QOTW: Is there controversy behind owning a fake?

Written on May 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Michelle
Filed under: Question of the Week

Fakes, factories, TBLs. Whatever you call them, they’re not made by nor sold by Takara as legitimate Blythes.  ADGs, long since discontinued, have not been ‘faked’ since or during the time that they were being actively manufacturered. ADGs have, however, gained in monetary value, especially those who are still mint in box.


Let’s consider this. If a person owns a fake designer bag, it’s still a fake (or counterfeit, if you want to use that term). And it’s fairly frowned upon. And yet, when it comes to Blythe, a lot of people turn a blind eye to the fact that someone has a TBL, or just ignore it altogether. Because there’s just so much joy when it comes to owning, and playing with, these wide-eyed dolls. Is it wrong to own a fake doll? In the ball-jointed doll community, a lot of people frown upon re-casted dolls – people still own them, enjoy them love them; but as a whole they’re still frowned upon, and some BJD forums even ban the resale of re-casted dolls. Yet not a lot of public frowning seems to come along when someone is announcing a new doll that happens to be a TBL, or selling a custom doll who’s origin are less than legitimate. I will admit that since people started scalp swapping (otherwise known as hybrid Blythes), it’s harder and harder to tell which are the ‘real’ Blythes (with minor alterations) and which are the factory, TBLs or fake Blythes. After all, people have been customizing these dolls since the beginning. Blythe makes a beautiful canvas that seems to know no bounds. A scalp swap here, a change in face-up there. It can be difficult to tell the difference between what is faked and what is customized.

Is there outrage over owning a fake doll? Is there a sense of controversy? Or do people not care at all about if there’s fakes floating around? What happens when someone sells a customized TBL as a real Blythe, either intentionally or unintentionally? It can be rather hard to tell them apart. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to tell (in a photo) if the doll is a fake or not, mostly because of the way the doll is positioned or customized. It can be difficult, especially if a hybrid doll is created from TBL and real Blythe parts. A FrankenBlythe, if you will.

Is there controversy behind owning a fake?

6 Responses to “QOTW: Is there controversy behind owning a fake?”

  1. K. @maidencanada76 AKA @MaidenCanada

    I have tons of stock dolls, two customs as well as three tbl and a couple of Jecci5. I like the different types of hair and variety in the mixes. Personally I am not worried as long as there are still stock dolls because I love them!!!

  2. SonjeB says:

    I can see BJD artists getting up in arms about recastings, but it is hard for me to get upset about knock-offs of overly priced mass-produced goods — dollies included. Selling one as original is wrong, however. If you don’t know whether it is legit or not, find out from an expert or admit that you are not sure and price accordingly.

  3. Deb says:

    The designer purse comparison is so ridiculous and not even worth mentioning. If I was going to buy a designer bag that I wanted to dismantle, repaint, add beads and polka dots, change it’s strap and remove the logo, then why would it be frowned upon if I bought it in Chinatown? I’m creating a whole new ooak purse no one will even know what it used to be just like sometimes it’s impossible to tell which official release a custom doll used to be. You contradict yourself when you say they are a canvas, yet the canvas needs to be a special design to begin with? A canvas is a canvas, blank, plain, ready for an artist to work it’s magic on it. I think if someone wants to keep dolls as stock, then authentic Takaras are the way to go, I couldn’t collect stock dolls and own fakes, what’s the point? but fakes are the perfect option to use when you plan to dismantle and make a whole new doll. Seems logical to me.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I am really interested in customising Blyth dolls, however I now don’t know how to go about it! If I buy one that is not an original will people still want it, or are only original dolls that are customised wanted?

  5. Ginny Sumner says:

    I’m new to Blythe dolls, and can only assume Santa left a Velvet doll under the tree for me the year she was released in the US because Velvet was more proportionate to a human and clothes would be easier to get, aside from the obvious limitless number of hair styles available on a doll who’s hair “grows”. Now, all these decades later, I’ve discovered Blythe and, naturally, had to include her in my doll collection. Velvet is still prominent in that collection, in her original box and with a couple of her hair curlers and other original accessories. I’ve read up on Blythe and the controversy over fakes. From a newbie’s perspective, I’d like to share these thoughts.

    While I completely understand that reproducing a copyrighted item on your own and selling it as the genuine article is wrong, I don’t think the “fake” Blythe dolls are being necessarily sold deliberately as counterfeited dolls. I’ve purchased one nao Blythe, which is a genuine article, based on the description. The other dolls I purchased were sold as nudes, which are probably the very fakes in controversy.

    I read your blogs and the information provided on the official website and the biggest question I have is, there are volumes of information on ‘so and so’ Blythe of this release and on ‘so and so’Blythe of that body type and NO WHERE is there a list or pictures identifying these individually named dolls or by what reasoning they were named! Therefore, while I believe the dolls I received that have grey eye chips are most likely fakes, I have no other reason for thinking that because I have no clue how the genuine dolls got their names! Are there unauthorized hair colors or styles? Mine came with a variety of extra hands you can swap out. Is that a problem? Are there unauthorized skin tones and/or eye color combinations? Aside from the fact that I didn’t purchase my dolls from an authorized dealer, HOW would I know what a genuine doll is? NOTHING I read made the cute names given to the pictured dolls make any sense, except that in some cases, the hair color was linked to the name.

    My first purchase was a nao Blythe. It was sold at a special price specifically meant to be the first one to be collected. I thought it might have something to do with the poker straight lavender color hair. Is that the bargain basement model? I have no idea.

    So while the “fakes” may not have come from a dealer, the colors and styles of their hair are very pleasing, and much nicer than the genuine article! I have no intention of selling them so I’m happy I didn’t have to pay hundreds for my cute dollies! For those reasons, I don’t really care that they are “fakes”.

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