meet the entity at AphelionDoll
Hello, sweet Star Child. What a wonderful time and place to meet you. I am Aphelion, the entity creating art for BallJointedDolls; mostly I am known for making mesmerizing doll eyes made of resin.
When I was still a young being, I stumbled over BJDs in a Magazine for Gothic lolitas. I fell in love with their aesthetic right away, researched on them in the vastness of the internet, but knew I couldn't afford such a doll as soon as I found out about their value. Yet, I didn't give up and saved enough money to get myself a doll;
even if one decade needed to pass by.
After having it home, it had nothing to wear.
No eyes, no face up, no clothes, no shoes and no wig.
Insecure about sizes and too afraid to send it out for a FU,
I decided to make everything myself.
This is how I became a doll artist, and I am honored to share my abilities with you, my sweet Star Child.
Thank you for your support and love.
WHAT IS A BJD?
BallJointedDolls are articulated and therefore movable sculptures being held together by elastic strings only, most commonly poured in resin. These dolls are elaborate pieces of art and offer endless possibilities on how to customize it: The doll you see or hold in hands is unique in this world and nowhere else to be found exactly like this again.
To customize such a delicate doll,
we make use of doll artists - like I am.
You will find many, many local or international artists out there with different styles and can combine styles of your favorite artists to amalgamate everything into your perfect dream doll.
If that doesn't sound incredible, I don't know what else does.
Imagine having a character you created in a novel, role play or as a drawing. Turning it into a doll, you can change its clothes, change its hair do, take photos and make photo stories, and so much more!
This universe knows no limitations.
If you are a beginner and just decided to dive into this hobby, I want to make you aware of something that threatens our beloved hobby - Recasts, which are illegally copied dolls.
Read on and be a hero to all the artists out there!
a threat to the hobby
Maybe you stumbled over BJDs somewhere in the internet, in a magazine or friends introduced you into the hobby. And when you fall in love with something - you google. Let me help you to avoid making mistakes and enjoy this creative hobby to the fullest.
Like with every other item you intend to purchase, it's the human nature to look out for the best deal. Researching for dolls, you will most likely drop your jaw from how expensive they are, and immediately look for the cheapest offer.
But beware! As a beginner and therefore inexperienced being you will bump into a recast or a recaster's shop with high chances. And you don't want to get yourself a recast, my sweet Star Child.
Your question might be: "But what is wrong with recasts other than they're less expensive?"
Recasts are unauthorizied and therefore illegally copied versions of original dolls. Following from this, recasters are plain thieves and not only hurt the law, but also steal from hard-working artists who make a living from creating our wonderful dolls. Supporting such a thief by buying a recast is just as worse as stealing directly from an artist.
You will never see a recasted/stolen doll in the universe of AphelionDoll, and I will reject and deny every request to work on stolen dolls.
I am certain that you don't want to be such an unworthy creature being a part of this illegal chain, too, my sweet Star Child. You are better than that and I am proud of you.
Moreover, recasters don't care if the material they use contains toxins. Be kind to yourself and don't trust a thief.
Also no artist will work on recasts and will deny your request immediately, sometimes charging fees for acting against their policies and wasting their time and money.
"But how in the world can I identify a recasted doll and distinguish it from an authentic BJD?"
Well, sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is tricky. But most of the time you will easily find out if it's a recast or not.
BallJointedDolls are elaborate pieces of collectible art and can be identified as authentic by checking on their typical marks for each model and artist. Research on how they should look like if they were authentic, and compare to the doll you're about to purchase.
Most common marks are:
the CoA (Certificate of Authenticity)
the headplate / label
As time passes by, thieves are getting smarter and started to imitate these marks, too, to trick people. They copy the design of original boxes, CoAs and headplates and sell the fakes to unknowing people. Or worse: They just created their own "CoA" to create the illusion that their products are authentic. Not rarely, those who get tricked are beginners.
"But what to do now? I don't know further...", my little star asks.
Luckily, thieves are just as cheap as their products. They can only sell their items for such low prices, because they focus on reckless mass production and don't take care of details. As Artists are more and more worried about how to make their customers able to identify and distinguish an authentic doll from a stolen one, they will take a close look at fine details and will make owning their doll a special experience by focusing on packaging, too.
If you are eyeing with a doll you are not sure of its authenticity, check for the following details:
special box design
special design of CoAs
metal plates or magnets hidden in unusual places
unique extras that are typical for the original artist
eventually manuals and pamphlets
eventually full set parts
For example, my FragileDolls "Love" seen above has a beautiful black box with a varnished logo and also contained delicate dried roses which were making her unboxing an unforgettable experience.
Recasters/Thieves won't make a fuzz about creating an unforgettable experience - and that's where you'll be able to identify a recast.
"I have seen a doll on the 2nd hand market, but there is no box, no CoA and no other proof of the doll's authenticity. What can I do?"
In this case, things become a little trickier. Sometimes doll owners throw away the doll's boxes to save on storing space, sometimes they loose their official paperwork (CoAs, invoices, etc.) and sometimes dolls don't come with such things at all (like event heads, often). If you experience such a situation, make sure to check on the doll's size. Resin will shrink during curing - some do more, some less. but they shrink definitely. Or also the doll parts theirself can show signs of bad craftmanship if they are cast and prepared without care:
magnets are messily glued in
magnets might be mixed up and don't match
missing magnets in hard to reach areas (for example in the inner torso, formerly intended to attach wing parts)
messily drilled tunnels
off color from the original doll
warped parts due to stringing when resin was not completely cured
Check for things that take effort and time to look right. If it doesn't look right, chances are high you identified a recast.
Always remember: The harder it is to identify a doll as legit due to missing marks (for example the box, CoA, headplate, etc.) the harder you will have it to sell the doll if you ever decided to let go of it. These little details are actually the things making the doll valuable and worth collecting.
To summarize it:
Comparing the doll you are about to purchase with the original artist's work will always give information on a doll's authenticity.
Thank you for reading through this very important wall of text. Spread the love and make save purchases, support artists and enjoy this beautiful hobby to the fullest.