Topic: Recasting Models

By Bill Jones


Recasting is taking an existing model (usually rare), molding and casting a new copy. With Garage kits model fans, it is about the same as the abortion issue. Highly emotional arguments!

The Politically Correct Stance:

- If it is your sculpture and someone else recasts it without your permission, sells for $$ and keeps the profits, it is stealing. Same goes for licensing and copyright concerns.

 The Grey Area:

- If it is "out of production" ie. the old Aurora kits (they are coming back - thanks to Polar Lights), Billiken's Uiversal Monster series or super rare -ie. a small, now out of business, company on Farro Island makes a super detailed Kong limited to 10 castings, which cost $500 each , some people may say it is okay to recast 20 in northern Montana for 20 hungry collectors who just gotta have one but cannot find or afford an original. Elfin of Korea has recast many Japanese and American kits mass production style of lower end kits which does hurt companies like Geometric and Horizon (more available type of kits here in the US).

My personal view:

- Alot of cool kits are so expensive, it keeps this hobby limited to those with "deep pockets" and resources to find them in the first place.  These kits are being priced as art pieces rather than hobby kits and people like me who buy these high dollar kits keep the companies going.  It is not easy to track down an original Godzilla resin kit seen in Hobby Japan ,page 122, of 1991 to begin with in most cases. These are Garage kits and very low numbers were cast and getting them from Japan is sometimes next to impossible, although it is getting better with a few good sources on the internet (tho pricey). This last year I bought directly from Kaiyodo (the day before their website store closed) the Godzilla Eating Train figure for $550.........."hey honey, look what charged on the credit card.....(ducts and runs for cover)"....and those without the big $$ are limited to whatever Ertle (cool Rancor BTW) and Polar Lights(Aurora fans heaven) releases. I am old school...I used to mow yards to buy that $1.99 Godzilla from Aurora. Talk about inflation! My first plastic Godzilla kit purchased about 10 years ago (Bandai 1954 version) cost me $20 at my local hobby shop and that was a major purchase at the time! For us Godzilla fans, the news is not so good. Kaiyodo has been good for availability in a number of vinyl Godzilla kits, but they are sometimes hard to get. Ebay has been a wonderful venue to buy those rare kits that pop up on occassion.  I own a few recasts and have made a few recast of a couple of super rare kits(one was a recast!) and sold them to a few friends...then used the profits to buy original castings of available kits that were very high $$. So the profits made were recycled back into the hobby (I am justifying here). Molding and casting kits is an art in itself...I hated it...too messy...leave it to the masters...I am a builder!  It has been years since I bought a recast, the last one was Godzilla vs King Ghidrah- Big Wrap(incredible castings) from a company in Singapore for $150. While that price ain't chump change, the original limited edition Japan Wonderfest version cost $600 ...if you could have found one! I have seen a few lately. My feeling is that today is that the majority of recasters (here in the US) have decided to make their own kits instead of copying old ones. This hobby is not a big profit maker....most do it for the love of the kits!