Sometimes, this info is lost to time. ALWAYS check the DoA reviews (service subforum, product subforum)! I will be collecting accounts here that may not make it into those threads. For some fun reads, check out the worst doll experience ever thread.
I am not taking anything that says "DO NOT ORDER FROM" lightly. These companies have serious unresolved issues and it is in YOUR best interest to avoid them like the plague.
A DoA user made a thread asking if it would be too bothersome to ask BJDivas for a refund for their doll they had been waiting for over 2 years for. The overwhelming majority of the thread said yes, of course. A few people came out of the woodwork with a few complaints about BJDiva's service. This includes Zest and Zest had some big complaints.
BJDivas decided 2 of the posts in this thread were slanderous. They made a post on facebook about how the posts were completely untrue (one of the posts is pretty speculative) and said they had asked the mods to remove both of these posts. These posts have not been removed and the thread was locked.
BJDivas decided they no longer wanted to work with Zest. They transferred his preorder back to Dollzone and sent him an email about it. Zest posted in the Dollzone waiting room about this and BJDivas responded, ending up in the thread becoming heated and locked for a month. BJDivas took the drama over to their public facebook page where they named and shamed Zest, including his real name. BJDivas claims they only posted his real name because he had already posted it.
Zest, with the permission of the mods, wrote and posted a review in the BJDivas DoA feedback thread. BJDivas did not like the review, so they posted a rebuttal and asked the moderators to remove the post. They asked on their private facebook group for people to leave feedback for them in their DoA feedback thread around July 20th, 2021. 33 reviews popped up within the next 2 months, mostly from older orders. Two of these reviews were not positive and BJDivas posted a rebuttal to both. One of them suggests BJDivas is on a witch hunt for all of Zest's lackeys.
In a post on their website, BJDivas even goes as far to blame the DoA mods' unfair judgement on the face they have not donated to them or bought advertising. BJDivas has claimed that Zest sent his personal army after them. Claiming they are receiving death threats, saying someone tried to shut down their website, etc. This could be true, but they have not posted screenshots of anything as far as I can see. They have decided to not press charges against Zest or DoA. Zest says his multiple attempts at contact and chargebacks were due to his order becoming stuck in limbo until he could receive their consent to transfer. Both BJDivas and Zest recieved a 1 month suspension for their argument. BJDivas has recieved a "Dealer Caution" banner as well for their actions.
You cannot mention or show a photo of a Culur Theory doll there. Culur Theory dolls are not recasts, though recasts of them exist. Culur was banned from DoA for posting a photo her recast Lorina there. She claimed she didnt think anyone would notice.
It is the moderation's stance that for any user that is banned, their created dolls are also banned.
Around the time of Culur's ban, DoA was invite only for quite a while. New users had to be invited by a current user to make an account and the current user would be responsible for the user invited. Culur was found to be asking multiple users to invite her back to DoA. If they had done so, they would have been banned as well.
There was a big fuss when Culur tried to sell her recast doll without mentioning that it was a recast. She said she forgot, she didn't think it was important, and that no one would assume it is legit.
My first memory of Culur was at PNW BJD expo. I saw a young girl with a gorgeous minifee in the dealer's room. I found out soon after it was Culur and her minifee was a recast. She didn't really mind that bringing a recast was against the rules of the expo.
There are an insane amount of issues coming out of this company. Many of them being taking months to ship an in stock doll and charging twice for shipping.
During the release of DC Barbara, a dealer recieved a fullset doll with a beautiful rendition of the default faceup.
Over so many years in this hobby, I have never ever seen so many unhappy people waiting years for dolls while funding a Ponzi scheme. I can't even choose a few posts to show the misery of the people with open orders.
In the very very early days of BJD, Chinese company Dollzone jumped in the scene. Dollzone Lynn was a recast of CP's Woori mold. Here is a DoA discussion on the topic.
Dollzone is the ONLY former recaster allowed on Den of Angels.
A number of users reported recieving new dolls from Fairyland that had snowflake like patterns in the resin. This was occuring in WS and NS resin, which was generally regarded as a safe option before.
In 2012, Bronzepheonix reported recieving a minifee with a headcap that does not fit, floppy head, snowflaking. Botflybaby recieved a Realfee body with multiple imperfections in 2016.
In August 2022, a Redditor posted asking how to fix a warped leg on their minifee.
These issues appear to be ongoing.
This was the first recast company, based out of Hong Kong. The dolls were either molded from SD sculpts or modified versions of them (1). Here is the last archived capture of their homepage from October 2002. Their prices were around $200 for an SD and $130 for an MSD, which in this day would be insane! Volks dolls had to be imported by a proxy service in these days and were already expensive without the fees. Their website claims they had 2 showrooms, one in Hong Kong and one in Tokyo.
Forever Doll was a big topic of disussion on DoA in October 2002! According to Val, these dolls are heavier and prone to chipping. Her website also contains photos of the doll. A DoA user claimed Forever Doll used painted polystone for their dolls, rather than resin (2). The dolls were extremely low quality, often came with broken parts, and degraded quickly (3).
Volks accused Forever Doll of copying several of their molds and Forever Doll was shut down after legal action.
Warning: disturbing images for owners of tan resin dolls.
Back in the olden times, tan resins were extremely unstable. A few users did some experimenting with sunlight exposure on iplehouse resins.
Smilia did a test on Iplehouse tan, finding greening happened in 2 weeks in the sun and extreme greening had developed in 6 weeks outside.
A few more users did their own tests on unnecessary resin parts included with their dolls. Eliz-Rivenstar tested Realskin and got some very green results in 2 weeks. Twigling tested UV-Protected Realskin and got discoloration after just 4 days.
Wiccat posted her RS Akando that had turned green on the back of his head despite not being exposed to sunlight. MadamMauMau observed greening from an outdoor meetup on her Akando as well.
For a time, Iplehouse did offer replacements for greened dolls for 60% of the selling price. They kept trying to improve the formula saying that it is more resistant to UV. Users seem to agree that for dolls made after October 2009, most of the greening issues were resolved.
I am not at all accusing Jane's Dolland of currently selling recasts, but there is feedback in her eBay feedback history saying she has sold recasts in the past. Just something to keep in mind.
During the mid-2000s, at least a few batches of "beauty white" dolls produced by this company happened to turn fade into a light shade of green instead of the usual yellow. Users started using the term "beauty green" for these dolls, although I'm not sure it was affectionately. The rumor somehow transformed into "radioactive green", but in reality, the dolls were not vividly colored and greening only happened to a few batches from only a few companies. They do look a bit sickly next to dolls who are not Beauty Green.
Chinese DoA user bread17 reported receiving a minifee from Luts that had developed a large crack in her calf part after spending 2 months in the box. She had found that others had also recieved dolls that soon developed cracks and damage. One person she had contacted said their doll was covered in hairline cracks. Luts was willing to replace bread17's calf part, at her cost.
DoA user Elzaim posted that she had orded a full box of blind box BJDs from MyDollection during a time when they were offering free worldwide shipping. Months later, the dolls were ready to be sent and MyDollection asked for $78 USD to cover the shipping costs. Elzaim came up with proof that free shipping was being offered at the time, but MyDollection refused to cover it. The resolution was a refund from MyDollection and no dolls.
A Japanese twitter user ordered a Myoudoll with faceup through Dolk. The doll arrived with possibly the worst default faceup ever. Here is a photo of the alternate mouth pieces. Myou must have run out of red paint!
There's nothing bad about Souldoll that I can think of. I'm just reminding you they exist because they are so incredibly forgettable. Seriously, why can no one remember them??
Here's a link to Souldoll. Go check them out. They make a few lookalikes of more expensive dolls that could be up your alley and closer to your budget. Caleb has Volks Max/Reggie's upper lip and Flory looks similar to Lieselotte!
I had ordered a few sets of "owner limited" hands along with a pair of tabi feet from VolksUSA for Hina. Please note that owner limited hands are sent from Japan, while tabi feet are an item kept in stock at most times. After few months, all of the option parts arrived. I was very disappointed to notice the feet were yellow compared to my doll and the hands. They had obviously been produced years ago.
I contacted VolksUSA about my issue and tried to take a photo showing the color difference between the feet and hands. I truly just wanted a pair that matched my doll, but they were unable to offer me an exchange and offered me only a refund with a prepaid shipping label. I did not take their offer after running my options, but I am very displeased with this transaction. I am hesitant to buy in stock items from them other than Volks News now.
A Korean twitter user opened her brand new SD Charlotte bought through Haruhana and found moths inside (1, 2, 3). Haruhana agreed to exchange her doll for her, excluding the head because she had already removed the eyes (4).
Not one, not two, but many people complained that their DD 2B came with cracks in the vinyl of her neckhole. Some were smaller cracks, some were larger (1, 2, 3). 9S did not seem to have these issues. Concern was voiced that the cracks would grow larger over time and cause issues with head looseness, if the head was not loose already.
A few users on DollDreaming contacted Volks/VolksUSA about this issue. Volks originally claimed that cracks in the neckhole were normal and acceptable. Id still displeased, VolksUSA required the users to ship the heads back to them to inspect the damage. DollDreaming users Raine, oyashiro, mayaiincho did receive a replacement. User growcian did not send his head in and was not offered a replacement.
There was a rumor of a shipment of Nier:Automata dolls being lost to a sunken cargo ship, but I have yet to see any posts detailing this event.