Back in May of this year, I shared with you all a survey regarding fakes/counterfeits Blythes in the community, to get better insight into the thoughts and opinions of the people who make up our doll community. One of my favourite comments that I had received in the survey was:
Fakes happen. Relax.
Curious? Read on! It was a fairly short survey with just a handful of questions, and there were 120 participants!
Here are the results of what some people in the doll community think about fakes/counterfeit dolls (commonly referred to as “factory” or “TBL”):
1. Do you consider someone who only owns fake Blythes to be a Blythe collector?
54 said yes, while 66 said no.
2. Do you think fake Blythes are acceptable/okay in the doll community?
85 think that fakes are acceptable, while 35 said they are not.
3. Do you personally own a fake Blythe?
74 of the participants own a fake, 44 do not.
For the “I don’t know/I’m not sure” choice, 2 of 120 people who participated in the survey were unsure if their dolls were fakes or not. The fact that there are people in the doll community who are unsure if their dolls are legitimate or fake makes me want to shake the sellers who aren’t more forthcoming with the origin of their dolls.
4. Some people argue that the high cost and/or low quality of a Takara produced doll is the reason they purchase fakes – do you agree with that justifying the decision to own fakes?
39 said yes while 52 said no.
In the “Other” option, here are some of the comments left in the survey:
“I’m quite neutral since if a customizer customize a fake Blythe and make it beautiful I won’t mind”
“No. The plastics used to create knock off dolls can be dangerous. Low quality but safe plastic/dolls is more important to me.”
“I buy fakes because Takara doesn’t make spare parts!”
“A necessary evil perhaps”
“I understand the logic but for me, it doesn’t make it okay. Some of the older official releases had terrible quality control, but people still bought them then and they’re incredibly sought after now (e.g. Goldie, her hair can be terrible!)”
“Fakes are so expensive it doesn’t really justify”
“Depends on the doll”
5. Do you think it’s okay to customize fakes so that Kenners/Takara/ADG dolls are not customized?
An overwhelming 102 said yes while only 18 of the 120 participants decided that no, fakes are still not okay to save the legitimate releases (e.g. Kenners, Takaras, and ADGs).
6. If you have any other thoughts regarding fake Blythes, leave them here.
61 of 120 participants left additional comments, here is a small selection of their comments:
“I struggle with the last question. I don’t like stock dolls being customized but the chemicals used to create fake dolls concern me. If I have a customized fake, do I have a toxic doll? It can put you in an awkward situation if you win or are given a fake, customized or not, as well.”
“As long as they are not sold / traded / presented as Original.. I don”t see any problem with fakies”
“I prefer to not work on fakes for safety reasons (off-gassing, no QC, etc..) but I don’t judge others that do.”
“My answers probably seem a bit contradictory. The reason for this is because I feel rather conflicted about the whole fake Blythe controversy. On one hand, I feel that fakes have ruined the hobby, but the other, I can appreciate the fact that customizers use them to spare official releases. While I have a deep respect for quality customs, it really bothers me to see limiteds, rares, and most especially Kenners carved up beyond recognition. There really shouldn’t be any reason to carve up these dolls, and then have the original base doll’s value factor into the ultimate cost for a custom Blythe. The RBL mold was a laser copy of a Kenner, and the fakes are typically copies of RBLs. If you’re going to carve something up, spare the rares and use a fake base doll!”
“I don’t care how people spend their money. But when I see people get excited over their first Blythe and it’s a fake it’s disappointing”
“The people buying them have contributed to a marked downturn in the hobby, both in the quality of customs, and the secondhand price for stock dolls. There is no reason to buy a fake, at all, ever. It makes no sense morally or economically. They do not contribute to jobs, they are not “castoffs” from teh factory, they are not made from a small homemade cottage industry. They are mass produced, most likely from a criminal enterprise, without whatever limited safety and workplace protection that a licensed factory would have. Buying fakes actually contributes to worker abuse, human trafficking, pollution, and increased prices for stock dolls. Anyone who does not believe that buying fakes has contributed to the higher costs and lower quality of stock dolls does not understand basic economics.”
“Fakes happen. Relax.”
“So-called Blythe collectors who own knock-offs do not value Blythe enough to pay for a genuine Blythe doll. So no, they are not Blythe collectors. I am strongly anti-fake.”
“Fakes are okay for customizers to practice on, but I’m astonished that some collectors sell them for hundreds. I’m also not supportive of buying a fake for a child because it’s less $ than the real thing. There is a lesson and appreciation that should be part of anyone’s first Blythe, and if she’s too much, that’s not an appropriate gift. I should also share that I feel the same about other counterfeits (for example, jewelry and handbags).”
“I am strongly against recast in bjd world and would never buy one, so it felt really odd for me to see so many Blythe hobbyists don’t really mind about factory/fake dolls. I understand it in some point though. I see the cheaper factory dolls good chance for practising carving etc so the real (often limited or rare) Blythes aren’t ruined by beginners. I have two factory dolls for that reason too (though it took a long consideration to convince myself doing that). But I’d rather see those for practise items and kept for the owner, not options for actual Blythes for a “real customizer” who takes good money for the customs. Maybe they can be used as extra parts for real Blythe customs, but then it should be mentioned in description. And I think factory customs should be sold in way lower price, and to call them as “factory doll” etc instead “Blythe”. I also see the different but similar cheapie dolls like Icy dolls still more acceptable than factory dolls, as you can see with first glimpse it’s not the real deal. I feel it’s like the official “cheaper version dolls” along Barbies in toy shop shelves; they’re not illegal but different brand for same purpose.”
Thank you everyone who participated in the survey and helped to share the survey link so that it had a broader audience! I hope you found the results and comments insightful!