VOLUME ONE: SO, WHAT'S ALL THIS FUSS ABOUT RE-CASTS?
All right, at the risk of taking flack from purists who, admittedly, must have a more educated perspective on this issue, let me state my case. As I have said on my page, I am returning to the hobby, craft, art of figure modeling and as such, I have missed years, no, decades of growth and change within the hobby. When I began my reimmersion into the hobby I had never heard of the term "recast". I had no idea what it meant or why I should care about it. Sure, I saw the banner on Amazing Figure Modeler and other sites, but just didn't pay much attention to it. I was so enthused about getting back into the craft and ordering models that I really wanted to add to my collection, I just jumped onto Ebay, and Gremlynz Imports, and Hobby Heaven, and other sites with one goal in mind. OBTAIN MODELS! And so I did. Mainly on Ebay at first. I first tried to track down models that fit into another of my hobbies and that is collecting Batman and Classic Horror Movie stuff. Check out the pictures of my basement and office here for a better idea of what I mean. So one of the first items I got was a cool Frankenstien model (see here), which I now know to be a Horizon kit. Well, it was coming from Thailand which blew my mind! I thought how rare is this that I had to find in the Far East?!?
NOTE: Poor spelling of Nicholson and in smaller print "Shipped From ASIA, United States". Uh, huh.
I get the kit and I am a little freaked because its just parts in a baggie with a photograph of the finished product. Being naive, I actually email the fellow in Thailand and say "Hey, Bud, you forgot to include the instructions!" Needless to say, he emailed me back to say that no instructions would be coming. Upon inspection of the piece, and at this point having had some small experience with real vinyl kits, I noticed the vinyl seemed very light, thin almost, and a cream color as opposed to the grey tone that all my other vinyl kits seemed to be. But, I loved the kit. I built it up and really dug the way it looked, added to my Frankenstien shelf and sat back and enjoyed. Some short time after this, I read an article in Gremlins in the Garage about recasts, and this is when it all became clear to me. The model I had bought from the fellow in Thailand was a recast. Well, I'll tell you the truth. I was okay with it. Really. My position (after some research) was that this particular piece was no longer in production. In fact, it had not been produced for many years. Not only that, but I came to realize a great many of my recent aquisitions were recasts, and that I really liked them. I had a great time building them, and if the recast option was not available to me, I would be the loser in this scenario.
AND THIS BRINGS ME TO MY ARGUMENT. If certain figures are no longer in production, and the companies that originally produced them are defunct (which sadly is the case for many fabulous model companies, Horizon, Screamin', Aurora, Tsukuda, for example) than what is the harm in me, the goofy hobbiest, who just wants to build the kit that he loves, in purchasing a "recast"? Afterall, it can't be hurting the sculpter, because the kit is no longer in production, so the sculpter isn't going to make any more revenue anyway. It doesn't hurt the company, assuming that it is a recast of a figure from a defunct operation, because they are already belly up. So where is the damage? I know that it must be bad for some reason that I am not readily seeing, but the model building fool that I am that just wants to build the cool kits that are scarce, or non-existent, doesn't see the problem.
If recasting is really the sacrilege of the industry that we the hobbiest detest. Than why isn't their more support from us in lobbying companies to buy the molds of great figure models and continue to produce them to the benefit of all. It just seems to me that if our position is that recasting should be shunned, than we need to direct a great deal of our collective effort in getting these kits back into the marketplace.
Okay, there, I've spoken my mind as honestly as I can. I invite any of you to straighten my butt out. As I've said, I'm a bit naive about this stuff, been out of the loop for a long time, and so I welcome your comments, insight, experience and stories about this subject. I will try to post opposing, or agreeing, or just plain interesting viewpoints, on this site as I receive and review them. Thanks for paying attention, and let me hear from you.