, and you can see how the 2nd hand market is thriving there. Many extremely old Dollfie Dreams go for $3,000 and up still today.
                      • These dolls haven’t been recast because they have intricate and delicate parts inside of them such as a spine system that allows for greater stability, flexibility, and poseability. Recasters have not figured out how to engineer these internal pieces, which for now, keeps them safe from recasters.
            • Not only the 2nd hand market, but also the “uniqueness” and “pride” in owning a limited doll. It kills that special fun, super exciting feeling of exclusivity. I’m sure they still love their doll just the same, but it kills some of the magic and excitement.
              • Suddenly you see photos that look like your doll plastered all over the internet.
                • Sure yours might be painted differently, styled differently, different wig, different eyes, different clothes, different faceup, but still it is disheartening to go from seeing maybe 3-4 other users posting pictures of “your” doll, to seeing hundreds or thousands of users posting the same sculpt all over.
                  • One of the best things about the hobby is how unique and different everyone’s dolls look, even when it’s the same sculpt, but sculpt too does have an effect, and when you think you’re buying a rare sculpt, for someone to then go and recast that doll, and ruin its rarity, it’s really devastating. It’s a horrible feeling.

What Are the Reasons Someone Would Want a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

  • Lower Price

    • Obviously the biggest reason to purchase recast dolls is the more attractive price point. As mentioned above when discussing the 2nd hand market and limited edition dolls, many Asian Balljointed Dolls go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You can get the same doll, brand new, and not used, for a fraction of the cost.
    • How much money are we talking here?
      • Some recast sculpts are more money than others – I think they like to take advantage of the popularity and rare availability of certain sculpts
      • Doll size is also a consideration, larger dolls use more materials and cost more to manufacture, and are heavier and cost more to ship, therefore they have higher prices.
      • Tinies, YOSD, Puki’s, Latidolls, etc. are all very very affordable. Even some MSDs are insanely affordable.
        • I purchased my 2 recasts during an anniversary event where there was an even greater discount off the already low recast prices.
        • Regularly, the little recast latidolls are around $65 with a faceup, or $40-$50 for a blank doll
          • They go for $200 and up for a blank Lati Yellow from Lati Doll.
          • Because of the sales event, I got mine for $55 with a faceup and shipping and handling.
            • I didn’t pay much more than that for the much much larger / heavier Littlefee Pong, which was under $65 for faceup and shipping and handling
              • Littlefees go for $285 and up (not counting faceup or shipping) from Fairyland – more than 4 times the amount I paid.
              • Since we’re talking about Fairyland, the MSD line goes for $397 on Fairyland’s site, or only $47 from the recaster that I ordered my Lati and Littlefee from (both prices are for blank dolls, both prices go up slightly for a faceup). This is almost 10 times more than the cost of a recast MSD.
                • The recaster has almost every MSD sculpt – but not all of them. I don’t see Shiwoo and there’s probably others the recaster is missing as well 🙂 They do have littlefee Shiwoo though.
      • The SD and larger dolls start to get a lil bit pricey even from the recasters. However, they are still much much cheaper than their legit counterparts from their original manufacturers.
        • The SD dolls are almost all $100 and up, with most being $200 and up. Most are still under $300, even for instances in where the legit are rare, limited, or discontinued.
          • This may sound expensive to some not familiar with the hobby, but the Legit SD sized dolls regularly go for $600-800 for a standard, non limited, regular SD sized BJD, and even up from there. I’ve seen some companies charge $900, or even $1,000 or more for a limited edition doll.
          • To remain neutral I should also note that there are some Legit companies which offer SD dolls for under $300 too. I will add several of these dolls to the resources section at the end of this article.
    • The prices of being in the hobby, don’t just stop at the dolls either. There are eyes and wigs and clothes and shoes and props and accessories and furniture and even if you plan to make everything by hand, you still have to factor in materials and the value of your time.
      • Spending less on the actual dolls themselves gives you more money to spend on “all the rest” of the things you’ll need to buy for the dolls.
      • Not everyone values money the same way. Some people could afford Legits, but don’t want to spend the money when to them a recast is just as good. Just like to some people they could afford a coach handbag or designer glasses, but they don’t see the “value” in it, when to them the knockoff or counterfeit versions are just as good.
  • Availability of Discontinued or “Limited Edition” Dolls

    • As I mentioned above under preserving the value of the dolls, many companies manufacture limited edition dolls. Now you might be familiar with limited dolls from European or North American manufacturers as having hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands of units in production… but that is not the case for a limited edition Asian Balljointed Doll. Not at all!
      • Most are limited by a time frame window. They take an unlimited number of orders but only for a short period lasting a few days, up to a week, the longest I’ve ever seen for a limited ABJD was a month long ordering window.
      • Others are limited by the manufacturers producing only a small number of dolls to sell.
        • And by small I mean SMALL!!! Not hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands.
        • Dollmore usually does 10, and that’s for WORLDWIDE distribution.
        • Other companies like Volks even make “One Off Dolls” where there’s only ONE in the whole world.
      • Once it’s gone, that’s it, it will never be offered again.
        • This is good for the Resell 2nd hand market and for creating excitement for the companies to sell more dolls and also creating a proud exciting feeling for those who are lucky enough to own such a doll (man I LOVE that feeling..).
        • But “bad” for someone who wants a specific doll. Imagine just finding the hobby today, and missing out on 20+ years of limited edition dolls.
          • Those dolls are highly sought after and have high market value, which makes them very expensive, sometimes up to $3,000 for a 2nd hand doll.
          • All resin yellows over time, this is fact. I still have my very first ABJD that I purchased in 2006, and it’s yellow as hell. To the point where I don’t play with or display it, but it’s still near and dear to my heart and will never be sold.
            • My first doll was a Dollzone Demi
              • It was not limited, but for whatever reason, Dollzone no longer offers Dollzone Demi anymore. The sculpt has been retired, etc. The company has moved a completely different direction, and its apparently working for them, and they have a lot of fans, but honestly (most of) their newer dolls scare the hell out of me and gross me out lol.
              • I would love to purchase a new, mint condition Dollzone Demi, one that’s not yellow, and preferably one with a company faceup since mine just has my bad attempts at my first (and 2nd, 3rd, etc) faceups.
              • But I can’t purchase it from Dollzone as it’s been discontinued, and I don’t think it was ever recast either, so I’m stuck with my yucky yellow doll that I still love very much. If I could buy another Demi from Dollzone I definitely would buy another Demi right now today this very moment. I could buy another on the 2nd hand market (assuming I could find one) but they’d be just as yellow as mine as 12 years have passed now.
              • If it would have been recast, I could have just “replaced” my dolls as they began to yellow. (although I’d still keep my original dolls, especially Demi since she was my first).
              • In this way, I can really understand fully why someone want want a recast doll – No one wants yellow banana babies.
          • Other times, a Legit doll company goes out of business forever. And their dolls are no longer available. There may not even by (m)any on the 2nd hand market either! Or the ones on the market place may have small defects and imperfections since they are used and probably several years old now. And as those are sold, fewer and fewer remain. Overtime, eventually it becomes impossible to buy a Legit of one of their dolls.
            • There are recast versions of many dolls from many manufacturers who have gone out of business. Dream of Doll comes to mind off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are others.
              • I know that the fact there are recast versions of the dolls may have been what led to them going out of business in part or in whole, and I can’t deny that.
              • But in some cases, the Legit companies have gone out of business due to bad service or poor quality or just the economy.
              • And many other companies where almost every sculpt have been recast are still selling dolls and still profitable, because they offer good quality and good service, or just make really attractive sculpts or well engineered dolls, or unique dolls, etc.
              • Whatever the case is, buying a Legit from those companies who close down is no longer possible as the company no longer exists.
              • You may get lucky and find one in reasonable shape and at a reasonable price on the 2nd hand market, but you might not find the doll, or it might have scratches or stains, or other flaws on the 2nd hand market, or it might be very expensive since the seller knows you can no longer purchase the doll from the manufacturer.
              • In times like these people often feel justified in purchasing a recast doll and many, like myself, feel that if the company still sold the sculpt they wanted, or if the company was still in business, they’d purchase the legit.
              • Many people don’t want yellow dolls, scratched dolls, stained dolls, dolls with poor faceups, dolls that need to be restrung, dolls that have had extensive modding, or etc.
              • Many Anti-Recasters argue to “Save for the Doll You REALLY want” — but what if the doll you REALLY want is from a company who is out of business and there’s not any dolls in the 2nd hand market? Then they tell you, buy a doll that looks like that doll, or wait and see if any come on the 2nd hand market, or etc.
                • But I disagree. I think you should ALWAYS go for the doll you REALLY want, and since that company is out of business, you’re not even hurting the company or artist.
                  • It can be argued though you’re hurting other artists and other companies, because the recasters will take your money to purchase more legit dolls to use as molds for their recasts
                  • But I still say, go for the doll you REALLY want, if it’s Legit, or if it’s only available as a recast. If it’s a 2nd hand doll and yellowed and stained, if that’s not what you want, you want a new doll, hey it’s your money. And remember if it’s for personal use it’s not illegal (in the US), and the only harm is that you’re hurting the 2nd hand market, or angering the owners of the original dolls, but still, that shouldn’t force you to feel bullied into buying a doll you don’t want.
                    • No one wants that banana green doll with a chipped finger and black stains from their wig and peeling faceup that you’re charging $1,200 for. I’m sorry.
                      • If it was me, doing the shopping, and I could only get the Legit from you…
                        • And assuming it was poor quality, because I also know there are 2nd hand dolls that are in great condition. I’ve purchased 2nd hand dolls myself!..
                          • But if my only options were a really bad quality 2nd hand doll at 3 times the original price that it was when it was brand new from the manufacturer, and there was no other option because the company no longer existed, and even if no recast “new” “mint condition” version existed, I would just not buy the doll at all, I STILL wouldn’t be buying your overpriced poor condition used banana baby regardless of if a recast was offered of that sculpt or not. Sorry but that’s how I feel.
                          • Recasting does indeed hurt the 2nd hand market, absolutely, because there are hundreds of other dolls who are still available from the manufacturer who can be found recast for like a 1/10 of the price of the legit. And many people will buy the recast version instead of the legit, making it more difficult to sell your used legits when they can get a brand new recast at a tenth of the price. Plus there are probably others who WOULD probably buy your little discontinued or limited banana colored baby, but not me. If it was in good condition, sure I’d buy it 2nd hand, don’t get me wrong.
                            • But over time, as such is the case with my 12 year old Dollmore Demi there just aren’t any options that AREN’T yellow and/or stained or flawed etc.
                              • Which means that, some of those people you are harassing and cyberbullying would never have bought your 2nd hand market doll(s) in the first place.
                              • Some of the people purchasing recast would never buy your banana baby dolls even if they couldn’t get the doll “brand new” they would just either get a different doll or no doll at all…
                              • And still leave you unable to sell your used doll to them because they just aren’t wanting to purchase a doll that looks so used.
                                • So AT LEAST PART of the argument of the market place devastation due to recasters, is in fact quite flawed, and it’s also part of the reason behind the cyberbully attacks.
                                  • Which is what the bullies just don’t understand. It’s not as if removing all recasts would instantly allow them to sell their dolls at premium prices. It just doesn’t work that way.
  • To Have a “Hybrid” Doll More Easily

    • Many people worry about “Resin Matching” when wanting to create a Legit Hybrid Doll. This refers to the colors of the resin, Since as we know resin yellows over time, this can make it even more challenging. Not only do you need to find a company whose resin color closely matches your existing head, but you need to worry about if your head has yellowed, and how it will look on the new body. Even if your head is brand new, there are slight color variations between each batch of resin.
      • But recasting takes away all of this worry. You can mix and match a head from Company B, on a Body from Company C, with a Resin color from Company D. All cast from the same batch of resin.
    • Why would someone want a hybrid doll?
      • Not all dolls are created equal – some are just FAR better posers than others. Or others have more aesthetically pleasing bodies.
        • But maybe they don’t have the right face for the doll you want
        • Maybe you want a different face, or a different body. Maybe you just like the way the body is shaped. As time has gone on, companies have gotten more experimental with their bodies, making some with big heads, big hips, big busts, animal/fantasy parts, exaggerated cartoon proportions, child like bodies, more mature bodies, etc.
  • Out of Curiosity

    • Why does anyone do anything “bad” that they know they shouldn’t do? Simple, curiosity. A recent release movie had a good quote that said “You can’t teach people to not try things, that’s what trying things is for” In other words people learn by trying things, even bad things that other people think they shouldn’t do.
    • My recast purchase was mostly out of curiosity. A combination of curiosity and unbeatable pricing. I was like I wonder if the quality is as good as my legit dolls, I wonder if the things everyone says (both good or bad) are true. I want to find out first hand.
      • I had been reading about both sides of the debate for years. I’d seen photo comparisons and I knew the risks and the benefits of both sides of the issue. I carefully researched which recaster to purchase from, read reviews, both positive and negative, and did my homework.
        • But reading and understanding something from 2nd hand information just can’t compare to experiencing it for yourself and making your own decisions
        • It’s like reading a restaurant review; you might hear they have the most delicious food, but until you taste it, you can’t be sure. Different people like different tastebuds and preferences.
        • First hand experience can’t be beat. It lets you learn without any one elses’ bias or opinion influencing your decisions.
        • And you might come to find that your opinion based on that first hand experience is so different from anything you’d heard or read, or thought you knew or think you understand.
        • Until you try it, how can you know?
        • I’m glad I tried it. Prior to this, I’d say I leaned more towards Anti-Recast but now I definitely side with Recast Friendly and plan to purchase more recasts in the future. This comment will bring me some flames I’m sure, but I’m being very candid, open, and upfront in this article, and have been very candid and open on my social media channels and elsewhere.
  • To Have a “New” Doll Instead of a “Used” Doll

    • I covered this at length a few paragraphs above under the availability of limited or discontinued dolls.
    • Resin yellows and stains easily
    • Many people don’t want yellow or stained dolls.
    • Other flaws include chips and scratches, broken fingers, etc
    • Many older dolls will need to be restrung
    • Others have peeling faceups that need refreshed or removed
    • If a recast of that sculpt is available it gives you a chance to own a doll in mint brand new condition instead of having to settle for damaged goods
    • I want to stress the fact that not all 2nd hand dolls are yellowed, flawed, chipped, stained, etc.
      • Many are perfectly fine.
        • I myself have purchased 2nd hand dolls before with no issues.
    • Even if the doll is perfectly fine though, many people would still rather have a new doll as opposed to a used doll.
      • Just as there are many perfectly fine things at your local goodwill, even things with tags still attached that have never been used before.
        • But if someone can buy item X at goodwill for $35 or item X at walmart brand new for $2 where do you think they’re shopping? Not only does it cost less, but it’s brand new too. Now imagine multiplying that price by 10 or 100 times and compare the value.
    • I understand this angers a lot of people in the hobby, but the fact is that it’s not JUST about the recasts. That’s not the sole reason the market place has crashed. Some people just really don’t want your yellow stained banana babies and would not buy it even if they had no alternatives (such as recasts)
    • Anti-Recasters always say get the doll you really want.
      • But the doll some people really want isn’t a yellowed, stained, chipped, cracked, peeling, floppy version of that doll
        • For some people the doll they really want is a brand new doll. End of story.
  • To Have a Doll in a Fantasy or Unique “Skin” (Resin) color

    • If you want a purple or green or black or grey or snow white or magenta colored doll, you can request different resin colors from recasters that were not offered by the original manufacturer.
  • To Have a Doll that They Can Practice Faceup Skills and Modding on.

    • Spending $50-$100 as opposed to $500-$1,000 on a doll can make people feel more comfortable to enjoy artistic aspects within the hobby such as painting, sanding, or customizing their dolls.
    • Similarly related, many just feel more comfortable taking the doll outdoors, doing creative photoshoots, or merely handling or playing with a less expensive doll. Some people feel that if they spent several hundred on a doll that they would be too nervous to enjoy the doll. You might think that their fears are strange / silly / stupid or tell them that that’s what the dolls are for, to handle and enjoy, but many others, especially first time owners, feel differently. You have to remember not everyone has the same view points, personalities, attitudes etc towards things.
  • To See If They Want to Collect Asian Balljointed Dolls

    • Many people buy recast and then later on buy legit.
      • Some people can feel intimidated to throw down $500 and up on a doll when they’re not sure if they’ll even like it.
      • A smaller price point makes the dolls more accessible to people who either wouldn’t or couldn’t spend the money on a legit “at first”
        • But they may find they love the hobby, and later buy the same sculpt or a different legit doll once they’ve gotten into the hobby.
        • Others may find the hobby is not for them, and then instead of losing a lot of money, they are out significantly less money when they decide to leave the hobby.
  • They See No Difference Between the Recast and Legit Dolls

    • My experience was very very positive with my first recast purchase. Your mileage may vary. But some people, such as myself, have an excellent experience. They get excellent service and receive an item that is 99.9999% identical to the real thing while spending about 85% less money.
      • I was honestly blown away by the quality of the recasts I purchased. They had no odor, they had beautiful normal colored and smooth resin. The larger of the two dolls was quite heavy actually, not light/thin resin like I’d read about some people receiving. It had no bubbles, cracks, debris inside or out of it. It was in flawless condition. The dolls posed and stood up on their own perfectly and were very stable. The faceups were beautiful – much better than I could do myself, and it wasn’t that they were worse than the company’s default faceups, just done in a different style, but that was OK, because people do their own faceups, or send the heads out for faceups by other people all the time, even with legit dolls. There is no reason that a doll has to have a factory default faceup – in fact many people probably prefer something more unique and customized.
    • Others might have different views and different experiences which lead them to different opinions.
      • But just as you can’t be swayed away from your belief that recasts are “vastly inferior”, neither can others be swayed from their belief that recasts are “almost as good or nearly the same as the real thing”
      • We form our opinions and beliefs based on what we see, what we read, what we hear, and on what we experience. And no two people ever experience anything in the exact same way, because each person is different. 2 People could be sharing an experience together, and come away with very different feelings even though they both experienced it at the exact same time. Like my best friend would love to go ziplining in the jungle, while I would be terrified. I love wooden roller coasters and my boyfriend is terrified of those. I love swimming and until a few months ago my boyfriend had never even been in a pool. Like I said no two people are the same!
        • So two people might get two very similar quality dolls but have very different perceptions about how they’d grade that quality.
        • Everything in life is subjective – dolls are no different
    • Also as mentioned elsewhere throughout this article, there is no difference (for many people) morally speaking in owning a recast doll compared to a number of other activities that the overwhelmingly vast majority of the North American population engages in daily. Such as but not limited to:
      • Downloading an “illegal” mp3
      • Watching a movie streaming online instead of going to the theater or instead of purchasing the DVD or instead of paying for a digital download/stream or instead of paying a cable provider
      • Logging into their friends’ netflix accounts
      • Signing up for a free trial just to access an item for free and then cancelling the trial once you are done with that 1 item
      • Creating multiple free trial accounts to avoid ever paying for a subscription
      • Using your student discount when you’re no longer a student
      • Using a friends’ Amazon prime
      • Using a friends’ costco or sams’ club memberships
      • Buying knock-off fashion items such as replicas of coach bags, replicas of designer jeans, replicas of designer sunglasses, etc.
      • Purchasing other anime/asian related items from Chinese websites or in Chinatown etc. Most all of these are counterfeit, just like the recast dolls. Also if you subscribe to monthly subscription boxes, the vast majority of those include counterfeit items too.
      • Even in the doll hobby, there is not this kind of hatred for other “recast” dolls such as Blythe and Pulip. Most Blythe and Pulip online communities welcome users to share their “Fakies” and “Off brand” dolls. My little pony is another big one where recast ponies are encouraged to be used and even sold as artist creation dolls and even welcomed at events and conventions.
      • If you’re purchasing dolls wigs on ebay, taobao, or aliexpress, you’re purchasing from recasters, even if you’re not purchasing a recast, they’re using your money to continue to buy new legit dolls to add to their collection of molds to recast new dolls. Many people in the community are vehemently anti-recast, but yet continue to shop here for doll accessories, wigs, clothing, etc. Which is just funny and hypocritical really.
  • The Recast May Have Been Gifted to Them By Someone Not Familiar with the Hobby

    • Family members, especially parents, grandparents, or male family members may not even realize that they are buying a recast.
    • Even if they know it is a recast, they may not view anything wrong with this because they are not active in the community to have heard all of the reasons why buying a recast is wrong.
    • Even if they know that buying a recast is wrong, they might still want to surprise their loved one with a doll for a special occasion out of love and desire to see that person’s happy expression when they receive their gift.
    • The doll, recast, or legit, would have such strong special sentimental attachment that the recipient of the gift wouldn’t care if it was recast or legit.
      • However, that recipient may feel bullied into behaving rudely towards the person who gave her the gift
      • Also the bullying may overtime cause the recipients feelings about the doll to change
      • Many people will lecture and bully the recipient until she feels ashamed of her doll and forgets the thought and love that went into selecting the gift for her.
      • Some even tell her to give the doll back, or worse yet, throw it away, trash it, burn it, junk it, etc.
        • This is extremely rude! Think how you would feel if you gave a gift to someone and they gave it back to you, or you later discovered they intentionally damaged, lost, gave away, etc the doll.
          • Yes, technically when you give a gift, it’s up to that person, it’s theirs now, if they want to get rid of it, that’s their decision… but if the ONLY reason you’re getting rid of it is because of the bullying, please don’t do that. Just “F” them and continue enjoying your doll. Their behavior is so heartbreakingly cruel. And your behavior towards the person who gave you the doll would be just as cruel too!
            • If you love the person who gave you the doll, and you love(d) the doll, then just continue to keep loving them and enjoying your hobby. Haters gonna hate. Just do your own thing.
            • There are bigger things in the world to worry about. Stick together with your family, friends, significant others, etc, and let their special gift to you make you grow closer, not more distant. Don’t be a dick, don’t let a doll come between you and your loved ones!
  • They don’t care about the 2nd hand market and don’t want to resell their dolls

    • Not only do they not care about your banana babies losing market value, they also don’t care if their own dolls have any market values, because they never intend to resell their dolls.
  • They don’t care about sharing photos of their dolls or participating in many of the larger communities

    • Although unlikely, there are some people that just don’t share their dolls online or attend meetups or any other activities.
      • Some people are just too busy with other hobbies
      • Others, even if they had legit dolls, wish for whatever reason to keep their hobby private.
        • Afterall, dolls are perceived as being childish, and many worry what non-dolly friends, family members, and coworkers would think of their “strange” hobby.
        • Even if they don’t care what others think, some people are just more quiet and passive and private than others and just wish to enjoy their hobby in solitude.
    • Even if unable to participate in the larger communities, many smaller communities have opened up over the past few years that allow you to share and discuss recasts. These communities continue to grow more and more each day.
    • You can create your own blog, or use your own social media pages to share your recast dolls, no one can tell you what to do on your own space.
  • They don’t care about supporting the artists or companies that make the dolls.

    • We should all care about supporting the artists and companies who make our dolls, because without them, there will be no dolls, recast, legit, or otherwise, but the truth is, not everyone does care. And you can’t force them to care. People care about different things. While LOGICALLY it makes sense why we should ALL care, as pointed out, no profit = companies closing = no new legit dolls = no new recasts. It impacts every single person in this hobby. And we all SHOULD care, absolutely. We SHOULD…. but I’m just pointing out that some people STRAIGHT UP DO NOT CARE ABOUT SUPPORTING THE ARTISTS OR COMPANIES — despite all of the reasons why everyone should care, not everyone does. Just like everyone should care about a number of other important topics, global warming, recycling, women’s rights, equality, voting every election, saving for retirement, ending world hunger, helping the homeless, spaying and neutering your pets, or taking care of themselves/physical fitness – but you can probably think of some people in your life, or maybe even yourself who just don’t care, and never will. Everyone cares about different things and nothing will change that.
  • They don’t care about the bullying and drama in the hobby

    • This is what prevented me from buying recast for at least the past 2-3 years. But you know what? I’m so over it. Bullies are not my friends. They don’t care about me, and they will prove how little they care for me based on their words and actions. I only care about the important people in my life. And those important people don’t get an F if I own a recast doll or not. They know who I am as a person deep down and I don’t need to prove myself or validate myself to a bully.
  • They see nothing morally wrong with owning a recast doll

    • Lets all go troll and cyberbully someone for owning a pair of fake “Raybans” or a fake “Rolex” because that’s about how much sense it makes to be hateful to someone owning a recast.
    • There is absolutely no difference.
    • You might think oh the doll is a work of art. But is not fashion also a work of art?
    • Or if you want to set dolls apart as a class of their own, is not a Pullip or a Blythe or a My little Pony also a doll? Nendoroids? Figmas? Even barbies and monster high. All of these get recasted daily. Why then are recasts and fakies welcomed with open arms in those hobbies? Encouraged to be used as artist custom works, shared openly, discussed openly, and praised by their respective communities?
      • What difference is there? Is it price? Materials used? Size of the dolls? How the dolls are used? You can’t say this type of recast is morally wrong, while buying others, and then at the same time supporting, and encouraging recasts of a different type of doll.
        • So you’re saying there’s a price tag on morals now? Once an item crosses a certain monetary value it becomes immoral to have a recast?
    • Everyone has different and unique morals and different standards
    • We come from different backgrounds
    • Our morals are shaped by how we are raised and what we experience in our life.
    • Your morals may have taught you that recast dolls are bad, that it’s somehow far worse than a knock off or counterfeit item of any other kind of object or that it’s somehow different from downloading an MP3 or streaming a movie that you did not purchase. You’re stealing from an artist any time you engage in those behaviors.
    • Your morals may tell you that recast doll owners are the most immoral worst people on Earth and to never associate with them and to “warn” others about them so they don’t accidentally associate with them either. Or you may believe that their entire moral compass is F’ed that they will do nothing but steal, lie, cheat, and take advantage of everyone. That they are greedy, or entitled, or care only about themselves, that they deserve to be bullied and that they are literally the scum of the Earth.
    • For many of us, we disagree.  Many of us realize there are far bigger things to worry about in a person’s character and moral judgement, and that owning a recast doll is no indication of a person’s TRUE character or moral judgement. No more so than downloading an mp3 or carrying an offbrand handbag.
    • You have to realize you can’t force your morals onto other people. I mean if you could, there would be no crime or violence or hate in the world right? But real life is not always black and white, things are more shades of grey.
      • I recognize that buying a recast is wrong.
        • But how I rank that level of wrong is different from how you may rank the level of wrong.
          • And that’s fine, just as you can’t force your views on me, neither can I force mine on you to get you to see it as a lesser offense.
        • Many people rank the owning of a recast doll as the worst most wrong thing a person can do.
          • But to me, I don’t feel like it makes someone instantly a bad person. I give everyone a chance and I have my own set of morals that I judge others on.
            • We shouldn’t even judge people at all, because you know as they say, people in glass homes shouldn’t cast stones.
              • But judging people is part of human nature. We do it from our first impressions within 2-3 seconds of meeting someone and we continue to refine and reshape and rethink those impressions with each further interaction we have with that person.
            • I look at what really counts inside a person (and this is TOTALLY subjective!!! What counts to ME in a good friend might be WAY different to you.) I like the quote that says something like “If you search for friends with no flaws, you’ll be left with no friends”. In other words we all have flaws. But if a person has all the qualities I seek in a good person, and morals that I believe to be ranked as more important than owning a recast doll, then nothing would change my opinion about that person.
              • But there are other people that will end friendships with otherwise “good people” over a doll…
                • And that’s fine that’s their choice, but to me, a good friend is hard to find, and a good person even harder to find, so no, their owning a recast does not affect what I think of this friend’s moral judgement. I already know they’re good people (once again this is subjective to your personal beliefs), and owning a recast isn’t going to magically change my perception of that.
  • They Are Selfish and Entitled

    • This is how you will be viewed if you own a recast doll.
    • And maybe it is true! I’ve seen some pretty petty / weak arguments for owning a recast doll that seem highly entitled and spoiled and selfish to me.
      • Like not wanting to wait for the delivery times
      • Or not wanting to save up enough money
      • Or making excuses such as age or disability or some other reason they feel justifies their actions
      • Or just because they “want nice things” (apparently without having to put in the effort to earn those “nice things”) (that’s the very definition of entitlement lol)
    • People are human, they don’t always have the best motives and reasons behind their actions.
    • And yes, in the United States especially, many of us are in fact entitled spoiled brats.
    • Being entitled sometimes is OK.
      • You’re paying money for a product or a service. You deserve to have the product or service that YOU want. If you want a recast, buy a recast, if you want a legit, buy a legit. Don’t let some faceless random stranger on the internet tell YOU what to do with YOUR money.
        • That’s right, we’re PAYING MONEY even for recasts. I know that most of you anti-recast people just LOVE to compare buying recasts to shoplifting but it’s not the same thing.
          • To illustrate my point: That cute dress or cute pair of jeans, that cute handbag, etc, in your closet, is probably a form of art theft too unless its a high-end designer label!
            • Things like fashion items are cut up and used as patterns
            • Or some talented seamstresses can create patterns from photos
            • Especially in Asian countries they send “spies” in snapping photos of different items
            • Then they “reproduce” those items.
            • Those items get shipped around the world, to big box retailers, target, walmart, kohls, penny’s, macy’s you name it.
            • Even more so if you buy items online from Amazon, Ebay, Aliexpress, or various “Wholesalers” with “Unbeatable” prices.
            • You buy those items.
            • You’ve just contributed to art theft.
              • Have you shoplifted? No, you’ve paid the seller for your item.
              • No difference in if you buy a recast doll. You’ve paid for it just the same. You haven’t shoplifted anything. Just because something has a face, and human or animal like proportions doesn’t make a difference.
                • Or if you want to claim it does make a difference, what about Phony and Fakie My Little Ponies, Fakie Blythes and Pullips, Polly Pockets, Bratz, Barbies, Monster Highs, etc? In almost every doll hobby, there are recasts, and guess what, there’s not this weird stigma with them. In fact, many are used to create custom artist dolls, those dolls are welcome at conventions, even given away as prizes and/or raffled/auctioned off for charity etc.
                  • The owners of those dolls don’t lose friends, don’t become shunned by their respective communities because no one cares if it’s recast or legit.
                  • These communities don’t cyberbully and harass users, and don’t bring up their personal relationships, life, morals, and any other personal issues – because they just don’t care. They view it as a doll is a doll. No one even questions it or bats an eye at it if someone has a fake doll in any other doll collecting community.
                  • Instead many people are usually curious and show off their recasts or cheap dolls they find in China town, etc.
                  • Some people also seek out or collect these strange offbrand dolls and comment and discuss things openly with the “Fakie” owners and rest of the community coexisting peacefully in one place.
                  • And no one tells them you’re entitled, spoiled, have poor morals, etc.
                  • So be entitled if you want, afterall, you’re a paying customer. A recaster paid for that original doll they’re using to make their molds. The artist and the original company still got paid. And you’re paying the recaster to make a copy of that doll. Everyone is getting paid, you’re not shoplifting anything from anyone.
                  • There is a big difference between shoplifting WHICH IS ILLEGAL in the United States, and Buying a Counterfeit Item (even if you know it’s counterfeit) Because in the USA, buying a counterfeit item for personal use is NOT illegal in the United States. See below under legal issues surrounding copyright or visit this source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html

What Are the Risks in Purchasing or Owning a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

  • Financial and Mental/Emotional Damage to the Companies and Artists Making the Dolls

    • As mentioned above in reasons to buy legit dolls, the biggest concern is that overtime, the sales of counterfeit goods cuts into the profits of the doll companies. If these companies go out of business, there’s no new dolls being made, eventually that means no new recasts too, so it is a problem that all doll lovers should feel worried about. Not only is there financial burden, but also emotional distress caused for the companies and artists of legit dolls when they discover their doll has been recast. Imagine how you would feel if someone stole your work of art. It is not a good feeling. Regardless of if you care about the artists’ “feelings” you should want to financially support companies whose work you enjoy to ensure they are around for a long time to continue to manufacture new dolls for all of us.
  • Cyberbullying from individuals with strong opinions against owning recast dolls

    • You can refer to my sections above about why to buy legit dolls – there is a lot of my thoughts put above there about the cyberbullying that goes on in the hobby. This is probably the biggest risk persay in owning a recast doll.
    • Also not “bullying” but related note that you also should be aware many communities, online and off, and special events, do not allow you to bring your recast doll, talk about recast dolls, share photos of your recast dolls, etc. This is not bullying because it’s up to each person how they wish to run their community and you should respect their rules. There are smaller communities online that are recast friendly, but very few real life events such as conventions or meetups that allow for recast dolls. Not being able to participate in these online and offline communities and events may hinder your enjoyment of your dolls.
  • You May Be Unable to Purchase Legit Dolls from Legit Manufacturers and Dealers Ever Again in the Future

    • There is a lot of fear and drama in the recast witch hunting. Part of that fear is that someone will buy a doll and send it to a recaster to use as a mold. So to help stop this, many people will not sell their dolls to you if you are discovered to own a recast. I don’t think anyone actually does this though (sends their dolls to recasters) I don’t know where that fear / rumour started from.
    • But as a result of that fear, many US based distributors, and original Asian manufacturers will block you from their websites and ban you from ordering their products.
      • Getting around this is so easy, so don’t let this scare you.
        • The most common way to get around it is to have a friend or family member hold the package for you. You just enter their shipping address and contact name/number and viola. Then you just either have them send the package to you if they live far away, or you can just go over and pick up your package.
          • Make sure that you’re only doing this with people you TRUST (preferably people you know in real life) so you don’t get ripped off and someone steals your package.
        • Another option could be to open a PO box at your post office, but some companies do not ship to PO boxes.
        • Even if they do an IP address ban on you, fear not, just go to your library or a friend’s house and purchase the doll on their computer.
        • I’m almost 100% sure that the recasters are obtaining their dolls in similar fashion (having their friends hold the packages for them or sending the packages to another address, using different names, or etc.) I really really really doubt anyone who is just buying dolls for personal use is sending them off to be cloned by the recasters. I sure wouldn’t want to send my dolls off, and risk never getting them back, or getting a recast back, or the dolls getting damaged etc.
  • Possible Quality Control Issues and Errors in Communication

    • This is just straight up copied and pasted from above (under reasons to purchase a legit doll)
      • Even many anti-recast communities admit that newer recasts have improved in both quality and communication practices and that it is getting more difficult to easily spot a recast based solely on quality alone.
      • However, just like not all legit doll companies have the same levels of quality assurance, the same goes for different recasters. Some recasters have higher quality and better communication than others.
      • Even those recasters with higher quality sometimes make mistakes or deliver poor goods, just like even some high quality legit doll manufacturers sometimes make mistakes.
        • The most common quality issues surrounding recasts include:
          • Shrinkage; when a recast is made, they use an existing legit doll as a mold. When that mold gets old, new molds are created from the mold of a recast, as time goes on, each mold gets slightly smaller and smaller and the resulting doll therefore gets smaller and smaller too.
          • As a result of shrinkage and/or the molding process, there is sometimes a loss of detail around fine areas such as the eyes, nose, lips, or ears of the recast doll.
          • Another issue is often the magnets used to attach fantasy parts or hands/feet are weaker than those supplied by the legit companies.
            • Sometimes too there will be wrong magnets, where it repells the body part instead of attract, making it impossible to assemble.
          • Stringing and other issues internally in the doll can result in a doll with inferior posing abilities compared to the legit versions.
          • Sometimes dolls arrive with two left feet, legs, or other mismatched body parts, this is perhaps the worst flaw of all because it significantly affects pose-ability.
          • Sometimes dolls arrive broken, damaged, etc in shipping. Sometimes shipments get lost. Sometimes they send you completely the wrong dolls or wrong parts.
            • When this happens sometimes you’re left with poor customer service (or no response at all) and lose your money and receive damaged goods or no goods at all.
            • Even legit doll companies can have issues with quality control or communication; however, the problems seem more common with the recast companies. Some people get perfect dolls and perfect, prompt, friendly polite customer service even from recasters. It just depends. It seems most legit doll companies have a better more consistent record at providing better quality products and customer service.
  • Possible Health Concerns

    • The recaster I purchased from claims to have used French imported resin, but the truth is, who knows what material is really in the dolls. Not only that, but China is infamous for using harmful leads in their paints. There have been numerous recalls the past few years of clothing, shoes, toys, dolls, and even baby items for having toxic levels of lead in the paint they use. Many people who came into contact with these recalled items broke out in scary horrible rashes and hives where their skin came into contact with the objects. Most infamously, there were flipflops sold at walmart that had unsafe levels of lead and were giving people lead poisoning.
      • I have heard horror stories about recast dolls being “rough” or having “filling” mixed in the with resin, such as sawdust and other particles.
        • My 2 dolls seem OK, but still who knows. My dolls are smooth and feel just like my legit dolls but are they really made from the same materials? There’s no way to know for sure.
      • I’ve read reviews, even from the place where I purchased my recast dolls, that indicated the dolls had a strong chemical odor.
        • This was not the case with my 2 dolls. They have absolutely no odor at all.
          • I was pleasantly surprised, because I’ve ordered other items (not doll related) from Chinese sellers before, as well as my stepdad working and living in China for several years in my teens, and I remember the packages he sent me, they almost always had a very strong odor. I think it may be caused by all of the air pollution over there. The air pollution is one of the worst in the world there. And obviously air is all around everything, clothes, dolls, the boxes the dolls are shipped in, whatever.
            • My 2 dolls honestly have no odor at all though, I’m very familiar with that “China smell” and they just don’t have it, or any smell at all. I even held the dolls up to my nose and sniffed them right under my nose, and nothing lol. Where as with many things from China, the moment you open the package, you can smell a very strong odor. But in this particular case, mine were 100% odor free. We’ll see if that trend continues next month when I purchase my next recast doll from the same recaster.
        • Regardless, this strong chemical odor that many others report could be cause for concern. It could be caused by actual chemicals mixed into the resin, or as I mentioned and suspect, caused by air pollution and who knows what effect the residue from that air pollution could have on one’s health.
  • Legal Issues Surrounding Copyright

    • The dolls themselves are not protected by copyright, however, their trademarked names, symbols, company brand names, and other such things are protected by copyright (which is why many recast dolls do not have headplates or certificates of authenticity)
    • There are laws in many countries, including the United States, regarding the traffiking of counterfeit items
      • However, the US depart of Justice has ruled that IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO OWN OR TO PURCHASE A COUNTERFEIT ITEM FOR PERSONAL USE EVEN WHEN DOING SO KNOWINGLY. Source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html and their following source at https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-1709-joint-statement-parts-c-and-d-definitions-trafficking-counterfeit
        • The grey area is if you sell a doll that is a recast, even if selling to another for “personal use” at that moment you go from buying it for your personal use, to selling a counterfeit item and may face legal problems. I see a lot of people selling and trading used recast dolls – there’s even communities set up to do just this, but the bottom line is that you are risking legal complications once you sell or trade your recast dolls.
          • If you never sell or trade your recast doll, there’s no legal problems to worry about. Laws are always changing though, but for now, the US government has ruled that it is not illegal to buy a knock off or counterfeit item for personal use, whether or not you know it’s a recast or not at time of purchase.
          • The other thing to remember is that only brand names and brand symbols are trademarked, the dolls themselves are not – at least in the US Government’s eyes of what is covered by a trademark. So if your doll comes without any kind of brand mark, etc, it is not protected by any sort of copyright. (This is kinda messed up and I disagree with this law, but I don’t make the laws, that’s just how things are.) The source is the same source as above for further reading).
          • So the bottom line is you are doing nothing wrong legally – morally may be a different story, but legally as long as it’s for personal use, in the eyes of the US Government, you have done nothing wrong. Please also note as I mentioned laws change so you need to do your own research on this matter as this article ages and you happen to read this. Also please note I only refer to US law here. You need to look into the laws about counterfeit items in your own country to make sure it’s safe to purchase these items for personal use.
  • Unable to participate in certain doll-related communities, both online and off

    • Not all online communities care if you own or share photos/information about your recast doll
      • But the vast majority, especially of larger communities, do care, and will ban you.
        • Most of the communities do not care if you actually “own” a doll, as long as you do not post any photos or information about that doll within their community. However, there have been stories of members being banned for posting their recast dolls elsewhere and moderators of these communities discovering the dolls and banning the members.
        • If you care at all about being part of the community, it is in your best interest to not own or share your recast dolls anywhere online
          • Fear of this sort of behavior is also tied into the cyber bullying issues mentioned above.

What Has Your Personal Experience Been Thus Far With Bullying As a Result of Owning a Recast?

I’ve only had my recast dolls for about 2 weeks now (It’s taken me about a week to create this post so that’s why there is the time difference from beginning of this article). I have not experienced any bullying. There’s only about 10 “doll people” who know I have recasts right now. Of those, 2 have been supportive/friendly, while the others have not said anything at all about the dolls, but still remain my friends and have not bullied or harassed me.  I suspect that to change once I hit the publish button here on this blog post. I have heard of people getting hundreds of harassing comments a day, I’ve heard of people getting doxxed (their addresses etc made public), I’ve heard of people getting death threats or being told to kill themselves. I’ve heard all of these things, but no, I have not experienced it yet… and I probably never would experience it if I wasn’t writing such a long-ass blog post about the whole thing.

Am I worried about this? Yes, and no, at the same time. I mean of course no one wants to be bullied.  And I’m not just talking about people who tell you buying recast is wrong, that’s not bullying, because having a different opinion is fine. I’m more worried about personal attacks, harassment, doxxing, ddos attacks on this site, calling into question my character and morals, or trying to fling mud by digging up my personal life. I’m a super open person, so there’s plenty of ammo there that could be used against me. So yeah, of course I am “worried” in that sense. But I’ve just decided to not “care” about some faceless internet strangers who have nothing better to do than bully someone over a fake doll. I’m just going to be over here, enjoying my dolls, both recast and legit, and ignoring the bullies.

Many Anti-Recast people say that the bullying doesn’t exist and that it is made up by Recast Neutral and Recast Friendly people to make the Anti-Recast people “look bad”. So I guess we’ll see what happens here… I’ve been spending a long time mentally preparing myself for what I think is likely to happen… but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and everyone will just be calm and rational and able to discuss differing opinions without resulting to bullying…  If I do experience bullying I’ll be sure to come back and update this section.

How Would You Personally Rate The Quality of The Dolls and Service Provided By The Recasters?

Honestly I was really pleased both with the dolls and the seller. Everything about the dolls far exceeded my expectations. Magnets were good, I was worried they’d be loose but they’re fine. Face-ups are cute – or you can always buy them blank for even cheaper and do your own faceups. I wish Pong’s mouth was painted on the inside, and maybe that Luna’s closed eye had an eyelash attached, but otherwise am really very happy with the faceups they provided. The eyes they provide are nice (though not anything amazing by any means). I requested blue for both of them and got brown with the Luna, but that’s fine. The dolls are strung well and pose wonderfully. They stand easily, and all their parts are correct. (I’ve read about people getting dolls with 2 left legs, or hands that didn’t seem to fit, or other issues and was a bit worried – but mine were fine). The dolls had absolutely no odors at all. Not even that typical China smell (which I mentioned I assume is probably from air pollution over there). The dolls’ resin is a great color, not thin, not cracked, not bubbly, smooth but not shiny, insides were clean too, joints all worked well, the Pong has a lot of weight to it for such a small doll. I do not own a legit little fee nor legit lati yellow to compare the dolls for shrinkage or to compare exactly how well they pose (though I’m quite happy with how the recast ones are posing). My next recast will probably be a minifee, and I do have a lot of legit minifees so I can compare all of that, shrinkage, poseability, resin color (though my minifees are all at least 1-2 years old now or older so may have yellowed some). Overall I’d give the quality of the dolls 5 stars.

Service was also nice though a few issues arised which caused me some concern. They were friendly and responded quickly to follow up with the order. They provided pictures and waited for my “OK” before shipping and gave tracking info. Now for the negative… The dolls came together in one box… and were honestly… not packed that well… There was bubble wrap, but they were bubble wrapped together… like two dolls side by side and bubble wrap bound around them tightly with no bubble wrap between them. I can totally see why some people’s recasts arrive damaged and I’m thankful mine did not. Also curiously, they provided 2 different tracking numbers, and caused me quite a scare when one of the tracking numbers was going to another state (probably someone else’s’ order). Due to the miscommunication and risky packing job, I’d rate service about a 3. Definitely some room for improvement there, but overall everything went smoothly and they were quick to answer my questions or concerns and seem really professional, polite, and friendly.

Will You Personally Buy More Recasts in the Future?

Yes I will, in fact I’m getting ready to place my next order later this month.

Will You Personally Also Continue to Purchase Legits in the Future?

Yep, there’s at least 2 ABJD I really want which have not been recast yet. I also collect or want to start collecting other dolls which have not been and probably never will be recast such as Smart Doll, Dollfie Dream, Obitsu, Pure Neemo, Azone, Excute, Pullip, etc.  If every doll I wanted was available as a recast though hmm, that’s a tough question. There would probably be some I’d want to buy as legit, to enjoy the other aspects of doll collecting / sharing with the community / etc, or because Iove the sculpt / company / faceup / or some other reason. But I’d probably go about 75% recast, 25% legit, because the quality of the recast dolls in my opinion is so close to that of the legit dolls.

Do You Personally Feel Guilty or Bad for Owning a Recast?

If I went strictly recast only, I would feel guilty for not supporting the artists and companies I like, and if no one buys legit then the doll companies will be forced to close and that’d mean no new dolls, legit, recast, or otherwise. Traditionally, since 2006 when I entered the hobby, I’ve purchased 1 legit every year, though some years I haven’t been able to afford to. I will probably continue purchasing legits at about that pace. I doubt my purchasing frequency is significant enough to disrupt the profits of the doll companies one way or another – not that that’s an excuse or makes me feel any less guilty for deciding to save money by buying more recasts in the future. But I’m not going “recast only” so I’m still spending the same every year towards the legit companies as what I had been spending every year with them prior to my also recently collecting recasts. The recasts aren’t taking the place of money I’d spend on the legit companies every year, it’s just something else to collect in addition to the legits to me. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

I can collect both recast and legit just as people in other doll hobbies outside of ABJD collect fakies and phonys and cheap china town dolls etc. Anti-recasters try to justify that by saying the others are toys and ABJD are artist dolls, but I just watched a documentary lastnight and actually, they’re all artist dolls. Someone sketches each Barbie. each of her faces, each of her outfits. Her hair is sewn by hand, her face is painted by hand, her body is sculpted, etc. I also thought a lot of it was done by machine, but that’s a misconception, because people forget there has to be a prototype for every single Barbie. And every Barbie now is more unique than ever, each one has one of several different bodies, heights, weights, and different facial features too to make them more realistic and diverse. And even after mass production, there are artists who style the dolls, pose them for marketing photographs, videos, commercials, video editors, packaging designers, etc, etc… To me, an ABJD is not different from any of the other dolls. The other dolls are cheaper and marketed towards a younger audience, but that still doesn’t change the fact that someone’s art, talent, time, and work went into those dolls as well.

And yes, buying recasts of ABJD or MLP or Barbie or Monster High is wrong because it steals from the artists, and I’m not trying to justify anything or prove anything to anyone or change anyone’s mind, it will always be wrong. But to me, it’s “not such a big deal”. That’s me though, everyone else is entitled to their own lovely opinions. To me, it’s about equivalent to a fake barbie, fake monster high, pullip, or any other doll, or about as morally wrong as downloading a movie or mp3 illegally online. So let’s say we’re ranking “wrong things” on a 10 point scale with “perfectly fine to do this thing” at 0 or 1, and “the worst thing you could ever do” at 10. To me, buying or owning a recast is like a 3 or 4, while things like murder, child abuse, domestic violence, animal abuse, adultery, affairs, etc are a 10,  So yes, I feel some guilt, but not enough that I’ll stop buying recasts.

Why Did You Create This Article?

I wanted to share my honest, personal experience, as someone who now owns both legit and recast dolls. I wanted to provide friendly, non-judgmental information to people, and allow for them to make their own decisions without forcing my views on anyone. I write very informally, and I can sometimes come across strong or sarcastic, but it is not my intention to offend or call into question the actions of anyone whether anti-recast or recast-friendly. I’m aware there is better info and resources out there, but often time those resources are compiled chiefly of 2nd hand information and not from someone who has experience owning both recasts and legits, and I thought that such experience could be interesting. I also know it’s a popular topic, has been around for years, and would make a nice article for my blog as it’s controversial and a “hot button” issue that won’t be going away any time soon.

Where Can I Find More Information About Recast Asian Balljointed Dolls?

Anti-Recast Resources

Where to Read More About Recast Dolls from an Anti-Recast Perspective:

https://denofangels.com/doawiki/index.php?title=Information_about_recast_BJDs

http://probjdartists.tumblr.com/

Budget Friendly Legit Alternatives to Recast Dolls:

While I haven’t found any dolls for as cheap as the cheapest recasts (tiny / msd recasts are often under $60) I have found several Legit dolls that are “budget friendly” (under $300). Check out some of the following doll manufacturers.

Mystic Kids – their smallest ones start around $140, and larger ones around $470. They have some really cute sculpts. Quite a few here on my own wish list 🙂

5StarDoll – Little ones begin at $130, big ones are just $240 and up.

Bobobie – Their littlest ones start at $68 – close to the price of recast tinies. Their big ones start at $168. They have a large variety of dolls.

April Story Dolls – Right Now All Dolls Are 40% for a Limited Time, Prices ranging from $150-$350 for various sizes. I had actually never heard of this company until just now… I really want a Clover from this company… She is so beautiful… Only $300. I like a lot of their other sculpts too OMG… They also offer layaway lol. The only thing I don’t like is I can’t figure out how to add a default faceup when ordering. 

Doll Family A and Doll Family H – It can be hard to find where to buy these in America. It seems that Alice Collection has most of the models available for ordering. The prices start at $100 for tinies up to around $360 for larger dolls. I really want a Dake, I love his smiling lips 🙂

Resin Soul – These are extremely reasonably priced, though I personally don’t care for their aesthetic, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The tinies start around $100 and even the big 72cm dolls are under $250.

Only Doll – their dolls start around $110 and most stay under $300 – They have many different sculpts to choose from.

Doll Love – Their dolls start at $100 and go up to $310. They have a lot of very cute dolls at great prices.

Doll Leaves start at $150 for an MSD and up to $370 for for larger dolls, while tinies start around $88.

Asleep Aidoloon has tinies and MSD starting under $200, and under $400 for larger dolls. I really like a lot of their sculpts.

Impl Doll starts around $150 and goes up to just over $300 for their various sizes of dolls.

Kids Sky is a newer BJD brand that I have never heard of. They have dolls starting at $135 for tinies, up to $348 for large dolls.

Angel of Dream has a lot of really cute and sometimes strange / unique dolls for around $200. I own two of their tinies. I also just noticed they have a pregnant doll with large belly and tiny baby lol. 

Only Kids, another company I have not heard of until researching this post, has dolls starting at just $128.

Cherry Castle has some very cute dolls starting at $138 up to $375 – I’ve also never heard of this company. So many new and affordable ABJD these days.

Cocotribe (yet another doll company I’d never heard of – wow) starts at just $159.

Gem of Doll starts at $145. I want a lot of their dolls! 🙂

Doll Legend starts at $150 up to $350. They have a nice selection of cute and unique sculpts.

Xaga Doll also starts at $150 and up.

Angel Fantasy starts at $155 and up.

Natuye Spirit Doll cost $159 each.

Dollzones start around $160. Some of their tinies are cute. I wish they’d bring back some of their old MSD sculpts though. My first ever doll was a Dollzone Demi (MSD). 

Maskcat Doll starts around $200, though some of their dolls can get pricey, over $600

Magic Time has many dolls for under $300

Guu Doll (another new comer?) has tinies for $175 and large dolls for just over $300. And they’re very cute :).

Loong Soul dolls start just under $200.

Boy & Girl dolls also start under $200

In fact, there are many, many other options if you do your research! I will update this post in the future with even more great legit dolls for under $300. But now it’s 1AM and I just want to hit publish and go to bed lol. I’ve worked on this every night for several days now. I can always add to it later 🙂

Anti-Recast Doll Communities and Events

dolliehsanctuary.com/sanctuary/

https://denofangels.com

All of the Dollpa events hosted by Volks. You can read about these events on Volks’ official websites. I’ve also heard they do not welcome dolls from other companies etc at their events or in their stores, whether recast or legit.

A few years ago the folks on Den of Angels held a US balljointed doll convention in Buffalo NY. I was there 🙂 It was a lot of fun. So many vendors, so many photo opps with props and backdrops for your dolls, and so many people with their dolls. It was supposed to be semi-annual, once every two years, but after the first one, they never did it again. If they ever host another one it will definitely be anti-recast as DOA is very strict about recasts. This is the largest Asian Balljointed Doll Show in the USA.

There exist a number of smaller doll shows all throughout North America, including Canada, USA, California, Washington, Texas, and other states. As far as I know, almost all of these conventions are anti-recast. You will be escorted out by security if you bring a recast doll to any of these events, losing your time and money spent to travel and attend the shows, and the money paid for the convention tickets, etc.

Almost all facebook, flickr, and other groups on social media are also anti-recast. There exists only a very small handful of recast friendly communities within these larger social networks. Be sure to read the rules before joining and sharing any of your recasts in these communities.

Recast Neutral or Friendly Resources

Where to Buy Recast Dolls:

I purchased my recast dolls from ChinaBJD, also known as S/L or Steven Chen / Luo Ligui. There are several ways you can go about ordering from them, a lot of people recommend to use their Skype, but the easiest is to use in my opinion is their aliexpress storefront at https://chinabjd.aliexpress.com/store/218136

You can also check the recast master list to see if a doll has been recast and where to purchase it. Once again, this is not my own list, merely sharing it here: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pbhXd51y28hTfqewgfSVs60oJEZ7EKZWb6vOt72p7tU/

Recast Friendly Communities That Allow You to Share and Discuss Your Dolls:

http://recastsanctuary.com/forum/

http://castawaydolls.com/

https://www.flickr.com/groups/recastbjd

Faceup Artists and Modders Who Work With Recast Heads:

Disclaimer this is not my list, I’m merely providing an external link to a list made by someone else. Just as there are Recast-Anti Spies in many Recast Friendly communities, there very well could be such spies on this list who would harm your doll. Use this list at your own risk.

docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PzLq0S3UcEBbbm5WwDOf-AGP_Jw_lxHe3835jJ-jRes

Where to Read More About Recast Dolls From a Recast Neutral or Friendly Perspective:

See Recast Friendly Communities Above (I don’t want to list them twice)

http://amaranthscastaways.blogspot.com/ – She claims she is anti-recast but a lot of the info here seems more neutral so I wasn’t sure where to put it, but it has some good info for anyone considering purchasing recasts.

In addition to that here are some more blogs/articles and thoughts on Recast Dolls from a Friendly or Neutral perspective for your reading pleasure:

https://sdrcow.deviantart.com/journal/Recast-Information-Friendly-514070401

gummysungshine.tumblr.com/post/55133396805/recast-bjds-truths-facts-reasons-and-the

bjdrecastpositive.tumblr.com/post/163923259912/serious-question-no-hate-why-do-you-support

Recast Asian Balljointed Dolls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Advertisements

Artbook Review: The Art of The Secret World of Arietty

I received this book for free in exchange for a review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This large, beautiful hardcover artbook is a must have for any Hayao Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli fan. Within its pages lies a treasure trove of not only gorgeous artwork, but also a behind the scenes look at the work that went into creating The Secret World of Arietty. This book is very high quality. Its large oversize format makes it excellent for laying on your coffee table or bookshelf and its presentation is so inviting that your friends won’t be able to resist picking it up and scanning through the pages. Its an excellent conversation piece, as well as a great asset for a collector’s own private and personal collection.

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

With this review I struggled if I should include pictures, and if so how many, and which ones to include. I wanted you to see the beautiful artwork and the commentary from the artists at Studio Ghibli but I also wanted to not reveal too much as to avoid spoiling the surprise and excitement of reading the book for yourself. So I selected 3 or 4 images showing concept art and notes from the team. It’s also important to know there are many beautiful full color art pieces in the book as well, including some that spread across both pages. I just felt the concept art was far more interesting as we don’t get a glimpse of that by simply watching the film.

By far, my favorite part of the book is all of the commentary and interviews with the staff of Studio Ghibli. It’s easy enough to fill a picture book full of sketches and doodles, but what I really enjoyed was reading about how the film all came together, the various changes that were made to characters and settings within the anime, and getting a sense for what the artists feel about their finished creation. It was quite fascinating, especially reading it as someone working as a full time artist myself. I can really appreciate the team’s dedication and passion and I think that passion really shows through in the final product (both the film and this gorgeous artbook).

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arietty” is based on a popular children’s book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton. This book has entertained children for several generations. But it’s also a book (and film) that can be enjoyed by the whole family, young or old alike. My grandmother told me that it is her favorite book, she told me she first read it when my mother checked it out of the library. I too read the book when I was younger, and I also enjoyed many other film and tv adaptations and similar books and movies and tv series such as The Littles and The Indian in the Cupboard.

The Borrowers and The Secret World of Arietty give you a glimpse at a hidden world right under our noses. The Borrowers are a tiny race of miniature humans who live in our walls and gardens and live off of things we waste or take for granted. If you ever notice a button or a needle is missing, you can bet it’s been “Borrowed”. Of course the human world presents many dangers to Arietty, she must be careful to not be discovered by the humans who could capture her and keep her as a pet or science experiment. At the same time she must be aware of her surroundings at all times. She could get swept away by just a small trickle of water, or mistaken for a mouse and gobbled up by a cat, or crushed underfoot by a horse and carriage. Arietty is of course not afraid of the human world, and instead intrigued by it. She finds the human world fascinating and impossible to resist. Especially when she meets and falls in love with a human boy who is equally fascinated by Arietty’s world. The story teaches us that even though our lives may seem dull and mundane, that all it takes is a change of perspective to be reminded how wondrous life truly is.

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Just as life is wondrous and full of adventure, so too is the official artbook, “The Art of The Secret World of Arietty”.

You can buy “The Art of The Secret World of Arietty” Artbook here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/197470033X

Buy the Borrowers complete set of books here: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Adventures-Borrowers-Mary-Norton/dp/0152049150/

Buy the DVD or Blu-Ray of the Secret World of Arietty here: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-World-Arrietty-Two-Disc-Blu-ray/dp/B005LAIGXM

Artbook Review: The Art of The Secret World of Arietty was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Gree Animal Days Mobile Game Graveyard Review

Gree Animal Days was my all time favorite mobile game.

Be warned, before reading this review; the game was shut down several years ago.

There are lots of articles available online pointing to why the game failed. But largely, from what I read, the developers over promised and under estimated how difficult it would be to maintain their production schedules for new content and features which ultimately led to them shutting down the game as they could no longer maintain it.

There were not many games like Gree Animal Days at the time available in the android or IOS app stores.

It was kinda like animal crossing, but it also had breeding, city building, dating sim, and other aspects that made it, in my opinion, more fun than even the newly released Animal Crossing Pocket Camp game (which I also reviewed here).

It also shared lots in common with Happy Street which for quite some time filled the “need” for an animal crossing like game available on mobile devices.

But the ability to breed and recruit new animals to your town really set Gree Animal Days apart from the rest. And still to this day, I’ve not found any other games quite as fun as this.

Check out the trailer below:

Here’s a look at some of the features of Gree Animal Days:

Information taken from Game Faqs

Animal Days is recommended for anyone who:- Likes animals- Wants to raise animals- Likes games where you make your own town or village- Wants to try a game where you help raise villagers- Likes simulation games- Wants to try a game with romantic side

Make the most fantastic city in the world in a hidden forest with your animal friends!

Start romances with the animals in your friends town!

Animals fall in love, get married, and have cute animal children!

Get as many animals as you can, and make a bustling animal town!

Make a town in the forest with cute animal friends! In this game you will work together with cute animals to make a fantastic town. Find all types of animals and collect buildings to make a unique town with your cute animal friends!

Romance

Your animals and your friends’ animals will have romances and make children. Start romances with different animals to get new animals that will live in your town.

Buildings

In the middle of the forest near your town lies the Mysterious Pond. You can get free, cute Decorations and Houses from the Mysterious Pond every day! Decorate your town with your favorite buildings and develop your town into the best that it can be!

Animals

Build Houses and start romances to increase the number of animals that live in your town! There are over 100 animals, all with unique personalities! Your favorite animal is waiting for you! You will find Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Penguins, Mice, and more!

Dilemmas

The animals experience all sorts of Dilemmas. If you help solve their Dilemmas, they will give you items and special buildings, so solve as many as you can and expand your town!


Score Card:

Title: Gree Animal Days

Publisher: Gree

Where to Get: No Longer Available

Platform: Formerly available on Android and IOS

Price: Free

Genre: Casual, City Building, Life Simulation, Dating Sim

Overall: 38/50 76% C – Good Game for Girls

Breakdown:

Geeky: 3/5 – with over 100 animals, and over 300 buildings available at launch, Gree Animal Days was a hugely ambitious project that offered hours of gameplay and innovative fun mechanics in a well polished package. However poor management eventually led to the downfall of this great game. The devs were not prepared to handle the success of this game.

Sweetie: 5/5 – The cute characters and interesting marriage and breeding aspects really set this game apart as a great game for girls.

Gameplay: 10/10 This app offered so much to do! with hundreds of buildings and animals to collect, as well as the ability to date and breed with your friends’ animals too. These features are severely missed as no other cute animal city building game has yet to replicate this unique gaming experience.

Story: 3/10 – There was a loose story about rebuilding a run down village, but it was not terribly interesting. Then again neither are the stories in Animal Crossing games, so it’s about on par with that series there.

Characters:  10/10 – The characters are so cute. Each one had unique personalities and appearances. With over 100 characters at launch and more added in updates, there were a lot of cute characters to collect!

Graphics: 5/5 – This game looked great for the time it was released. It looks similar to even newer apps such as Animal Crossing Pocket Camp and Happy Street. Each character and building was unique, which is part of the game’s downfall as they had to create so many assets in such short time.

Music: 2/5 – Like most mobile games, it’s cute/catchy at first, but lacks variation and will tend to annoy after your first few playthroughs.

Overall: 38/50 76% C – Good Game for Girls

 

Gree Animal Days Mobile Game Graveyard Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Pop in Q Anime Movie Review

Title: Pop in Q
Length: (approx) 1.5 hours, feature length film.
I hear there is a 2nd film in production as well that will finish telling the story. *hint: Keep watching after the credits of the first movie*
Genre: Shoujo, Magical Girl, Fantasy, Idol, Musical, Slice of Life, Drama
Studio: Toei Annimation
Release Date: December, 2016

Pop in Q

Pop in Q

Score Card:

Geeky 1/5 – There is a bit of action later in the film, also some nostalgia to anyone who grew up watching shows like Digimon. But largely, this is pure shoujo aimed at very young girls. Afterall the girls themselves are middleschool students in this film.

Sweetie: 5/5 – This anime is utterly adorable!!! The Popin look like Sanrio characters. The girls are young and have round faces and big eyes. The music is catchy. Idol culture is always kawaii AF. The backgrounds have a nice painterly style. And the story actually has some depth to it, especially towards the end and the small preview of the next film.

 

Pop in Q

Pop in Q

Story 9/10 The story is basically the same as nearly every shoujo series. Which isn’t a bad thing. A group of young girls who don’t believe in themselves (or other people), come together, find their own inner strength, and learn to trust each other and work together. The basic plot of Pop in Q surrounds 5 girls each with different regrets as they prepare to graduate from middle school. They escape to the magic world where they meet the Popins, loveable cute mascots who are responsible for the flow of time. The girls do not want to return to their own world until tragedy threatens both worlds and forces the girls to make some difficult decisions.

 

Pop in Q

Pop in Q

Characters: 10/10 – 10 out of 10 just for how cute they are. Plus I like how every girl is given ample screen time and has a rich back story. This reminded me a lot of sailor moon or magic knights rayearth, or to a lesser degree card captor sakura. It also has a hint of love live or aikatsu stars because of the idol elements. But the cutest thing of all are the Poppins!

 

Pop in Q

Pop in Q

Artwork: 4/5 I deducted 1 point because some of the 3D scenes are not animated that well. However, the character designs are so cute. The 2D parts are adorable, and the background environments have this lovely painterly style with heavy brush strokes. This creates a beautiful storybook like feeling.

 

Pop in Q

Pop in Q

Voice Acting: 4/5 – The voice acting is cute and suits each of the girls. The poppins also have cute voices. Only reason I didn’t give it a 5 was that it wasn’t that memorable.

Music: 5/5 – There are tons of vocal tracks, obviously as music plays a central role to this story. Luckily all of the music is quite catchy. I also liked the instrumental tracks, especially highlighting some sad and touching moments.

 

Pop in Q

Pop in Q

Overall: 38/45 84% B+ “Very Good Anime for Girls”

Pop in Q Anime Movie Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Videogame Review

With the 2018 Winter Olympics well under way, I’ve been thinking a lot about games and anime (such as Yuri on Ice which I reviewed here) that showcases the dedication that a skater must possess. I remembered fondly an NDS game from “a few” years ago that I played that allowed you to take on the life of a professional skater, competing in various events, training, dating, and dealing with drama.

This game, as it turns out, was Imagine: Figure Skater for the Nintendo DS. The game first came out in 2008 (at least in North America), making it “retro” by my definition (I consider anything greater than 10 years old to be retro.)  I’m thinking about digging out my cartridge and playing it again this weekend. I’ve also been thinking about rewatching Yuri!! on Ice.

Imagine Figure Skater Nintendo DS Otome Olympic Ice Skating Game

Imagine Figure Skater Nintendo DS Otome Olympic Ice Skating Game

First, you might look at the box art for this game, and think it is for little girls. — Not true! The original boxart in Japan was much better – featuring anime style artwork. Why they went with a photograph of an iceskater on the US version, I dunno. They should have aimed it at anime/otome fans, but this was 10 years ago, before otome games had much foothold in the US.

Gamestop has the game in-stock for just $0.99 cents! – If you have a powerups reward card, Even better, you can grab it for just $0.79 cents!!! OMG… Go, go, go!! If you like anime, ice skating, dating sims, or otome games, it will be the best 99 (or 79) cents you could spend today. Click here to buy it before it’s gone.

There’s also apparently a sequel to this game, called Imagine: Ice Champions. I have not played the sequel yet, but Gamestop has it for just $1.59.

Imagine: Ice Champions Nintendo DS Olympic Ice Skating Otome Dating Game

Imagine: Ice Champions Nintendo DS Olympic Ice Skating Otome Dating Game

These games were perhaps too ahead of their times – with the relatively recent popularity of Yuri!! on Ice, and increased representation of Otome Games in the United States, I wonder how a sequel for Nintendo Switch would fare these days, if marketed properly. Why try to forcefully create an audience, when there already exists a large audience begging publishers for such games. Do your research and understand your target audience better.

Most of us are 20+ years old, otaku/anime fans, and would rather buy the original box art on the right, than that which was designed for the US on the left. This alienated most of your “built in audience” while trying to build a new audience with younger girls.

Thankfully the art in the actual game is fully done in an anime and kawaii style which could appeal to either audience.

Now on to the review!!

Scorecard:

Title: Imagine: Figure Skating

Developer: Spike

Publisher: Ubisoft

Platform: Nintendo DS

Genre: Career/Life Simulation Game with Dressup Game, Dating Sim and Otome Game aspects

Where to Buy: Gamestop has both of these for about $0.79 and $1.99. Check out the links above.

Geeky: 5/5 – Gameplay is solid, the graphics are a little bit pixelated, but that’s probably just limitations of the software of the time ten years ago. Gameplay using the stylus to perform ice skating moves is both fun and challenging. It offered high replay value too with different girls to play as and different events and dialogue options. It gave a good look at what skaters go thru when training. If you enjoy watching the Winter Olympics, or enjoy anime such as Yuri!! On Ice, then you will enjoy this game!

Sweetie: 5/5 – This game has a little bit of everything, all in one very cute package! Ice Skating is beautiful and elegant and as you compete you unlock new areas to explore, new outfits to wear, and you interact with friends, lovers, and rivals. It has a good dose of comedy, slice of life, drama, and surprise.

Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Game Review

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Game Review

Gameplay: 10/10 – Gameplay is where Imagine: Figure Skating really shines! When the game starts, you select one of three girls, each with her own strengths and weaknesses both on and off the ice. From there you’re whisked away to a tutorial where you get to try skating for the very first time.

Do well and advance through various qualifying rounds improving your skill and technique. You will earn money to buy new outfits and get to travel to compete in new arenas and unlock new events.

When not on the ice, you will go to school, work part time jobs, go on dates, or spend time with your friends. Rivals will show up both on and off the ice too which add to the story.

You skate by using the Nintendo DS stylus on the lower touch screen. You perform jumps and spins and get scored for each of your routines. As you play and complete your training, you will unlock more advanced moves to add to your routine.

You have complete control over designing your own ice skating routines. You select your outfits, music, and choreograph your routines to progress through the game and ultimately guide your character to the nationals.

Imagine: Figure Skating Nintendo DS Anime Games for Girls

Imagine: Figure Skating Nintendo DS Anime Games for Girls

Story: 7/10 This game, just like Yuri!! On Ice, does an excellent job portraying the struggles and triumphs of those training for life as a professional or Olympic figure skater. Just like Yuri!!! On Ice, Imagine: Figure skating has that tantalizing blend of romance and rivalry both on and off the ice. It also showcases themes such as platonic friendship, family, travel, adventure, and sportsmanship. Storywise though, this game comes no where close to generating the same emotions and reactions in its audience compared to the beloved Yuri!! On Ice, which has been countless praised by real figure skaters for its realistic portrayal of events and memorable characters.

Characters: 8/10 The characters are cute! I loved the dressup aspects and loved having multiple girls to choose from when starting the game. I loved how this game draws you into the life of the characters, showing you moments of their life both on and off the ice. I didn’t quite connect with them as emotionally and deeply as I had hoped to. This is also probably why the story felt a bit flat.

Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are a bit outdated, but there’s so many options for costumes and the ability to pick different girls is great. The girls are all so cute.

Imagine: Figure Skater Dressup Game

Imagine: Figure Skater Dressup Game

Music: 7/10 – I feel like almost everything about this game, is about a solid 7, it’s good, but not great. The great gameplay though makes up for the rather “average” other details. I’d say the music is fine, but ultimately far from memorable.

Replay Value: 10/10 – With different girls and different outcomes along with the ability to customize just about everything, this game has very high replay value.

Overall: 59/70 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

If you enjoyed Imagine: Figure Skating and Imagine: Champions on Ice, you may also like the other Imagine Games which you can view here. You may also like Princess Debut, which I love and plan to review shortly. There’s also a game called Princess on Ice that you may enjoy – I have not played that one just yet myself.

Imagine: Figure Skater Nintendo DS Retro Videogame Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Lu Over the Wall Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta Full Length Standalone Anime Movie Review

Title: Lu Over the Wall

Japanese Title: Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta

Genre: Slice of Life, Fantasy

Length: (Approximately) 2 hours feature length film (Also after the credits it says that Lu and Seiren will be back in “The Real Lu Dawn Greeting Song”) Maybe hinting at a 2nd movie (or TV series?) (or could just be a music video or musical or something else). Though the end seems unfinished and seems

Studio: Science Saru and Toho

Where to Watch: Gkids Licensed this anime a few weeks ago, and it seems from this page they are trying to generate interest for a US theatrical release. https://www.gkids.com/films/lu-over-the-wall/

Geeky: 2/5 – The animation is odd. Coloring is very “Flat” The faces are not very detailed and the clothing and character designs are a bit simplistic. – I’ve read that the creators wanted to go for a “pop art” style. It’s different from most anime. I don’t think it’s bad. Some of the character designs look like American comic strips in the sunday newspaper. The music and voice acting and story telling though more than make up for the unusual art direction. There’s not much if any action, but I still feel this is an anime that can be enjoyed by both guy and girl geeks.

Sweetie: 5/5 – This film made me cry, mostly from heart warming moments, although it also has its share of sad touching moments too. There are many cute and crazy characters, and the upbeat music and tempo of the anime make it very cute. If you like Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo, I’m sure you will enjoy this as well!

Overall: 40/45 89% B+ “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Story: 10/10 – I loved the story in Lu Over the Wall. A village makes a living from fishing and making umbrellas. Legend tells us that mermaids roam the seas near the village and that they eat humans. Some of the elders of the village have even witnessed their loved ones being bitten and dragged into the sea by merfolks. It also says that music will lure the mermaids closer to the shores, so music is mostly forbidden. Our 3 heroes are highschool (or maybe middle school?) students who meet in secret to perform in a band. They aren’t very good, but they have fun. One day their music lures one such mermaid into their life. – Are the rumors really true that they eat humans? Or are the mermaids simply misunderstood? Some people want to respect and revere the mermaids in fear of a powerful curse. Others want to exploit the mermaids for profit thinking it will bring tourists and opportunities to their quiet village. What fate will befall the mermaids and the villagers? Will they come to understanding, or are they destined to be enemies?

Characters: 10/10 – The characters are very cute. There’s even merdogs in this film! Lu is adorable and child like and sweet.

Artwork: 3/5 – There are cute characters as mentioned above, but the art style is just so different from most mainstream anime that it is a bit distracting at times.

Music: 5/5 – There are a number of vocal and instrumental songs. My 2 favorites are Lu Dawn’s Greeting Song and the Song Kai sings to Lu at the end (not sure of the name).

Voice Acting: 5/5 – the voice actors in Lu Over the Wall put a lot of emotion into their performances, both when singing and acting.

Overall: 40/45 89% B+ “Very Good Anime For Girls”

Other Anime You May Like:

Ponyo

Nagi no Asukara (Review Here)

1975 Little Mermaid by Toei Animation

1980s Saban’s Adventures of the Little Mermaid

Beck Mongolion Chopsquad

Nana

Aishite Knight

Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch

Mermaid Scar

Mermaid Forest

Full Moon Wo Sagashite

Kodocha (Review Here)

Fancy Lala

Orenchi no Furo Jijō

My Bride is a Mermaid

Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san (Muromi-san)

Umi Monogatari: Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto

Lu Over the Wall Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta Full Length Standalone Anime Movie Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

CocoPPa Play Star Girl Fashion Revised Review Updated for 2018

I had previously reviewed CocoPPa Play Star Girl Fashion here. It is a cute anime dressup game for IOS and Android Devices. Many of my complaints were about lack of free gacha and how long it took to earn free gacha plays. – That has since changed. Now almost every gacha gives you one free play, just like in Dream Girlfriend, Fairy Doll, Animal Boyfriend, Moe Can Change, and Dream Boyfriend. The first time I reviewed CocoPPa Play, that was not the case, and while nearly every other dressup game I have played let you take at least 1 free spin on each gacha, it turned me off a great deal to CocoPPa Play in my first review.

CocoPPa Play deserves a new review, because now, with the frequent free gacha plays (new gachas are added almost daily) and there’s always constantly an event going on, so it’s honestly the game I spend the most time playing on my mobile phone, and I love it lol. Also I may have not understood how the events work, and new events have also been added since my old review, and it’s not as difficult as I thought to earn even further free gacha spins. In my old review I say the gacha tickets cost 20,000 points. They now cost 10,000. I don’t know if it was an error on my part before, or if the price has been lowered, but it is nice much easier to get free gacha tickets.

My show in #cocoppaplay #kawaii #anime #dressupgame #cute #mobilegame

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

I have a ton of pics of CocoPPa Play on my instagram. I will sprinkle a few throughout this review. Unlike my previous review, I now have a lot of pics of my own models (as well as using some screenshots from the official app store pages).

So let’s take a 2nd look at CocoPPa Play below (Please note parts of this review have been repurposed from my previous review, while other info has been added, edited, or in same cases removed):

Title: CocoPPaPlay (the Android version is called Star Girl Fashion but it is the same game).

Genre: Dressup Game

Platform: Mobile (IOS / Android)

Grab it on IOS: https://itunes.apple.com…

Or Here for Android: (For some reason, it’s called “Star Girl Fashion” here, but same game, even same icon that the Itunes version uses) You can pick it up here: https://play.google.com/…

Geeky: 1/5 geeky

Sweetie: 5/5 sweetiesweetiesweetiesweetie

Overall: 70 / 100 70% C- Good Game for Girls

Concept: 10/10 The concept of CocoPPaPlay is simple – play “gacha” machines or enter monthly events to win new outfits. Outfits consist of different layers, such as eyes(facial expression), hair, clothes, shoes, hand accessories (purses, stuffed toys, swords, etc), hats, glasses, pets, backgrounds, and other items – This allows you to really fine-tune and make unique avatars. Similar to games like Pokemini (which I reviewed here) or Line Play.

Gameplay: 9/10 I covered the basics above: There are a number of “lottery” style games (gacha machines) where you’re awarded an item for your outfit by paying or using a gacha ticket.

There are also numerous events to win exclusive outfits. It seems the events change every week or two and that never a day goes by without some type of event going on. Events fall into one of a few different catagories:

In all events you can earn “Lucky Tickets”: These items you can earn for free by cheering for other players shows or completing quest objectives. The lucky tickets can be used to try to play the lucky event gacha to win items/energy drinks, and/or used to raise your charm level for the event – I recommend trying to max your charm first. (similar to the events in Dream Girlfriend (which I reviewed here) Having high charm lets you get event points and rewards much quicker! Therefore its best to max it out asap. If you rank high based on your total event points at the end of the events, you get rare limited items.

Catch Requests: In a catch event, after cheering for other players’ shows, a creature will appear on your screen with a few different catching options above it’s head and showing a percentage of how likely you are to capture them. You can “chain” successful catches to get bonus points, but once you miss a catch, that bonus is reset. If you chain enough catches you’ll go to a special bonus round after your 11th catch, where you see three creatures. In this bonus round, catching at least 2 out of the 3 will take you to yet another bonus round with a super rare creature to catch for massive amounts of points. I like to save my double point and guaranteed accuracy catching glove items for these two rounds.

Fetch Requests: In a Fetch Event (as I have called it), there will be multiple “quest givers” who request items from you in exchange for event points. Go cheer for other players shows and complete quests to earn the requested items, then return to the events page to turn in your items for event points.

Beam Requests: In a beam quest you find characters again by cheering for other shows. Some characters are more rare than others. Once you find a character, you use a beam to “zap” them to transform them somehow. After transforming, they award you points, more points for more rare characters. You can request help, or help your friends take down difficult characters and get lots of points. This event is fun because it goes very fast with large groups of friends.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Fashion Snap: Dress up your avatar to suit a theme, and vote on “who wore it better”. You can earn a lot of gacha tickets in these events. They’re also the most fun in my opinion. New themes come very quickly – every day I believe. Fashion Snap often times requires you to use at least 1 item from the associated event gacha.

Fashion Labo: Fashion Labo (which I’m guessing stands for Fashion Laboratory) is very much like the Fashion Snap events – also Fashion Labo will be going on along side any one of the other events above. Fashion Labo is different from Fashion Snap in 2 ways: The frequency of the theme changing is much slower, and length of the entry periods for each theme are much, much, much longer in Fashion Labo (spanning several days or even a week or so per each theme). Like Fashion Snap, you dress up to match the theme, and judge other people’s entries. The other big difference is you earn blue and gold hearts that can be exchanged in a special shop for more rare items in addition to those available via the rank and leader boards and as quest rewards etc. Be sure to spend your hearts, because they do not roll over to future Fashion Labo events.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Overall, it cycles through these event styles, in a scheduled and precise way, so that you can anticipate what the next event type will be and plan when you want to play the game. I don’t know the schedule off hand (I don’t really pay that much attention to it) But let’s say it goes something like (this is not correct, just made up to illustrate my point:) If the cycle went like:

  • Fetch
  • Fashion Snap
  • Beam
  • Catch
  • then it would start again with Fetch and work in the same order again down that list.
  • And it would coincide at times with Fashion Labo.

NOTE: Fashion Labo is easy to miss. I missed a few of the themes this month. Because the icon for Fashion Labo is pretty much ALWAYS on your screen – Even when Fashion Labo ends, it lets players check their scores, view the contest winners, and etc by clicking the icon. So if you aren’t paying SUPER CLOSE attention, and notice that the icon has new artwork – thus indicating a new round of Fashion Labo, it’s easy to miss. I’m just going to get in the habit of checking that page daily. I recommend you do the same.

That’s about it for events. One of my favorite things about this game is that there is ALWAYS an event of some type, and thus ALWAYS rare time limited release items. So many items. Between these events and limited time gachas.

There’s also a club feature. You can at any level, any time, and for free, create (or join) a club. You can get bonuses in the events above by having club members where certain items or do certain tasks so clubs are really useful, you can also use them to chat and make friends which gives the game a nice social touch.

You also can take on quests from NPCs within the game, which when you complete, will add new items to their shops, and unlock new cities to explore, and grant you some free outfits. When a city “levels up” they have a sale with half priced items – but I never buy them – because I’m hoarding all my Smile Points to use in the gachas.

As a “bonus”, there’s another app by the makers of CocoPPaPlay, where you can customize your cellphone, with new icons, background images, wallpapers, lock screens, etc. This other app works best on android – because sadly, apple has a lot of bloatware that you cannot delete or modify – for example, the camera, you can’t change the icon for it on apple, the only work around is to download a 3rd party camera app, and hide your other icon in a folder somewhere. Email is another example, for example, you have to download Gmail, and hide the default mail app. You also can’t change the phone or text icons at all on the apple iphone. But it still makes your phone about 90% cuter – though it also makes your phone a little slower, as it adds an extra step whenever you click on one of the new icons it is only a shortcut to the actual program so you get prompted if you want to open the “page” with the following application. (At least on Iphone.) This other app also acts as a social media site, and if you link up your CocoPPa account to your CocoPPa Play account your avatar is carried over to both apps and appears on your social media wall – you earn some free items in both apps for linking, and can more easily login/retrieve your account by having both apps active.

That about covers it for gameplay.

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Customization – 10/10 – The number of items available is incredible, and many items have already retired, rising the demand and you get “bragging rights” if you have a super rare/old/obscure item equipped and well, I see this game being around 2-3 years from now, so even if you start playing today, in 2-3 years you too will have those rare items everyone else wants and be admired. I like games like this where they retire items fairly quickly. Pokemini is another example of really time sensitive items. That to me really increases my drive to play these games. So while others may not like this feature, to me it’s a huge plus.

Story: 2/10 – There’s really not much, if any, story – I think there was some type of story presented at the beginning, but it’s so bare bones I forgot it quickly. It’s mostly fetch quests and cheering and there’s also quite a few typos or improper grammar and awkward sentences thrown about in the game. Each event has a story, but it’s so similar to every other event story. Just replace X with Y. “X escaped, lets go catch them” where X could be a dog, cat, fairy, some other creature depending on the event. or “My X is broken, let’s zap it with our beams to make it work again” Where X could be spaceship, magic wand, or hotspring or any other number of things. But yeah really, this is not a game you play for story.

Characters: 6/10 – Characters get high marks for cuteness – but really have no purpose or substance, other than serving as mascots because the game lacks a strong story.

Graphics: 10/10 This game is super cute, the mascot girl who guides you through the story and quests is adorable, and the sheep mascot is also cute and he helps run your club. Your avatar and the items are very nicely drawn and large. a Good variety of items and different poses, and the ability to layer many items to create your avatar make this game very very appealing for anyone who loves cute things.

Music: 5/10 – Music is standard mobile type music. It’s cute and catchy, but ultimately only consists of 3 or 4 different tracks which means the more you play it, the more it starts to annoy the heck out of you lol.

Cuteness – 10/10 – to balance out all the negative things I have to say about this game, added this lil bonus in here –  the main reason to play this game is because it’s so cute.

Replay Value: 10/10 – It gets repetitive, is super time consuming, and annoyingly “expensive” if you want VIP items – but in the end, the lure of those time sensitive items keeps you wanting to press on to replay and get new items. It’s a very item-centric game. But that’s not a bad thing.

Overall: 78 / 100 78% C+ Good Game for Girls

CocoPPa Play Star Girl Fashion Revised Review Updated for 2018 was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Nintendo Mobile Game Review for IOS and Android

Title: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

Developer: Nintendo

Genre: Simulation

Release Date:

Price: Free with optional in-game purchases

Where to Get:

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/…

Android: https://play.google.com/…

Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!

Geeky: 5/5 – Animal Crossing has a huge cult following because of its unique and strange gameplay and quirky cute characters. There is so much to do and see and it all takes place in an ever evolving changing persistent world that keeps you playing for hundreds or thousands of gaming hours.

Sweetie: 5/5 – Very few games come close to being as cute as animal crossing with its chibi anthropomorphic citizens and bright colors. This game is full of charm and wonder.

Gameplay: 8/10 – Animal Crossing is finally on mobile, which quite frankly is where this franchise has always belonged. It just makes sense as a mobile game given the style of gameplay which it innovated back in 2005. Now almost 12 years later, technology has evolved to where mobile makes the most sense for these types of games, having it with us in our pockets and purses, playing it on commutes, or while waiting in line at a busy store, or while at an appointment, or those few moments before sleeping or getting out of bed.

Animal Crossing is best enjoyed in these little breaks and little moments. It’s also best enjoyed when played often as things change and happen in a living breathing world inside of your game. There are holidays and special events and animals come and go in and out of your areas. Having it on your phone puts it always at your finger tips.

If you’ve never heard of Animal Crossing before (which is highly unlikely but just in case lol), Animal Crossing’s gameplay consists of quiet, calming activities, and cute, and quirky characters, who are, as you have probably guessed by now, animals.

These animals may ask you to complete quests for them and in exchange give you random furniture and clothing. You can also craft your own furniture and clothing as well. Certain games in the series even score you and award you more items and points for decorating your home such as Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer.

In fact, collecting these things and dressing up and designing has always been a big draw to the series. But it’s not the only thing that players love. Many players love to spend hours fishing, gardening, or catching bugs in the game. You can use them as items to trade with NPCs to complete quests or give them to other players or display them in your home or the museum, or sell them for bells (the game’s currency) to buy new items.

Buying new items is addictive too, every day you turn on your game, you will see new items to purchase. Only available for that one day, and completely unique to just you. Not that the same items won’t appear again for you, or for other players, but this particular “collection” of items is unique to you. You may have on one day, a boom box, kitchen sink, and pink sofa, while your friend may have a dining room table, expensive rug, and statue of Link from Zelda. – Of course some items are more rare than others, and since friends can visit your home, you can show off all your rare items and score bragging rights.

Nearly everything about these games are customizeable, from your character’s gender, name, appearance (initially determined by answers to questions presented when first starting the game), to your home, to your world around you. This also is another big draw to these types of games.

New animals will appear and disappear from time to time in your world. This also increases incentive to stay active and stay in touch with your favorite NPCs. After an NPC leaves (in the traditional versions of this game, not sure about mobile), they will send letters to you and sometimes give you gifts.

The games also feature night and day and weather cycles which add more variety to each play through. What you do on any given day is up to you! There is no objective, no goal, no ending, no progression it’s just a sandbox, a living breathing world for you to explore and interact with each day.

This sounds like a huge plus – and in many ways it is, but it can also be a drawback as there is very little urgency or pressure or nothing really compelling you to keep pushing forward. Many times my love for these games starts strong, but 3 or 4 months in and I find I’m barely logging in, but without fail always 6 months later I’m back to being addicted and wanting to play daily. My interest in these types of games goes through spurts like that. I think I burn out from the casual nature, but then find myself wanting to relax and enjoy a cute game and gravitating right back to it, for the same reason that I left it in the first place. It’s almost a double edged sword.

Anyways now that I’ve given you the basics of the franchise, let’s talk about what Animal Crossing Pocket Camp does differently than the other games in the series. For starters, as the name suggests, the entire game takes place in the great outdoors. You’re given a campsite you can decorate. And you have a camper trailer that you can decorate both inside and out. You travel and visit other animals (or visit your friends) and you can take quests, craft, shop, and do all the good basic animal crossing stuff.

Some areas will be blocked from exploring initially. You need to either pay leaf tickets (special in game currency obtainable with real money (but quite often also given for free as quest rewards), or get the help of friends to enter these new areas.

New areas open sometimes for special events like right now there’s a Christmas area where you can get more candy canes to help craft the time limited Christmas themed items which you need 5 friends to help you unlock.

You can link the account to your nintendo account or link your facebook and twitter to find more friends! 🙂 Playing animal crossing with your friends is now easier than ever.

So those are a few of the positive features.

On the downside, they’ve removed the actual houses, so that’s a bit disappointing for those of us who liked modeling our homes.

Also my biggest gripe is too much is just “handed” to us. In previous games, we each had a random fruit. In this game, when I get to the tutorial, I’m given tons of different fruits I can hoarde to plant back at my own campsite. Making the need to work with friends less important in this game.

I also don’t know / haven’t tested how inviting a friend over to your campsite works and how or if you can communicate with them and what activities you can do together. I feel like it may be more limited than in the other games, but maybe I’m wrong.

Other than that, the game offers a feeling of playing the console and handheld Animal Crossing games right on your mobile phone.

Story: 4/10 – Story has never ever been Animal Crossing’s strong suit, and I think for me personally, that’s why I get bored of the games so fast and have an on/off love/hate relationships with them. I play games primarily for story above anything else. So lack of really much to offer here makes it a bit dull to me.

Characters: 10/10 – The characters are charming and cute and have always been the best part of the animal crossing games.

Graphics: 10/10 These graphics look just as good as any Animal Crossing game I have ever played, and it’s a free mobile game, now that’s impressive!

Music: 5/10 Music is just sort of average. Nothing to write home about. Sometimes it can be cute and catchy, other times repetitive and annoying. Depends on my mood and the song in question.

Replay Value: 9/10 – The very nature of Animal Crossing as a franchise is a slow and steady journey meant to be enjoyed through several (often times daily) small playing sessions. Animal Crossing offers much to do, from fishing, bug catching, gardening, to crafting, to shopping, to collecting, to decorating your home and dressing up your avatar. However, it does get repetitive because of the slow and lackadaisical gameplay style. – Which don’t get me wrong, that gameplay style has also always been the game’s strong suit and its unique charm, and what makes it so much fun. There also are time limited goals, time limited items, and time limited quests to complete which will keep you logging back in. However, it’s also the type of game you can play for 10 hours a day for 6 months straight and then feel bored of. It’s much better to enjoy it about an hour a day, as if you immerse yourself too long, you will burn out quickly. But kept in small doses, you will be playing this, or any other animal crossing title for years to come. Now that animal crossing is on our mobile phones we are all doomed to be playing it religiously for the foreseeable future. And future updates will make this even more enticing.

Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!

Other Games You May Like:

Castaway Paradise – pretty much an animal crossing clone. It was fun, but ain’t no animal crossing. Now that animal crossing is on mobile, I see no reason to play this.

Animal Days by Gree  Sadly this is no longer around, but probably one of my all time favorite mobile games, you should check it out since there’s still a wealth of images and info available online with a quick Google search; it’s interesting to read about just because of how unique and fun it was. It had the cute animals, moving in and out of your village, and most excitingly, you could BREED your animal villagers to create new villagers. There were time limited release villagers, and all kinds of really cute things to decorate your home, and a cute story too. I was sad when it closed. I heard they underestimated how popular it was going to become and couldn’t manage well with the production schedule for new releases and updates. I wish someone would buy the code from them and revive this project, but it’s been dead for 5 years now, so it’s not likely to happen. I would rather play Animal Days by Gree over even the best Animal Crossing game, because the breeding and randomized aspects make me so excited.

Happy Street – “sort of” a clone of animal crossing, but completely different gameplay, still, animals at random move into your village, and you fish and mine and craft and so on. but yeah, just it’s different, it’s more like mobile clicker type gameplay, but it has the same charm and theme as animal crossing and is a fun and different enough game that you should play both! 🙂 — There’s also a version of this put out by Line Play, and the name is escaping me right now. Same game / user interface, but different graphic assets and run by different companies. It still has cute animals moving in and out of your village and same gameplay mechanics. I think Happy Street was marketed more and took off more rapidly, and thus the Line Play “clone version” is a lot less widely known – might be worth checking out for you if you love Animal Crossing or Happy Street though!

Seabeard – This has a huge massive open sandbox world and captures some of the unique gameplay aspects of animal crossing.

Line Play – for the fishing and dressing up and decorating and kawaii style.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Nintendo Mobile Game Review for IOS and Android was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Heart of Crown Boardgame and PC Videogame Review

Update: 12/21/2017 – The developers of the PC version of Heart of Crown reached out to me via email and wanted to provide support for some of the issues I encountered, as well as to let me know about new features that are underway, such as full screen mode (currently in the beta client), and a tournament that will take place next year to celebrate the international release of Heart of Crown. They also wanted to let me know that there are (text based) chat rooms available on the Discord server (and I’ve adjusted the score for community based on that feedback). Overall, it is encouraging to see an active Dev team who seem to really care about improving the game and connecting with the community. 🙂 I hope they continue to work on polishing up the PC version of the game, but as I said already in my original review, yes the game has issues, but at the price point of $19.99 (at time of this review) it’s a great game and still a lot of fun, and a worthy purchase.


Original Review Below:


I recently picked up both the board game and steam versions of Heart of Crown, a kawaii anime deck building card game. I love the artwork and the theme of the game (multiple princesses vying for the throne). It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite anime (RE:Zero) so I was instantly drawn to this board game when I attended the Pittsburgh Steel City Comic Con 2 weeks ago. (although I actually purchased this one from the large game store, Mr. Nice Guy Games, at the mall nearby the convention center). And then a few days after that, the PC game released on steam, so imagine my excitement having only just heard of Heart of Crown days prior and being hyped by my new kawaii gaming find. As you will learn in this review, I am happy with both purchases, but each has it’s own unique pros and cons. Find out which version of Heart of Crown is right for you in the reviews below.

Gameplay Explanation:

The gameplay is simple, although it can be confusing at first, and both the manual included in the boardgame, as well as the hidden and horribly confusing tutorial in the PC game, make this gameplay seem much more complex than it actually is.

I will try to briefly describe the gameplay, please bear in mind my experience with this title is still limited to just a handful of play sessions.

To understand the gameplay we must first understand the different card types. Largely these consist of one of the following:

Princess Cards – these cards are available for purchase once you reach 16 points. There are 6 different Princesses in the base game (maybe more in various expansions). Each princess has unique abilities, some passive (always in effect) and some that you can activate during your turn. These abilities may give you advantages such as viewing your draw pile, drawing extra cards, forcing opponents to discard a card, or so on.

The objective of the game is to choose a princess whose ability matches your play style and then “back her” by acquiring points to put her on the throne. I’m not in front of either version of the game at the moment, but I believe the amount needed to back a princess is 21. (might be 20 or 25, somewhere in that range).

When this happens, a “coronation ceremony” will occur. At this time, any other players take one final turn, and if able to do so, may also back and crown a princess. If no other players can put a princess on the throne, you win. However, if another player also gets enough points to back and crown a princess the game enters sudden death where the first player to reach 30 points wins.

But how do you get points you ask? That’s where the other cards come in handy.

Territory Cards: these cards grant you coins (think of it as taxing your people for living in your lands). Coins are used to purchase items from the common shared area known as the market place. Note that cards obtained from the market place go to your discard pile. This is rather quirky and different from most other games I’ve played where they would automatically go to your hand or your draw pile. When you reach the end of your draw pile, your discard pile gets shuffled and becomes your new draw pile, allowing you to finally use the cards you have purchased. Coins may also be spent to activate abilities on some cards.

Action cards – these cards have abilities that affect you or other players such as declaring war to lower their points, or forcing them to discard a card, or allowing you to draw more cards, or take a card from the market place.

Character Cards – these cards all feature a different character, such as a duke, maid, etc. who will grant or sometimes subtract from your total points value. After you have backed a princess, you can play these character cards by placing them under your princess card.

There are also 2 special mechanics in this game.

Keeping Cards: 1 is the ability to “keep” up to 3 cards in your hand by placing them over your kingdom cards (territory cards that were used to back your princess) you cannot keep a card greater than the point value of the territory cards holding it. But by keeping a card, it allows you to use that card on a later turn instead of automatically discarding it at the end of your turn when you would normally discard all of your cards.

Chain Cards: The other interesting fact is that you can chain cards together, some cards have a yellow arrow. This means you can play another card. This is most commonly seen on territory cards.

Putting it all Together:

So the basics of gameplay go like this, draw your cards, play territory cards to get coins, then choose cards from the market place that go to your discard pile. As you run out of cards in your draw pile, the discard pile gets shuffled and turned into the new draw pile, and you may get lucky and draw the cards you purchased from market. Once you reach 16 points, choose a princess to back by carefully considering her special abilities. Continue to play territory cards and purchase more cards from the market – you’re likely going to be looking for cards to increase your point total. Be the first person to reach enough points to crown your princess. Other players may challenge you, so be ready to be the first player to reach 30 points and win the game, or win automatically if no one else can crown their princess after one more turn.


 

Score Card:

Board Game Version

Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”

Geeky: 1/5 – the anime theme and cute girls are the only “geeky” thing here. There is little to no strategy involved with this game, no customization, no legacy, no story, no complexity, no hidden things to explore, etc. Just a straightforward, simple, cute family friendly game with great artwork.

Sweetie: 5/5 – And that great artwork is enough to score it a 5/5 on the sweetie meter. Combine that with the theme of the game, a game about princesses, and you have one of the cutest games ever.

Breakdown:

Value for What’s Included: 7/10 – You get a lot of cards, with gorgeous high quality art work, a beautiful box to store the game in, and a lengthy detailed full color glossy manual. However, that manual can be confusing and overwhelming to new players. There is no play mat, card sleeves, tokens, figures, or other goodies, but I still think overall, I feel satisfied with what was included at the $40 price point. Note there are expansions you can buy that add new cards and new features as well.

Initial Learning Curve: 5/10 – setting up the first time and learning what to do can be frustrating. But once you jump into your first game, it really isn’t so bad. Therefore, the learning curve difficulty is somewhere in the middle. It may turn off some casual gamers, but is still simple and friendly enough for family game night or to introduce to your non-gamer friends.

Gameplay: 7/10 – it’s simple, short and sweet. Most games take under 20 minutes to complete. There is a nice variety of cards, from abilities, to characters, and plenty of opportunity to interact with other players. However, the game length is quite short and there’s not much complex or exciting / enticing to help enhance replay value. I think this game will be fun once or twice a month, but don’t see it being a “weekly game board night” staple, when other games offer greater replay incentives and more for even the most seasoned and veteran gamers to discover on multiple playthroughs. Still, if you have young kids, or a significant other who is obsessed with “the kawaii life” they will love this cute little anime game. I bought it simply because I love how cute it is, and I’m not disappointed!

Artwork: 10/10 – I love the artwork, for me it really sold me on this game – Picked it up in a board game store I had never visited before, and had not heard of the game, and bought it simply because of the cute anime girls lol.

Interaction With Other Players: 4/10 – I feel like this is solidly in the middle somewhere. There are plenty of action cards and abilities to play against your friends. But it’s not as social as let’s say cards against humanity nor as encouraging of attacks and alliances as say Munchkin,

Fun: 7/10 – It’s short and sweet, it’s cute, it can be confusing, but as soon as you play the first few games it becomes (almost too) simple. I mean let’s take it for what it is, it’s not a legacy game that is meant to be played in multiple sessions like gloomhaven. It’s not a strategy game like catan, it’s just a simple cute card game with anime graphics and a cute concept.

Replay Value: 6/10 – Will I play this again? Absolutely. Does it change, or evolve, offer strategy,  customization, different classes, things that can make each replay different, unique and exciting? Nope. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to replay it. The artwork is cute, and the small minimum time investment is a big plus. Easy to squeeze a game in here or there whenever the chance arises.

Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”


Score Card:

PC Game Version:

Overall: 75/100 75% C+ “Good Game for Girls”

Geeky: 1/5 – In my two hours thus far with the game I have encountered bugs, bugs, and more bugs. Well not bugs per say, more like “What were they thinking?” Poorly designed User Interface, Hidden Tutorials, lack of Fullscreen mode, and many more “WTF” moments that reek of bad design and development decisions.

Sweetie: 5/5 – It’s still cute though and sure to appeal to all fans of anime or kawaii lifestyle culture!

Story: 6/10 The PC version adds some story segments that you can unlock. They are somewhat misleading in calling this a campaign mode as there is no interactivity, it’s more like comics that you can view. It has absolutely no other effect on gameplay. Story is there, and it’s a nice bonus. But a lot more could have been done here.

Characters: 8/10 – The princesses, as always are very cute, and the campaign story mode helps endear the characters to us more.

Gameplay: 7/10 I can’t for the life of me get multiplayer to work. When I purchase a game, I expect it to “just work” – not to have to sit there messing with my firewall and computer settings. I’m not the only one with this issue as you can see on the support forums. And due to the type of game (kawaii) the target audience (children and young adult females) is not tech savvy enough to have to be expected to deal with this. I get errors about open ports, turning things off/on, trying their recommended settings, changing the settings, nothing works.

So although this is a multiplayer game, I’m only able to play it against NPCs. If I were able to get multiplayer to work, there are ranked matches and ongoing leader boards and other awesome features, and of course the benefit of being able to play Heart of Crown if you don’t have anyone to play with in real life.

Without multiplayer working, the gameplay takes a huge hit in my opinion. However, it did teach me how to play the boardgame. And it wasn’t by way the terrible tutorial that I learned this with. The game hides the tutorial from you, it doesn’t make it obvious. In your first play through that thing should pop up and introduce you to the game, and pop up at each step. But apparently their programmers couldn’t even figure this out – also couldn’t figure out how to program it so multiplayer works out of the box (I have over 600 steam games, and this is the only game I have trouble trying to create or join a room in multiplayer).

Anyways I digress, back to that hidden horrible tutorial, no they couldn’t have it auto guide you through (with an option to exit it of course) – no they expect you to just know to click the “help” icon. And you have to remember then to keep clicking the help icon after you complete each step. It’s terrible for new players. The learning curve and directions are 10,000 times worse in the video game than they are in the actual card game.

Once you figure out WTF you are doing, it’s fine. The game rounds go by speedy and snappy. The artificial intelligence AI is no where NEAR challenging – I’ve read other reviews on steam that they can’t beat the computers, and I’ve just thought to myself, WTF is wrong with you. I beat them every time, as someone who is a complete newb to this game. – FYI my first time playing Heart of Crown was actually with the video game as I had not yet gotten to play the board game I had purchased. So no, it’s not just because I had exposure/experience to the game before. — Of course, granted, maybe these reviewers, don’t know / didn’t see the hidden tutorial, because without that, it really is impossible to know WTF to do. As horrible and terrible as that tutorial was, it was in fact useful. It just needs to be implemented and integrated in a much more obvious, in your face, way to help you your first time.

Anyways, once you figure everything out, gameplay is exactly the same as the physical board game, so bonus points there for maintaining the look and feel of the original card game now in a digital, supposedly online multiplayer, format with rankings and a leader board, and music and some semblence of a story – those are all good / nice things, just the way it’s presented is absolute trash and terrible from a new user experience.

Learning Curve: 1/10 – too hard, see comments above about how the user interface and tutorial need some SERIOUS work in future patch updates hopefully.

Artwork: 7/10 – I want to give this a 10/10 I really do – but once again, it’s so poorly presented. There is no full screen mode – or if there is, like everything else in this damn game it’s hidden somewhere and not obvious how to enter full screen. So they have you select different resolutions, but they all look pretty bad honestly, at least the ones that fit my screen nicely. You can rightclick hold over a card to enlarge it to read it and see it clearly but it still doesn’t look as crisp and clean as the actual boardgame artwork. — It is however still very cute and kawaii so gotta give it some points there.

Music: 10/10 – the music is good. I don’t think it’s 10 out of 10 good, but I’m trying to pad my review a bit to more accurately reflect that I do actually enjoy this game.

Interaction With Other Players: 10/10 – no chat room (built into the game), they do have optional discord servers set up. EDIT: Devs reached out to tell me there are (text based) chat options available in the discord servers, and the Devs are in the server too and offer support as well as interact with the community which is a big plus. I do have Discord on my PC (but typically only play on it with a handful of friends), but hearing that the Devs are active on their own servers makes me want to check it out. The impression I get is that the small Dev team seem to really care about this game and listen to feedback and provide support which has changed my mind significantly about the community within the game. And I’m excited about the tournament features and leader boards and ranking. It really enhances this game and makes it competitive and exciting and enhances replay value too – Especially if we can win rare cards or something from this upcoming tournament. 🙂

I’m shy though and don’t like to use voice chat that much with strangers. Anime fans are typically introverts like myself, so it seems like lack of a chat room is a bit of a draw backI’ve also seen others complaining about this in the forums. – See Edit Above.

Then again, I can’t even get multiplayer to work at all period, so for me this is like a 0 out of 10 honestly, but I’m giving it the benefit of a doubt. This part still holds true although the Devs seem to want to help me get it working and to be fair I hadn’t tried using the support system before coming on my blog here and complaining lol. Although I did take a look at the support forums and other people having the issue and trying to trouble shoot based on feedback they were given which didn’t seem to work for me, and I saw other people had refunded the game via steam due to multiplayer issues, so to me this still seems like maybe a poorly designed function. Other “room” based games like Terraria and 100% Orange Juice that use seemingly similar multiplayer features just work right out of the box. I would expect the same from Heart of Crown, or any game I purchase.

Fun: 10/10 – I’m still giving this a 10/10 despite the numerous flaws. I paid $19.99 and I feel extremely satisfied with that purchase, even just playing it against the not very smart NPCs that I easily trounce.

Replay Value: 10/10 – I played my first day with this game over 2 hours. Will play again. If I get multiplayer to work, I’d play every day of my life. Just like the card game, this one does not offer much incentive to make you want to replay it, except it does have rankings and leader boards. There is potential here for a smart dev (they have not shown themselves to be too smart thus far however) to add additional gameplay elements like tournaments, rare cards for rewards for high rank, and so on.

EDIT: Actually the Devs seem really nice and seem to really care about the game, and have told me there will be just such a tournament taking place next year 🙂

It is a new game, just released less than 2 weeks ago, so I’m hoping the devs address some of the massive issues plaguing the PC version of this game right now – but even if they don’t I’ll still play it and enjoy it, bugs and all. The fact it is a PC game, and on a platform like steam, increases my likelihood to play this, because no downtime to set up the play area, and the fact I only have people to play the physical game with on weekends, this means if I want to play more Heart of Crown through the week, the PC version is my go-to. I sincerely hope the devs fix things up and that the community for this game grows. I love Heart of Crown despite my somewhat harsh review. But it has issues that people should be aware of before parting with their money or sitting down to play.

Heart of Crown Boardgame and PC Videogame Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Idol Master Million Live Theater Days Japanese Rhythm Game Review

Title: Idol Master Million Live Theater Days

Genre: Rhythm Game with Visual Novel elements

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Release Date: June 28, 2017

Where to Get: See Below:

Itunes (Japan Only): https://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/…

Google Play Store (May also be Japan Only – not Sure) https://play.google.com/…

How to Get: You can check out my review of Aikatsu Photo on Stage to learn how to get free Japanese Itune items by creating a free Japanese Itunes account. In Aikatsu Photo on Stage, I was unable to help android users locate the game as it does not run on Bluestacks (or any rooted devices). I do not know if the same holds true for Idolmaster Theater Days as well. If so Android users may need a VPN Tunneling Service, which I know nothing about. Sorry.

Also in the case of this game when registering for a new account, be sure you select Japan as your country. This cannot be changed later. You can leave “English” as the language, but this only affects emails Bandai will send to you, and does not affect the language actually in the game – which is sadly only available in Japanese. Later, if Bandai ever releases the game in North America and in English you will have to make a new Bandai account to play the English versions of the game. But we’ve never received a single IdolM@ster game, despite success of their Love Live series which is very similar, so I don’t think the chances of English localization are very high! 🙁

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js


Overall: 66/80 83% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

Overview: 10/10 – I have a new obsession, as anyone who follows me on Instagram may have noticed this past weekend. Idol Master Million Live Theater Days may just be my new favorite mobile game of all time. It takes what I enjoy about Love Live, Aikatsu Photo on Stage, and Idol Master Cinderella Girls and smooshes them all together.

Graphics: 10/10 – The best part about Theater Days is that the girls are rendered in Live 2D just like Ensemble Stars, Dream Girlfriend, and countless other anime games. This technology allows for very lifelike anime renders. While 3D would feel stiff and 2D would feel flat, Live 2D finds a balance between these two. I can’t get enough of these Live 2D games!! In fact I wish to see the technology used even more, not just on mobile games, but PC and Console Games as well. I don’t know if this technology was used on Nekopara, but the result is VERY similar. The models look more clean than the cel shading technologies used in Catherine and School Days. Live 2D is the best thing to ever happen to anime games. More companies need to take notice.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Not only do they look great, the girls appear on stage as full bodies, not just a tiny face in a circle like in Love Live School Idol Festival. Aikatsu Photo on Stage also has full bodied — but static — images (which kinda “bounced” up and down at times on the screen). But here, in Theater Days, thanks to Live 2D, the girls dance and sing on stage with unique dance routines choreographed for each song and each singer; and it’s just so incredibly cuuuute!!! I can’t stop playing, watching, and taking like a bazillion screen shots, seriously! Just check out my instagram account lol.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Music 10/10 – Aikatsu Photo on Stage seemed lacking in the quality of the music compared to Love Live, but Idol Master Million Live Theater Days is at least as good, if not even better, in music when compared to Love Live. The songs are seriously addictive. I really like some of the earliest tracks like “Brand New Theater” and “Sentimental Venus”, but all of the songs I’ve heard have been good. I’ve played and watched the music videos (in game after beating the song at least once), over and over, all weekend. The music is so good, and the girls’ dancing is so well timed with the music. It feels so real, like you really are at a concert. The lights on the stage, the audience, the movement, the emotions, omg. It’s indescribable. There’s also excellent voice acting in the story scenes as well.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Gameplay 8/10 – And like Aikatsu Photo on Stage and Idol Master Cinderella Girls you can dressup your girls in different outfits. I haven’t figured out how to do this yet. I’ve won, what looks like white, wedding dress, looking rewards from several songs, but can’t figure out how to use them or equip them. But I do see that we can change the uniforms for each member of our party, I just don’t have anything showing up when I go to this menu to change their outfits, except the starting red/white/blue outfits they are given at the beginning of the game. Perhaps the white dresses are materials or tokens to draw new outfits or something else useful and related to outfits. I just know there are costume changes, and the costume changes will be represented on stage when playing or watching / listening to the songs.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

There are also visual novel like elements to the game. I can’t read Japanese, but luckily there is only 1 response / option to select. I’ve only found 2 instances where I’ve had to make a “choice”. The first time was when choosing which starter card I wanted. I picked the girl in the pink sweater with side pony tail. The other time that the game asked me to make a choice was shortly after that, when a new girl is introduced, she has very short hair, sometimes in short pigtails with red ribbons and a green dress. — I think the main girl I had drawn already was jealous of the new girl, I think based on their facial expressions / interactions. My “main girl” and 2 other “starter girls” were in another room talking about something/one when the “new girl” overheard them, and they apologized and got embarrassed. I was presented an option, probably something encouraging the girls to get along. Whatever I picked seemed to surprise the girls. Story went on for a bit, then they all sang together, after the performance, my “main girl” came to me and asked something of me. There were 2 options, and the one I picked seemed to make her happy / satisfy her a bit.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

There will be other chances to interact with your girls, any time you are logged in, you can move around different rooms, and find your girls randomly going about their day. Sometimes they will have an “!” or a “…” bubble above their heads, when tapping on a girl, you can listen to what they have to say, which usually doesn’t even require any feedback from you – and rewards you with XP and the rare/summoning currency.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

You rank up as a producer by completing these “quests” and of course by putting on live performances which is where the majority of the gameplay comes from. You assemble a team of 6 girls. They have different attributes such as Princess, Fairy, and Angel. The song attributes change every day. For example, yesterday the songs wanted Princess, and Today they want Fairy. On my first day of play they wanted “All” which I guess would require a balanced approach. You can have several different teams built and saved up and switch freely between them. It also seems you can have it build the teams for you by hitting the pink “recycle” looking icon, and then choosing the attribute you want. For example, Princess would autofill your highest scoring Princess cards into the team. This doesn’t mean that only Princess members would appear, because you might have a fairy or angel who has high Princess points too. This probably all sounds familiar if you’ve played other titles such as Love Live School Idol Festival.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

When playing the actual song, you can choose different difficulty settings. The easiest difficulty features just 2 “bubbles” to tap. The medium difficulty features 4 bubbles. and the highest difficulty I believe has 6 bubbles.

These bubble “holders” are located across the bottom of your screen. As the song goes on, rainbow white shiny “pearls” will fall down the screen towards one of the bubbles. Tap the bubble at just the right time to gain the most points and chain “perfect” time attacks for bonus points. Once again, very similar to Love Live.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Unlike Love Live. there’s a few new game mechanics, a large floating butterfly “bubble” will appear to give huge bonus points when timed correctly. Other bubbles require sliding/gliding your finger to “follow” the bubble’s path, or tapping and holding, or tapping repeatedly to correctly receive points from that bubble.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

The other big draw to these games is the Waifu collecting aspect, and this game is no exception. You can draw cards using diamonds or pink coins. The diamonds have a higher chance to yield Super Rare or Super Super Rare girls to add to your team. The diamonds is the “paid” currency, but there are ways to earn it free in game.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

So this all sounds lovely, so why did I take 2 points off? There are no events yet – but keep in mind, the game just launched a few days ago in Japan. In Love Live, there’s almost constant events which allow you to play against or with other players to earn limited edition super rare cards. Nothing like that has happened yet in Theater Days. If they up the rate of events, then Gameplay would probably be a 10/10 too!

Also while playing, your stamina drains so you may find yourself having to wait, or pay, for it to refill. No different from Love Live or the other rhythm games. Those are the only downsides I’ve seen so far!

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Story: 5/10 – There is a story, but until they release this game in English (which will probably never happen) I can’t say if it’s a good or bad story. Therefore, a medium score seems the most fair here, given that I’m reviewing this game for my readers, who are also, largely, English speaking gamers.

Characters: 5/10 – The characters are cute! I think I may have seen some from other Idol Master games. But since I’m missing out on their backstories, I still can’t enjoy the characters to their fullest, though I do have some favorites already just based on looks and voice actresses.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Replay Value: 8/10 – No Waifu, No Laifu! lol. The game needs some more events, and to continue to release new girls, new clothes, and new songs, as long as those things continue to happen, this is a game I will be playing and recommending for years to come. In my opinion, it’s the best rhythm game ever of all time! A Must Play Mobile Masterpiece, and a shame we will probably never see an English version of this game.

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

Geeky: 5/5 – Mind Blowing Graphics. Best Graphics ever for a mobile game. So lifelike. It’s like anime has become a reality. Also excellent voice acting and music tracks.

Sweetie 5/5 – Adorable – collect and dressup cute anime girls and watch them sing and dance on screen.

Overall: 66/80 83% B “Very Good Game for Girls”

A post shared by jenilee (@xenokitten) on

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

One note: I think the songs may change slightly – or I’m imagining things? based on which characters you have in your team when performing the song. For example, the first song has a part, where I think, the girls are saying their names and throwing their hands in a circular high five like cheer shape. Obviously there’s more than 6 different girls that could be in your party, and I think they would have used vocals for different names here. — Also, I think… but could be REALLY wrong …. each girl’s voice actress has recorded each “part” of the song…. because… not only does “which girls” you have effect the sound of the song, but “where those girls are” also affects how the song sounds and who gets more time in the spot light and who sings which lines. — My time with the game is short thus far, and I could be imagining this entirely. That’s why I did not factor it into my review score above – however, if it is in fact true, it’s fascinating and makes me want to try all the combinations I can make for each song by choosing and arranging my girls in different ways.

Idol Master Million Live Theater Days Japanese Rhythm Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News