I was following Azuria's lovely flickr gallery, hoping to feature her (It's coming up!) when I stumbled upon something quite shocking.
Leekeworld has been accused of copying French bjd artists at Dust of Dolls. Their art dolls show some notable similarities to the Dust dolls, in both the sudden use of those down-pointing thigh joints and the strange exaggerated pear proportions that Mikhaila displays.
The whole story can be found through these links:
I don't really know which side of the issue I truly support. At first I was definitely in favor of Dust. However, some DoA user's opinions can be found in this thread, and to be honest those who loved Mikhaila swayed me a bit. I've always noted the similarity between Narae bodies and Unoa bodies, and people have also pointed out similarities between the Ariadoll bodies and Unoa Zero bodies. Unoa hasn't sued any of the aforementioned companies - in my opinion, it's because their aesthetic is becoming more mainstream.... sort of like how Volks allows other companies to produce BJDs even though the entire art form in its current state exists due to them.
I think that Leeke's repeated tampering with their own pictures and the bribing then accusations against Dust are breaking it for me. I wish that they would've just come out and said that they were going to do a collab with Dust, or at least contact Dust to see if they would be offended by the new doll since it was obviously inspired by their creation. All of this secrecy and backpedaling are suspicious and sickening to me, and I really feel for Dust, since they are such a small studio. On the other hand, the doll isn't a recast, and the head is original. The doll is also in a different size than Pun, the original. And there is always question about the boundaries between inspiration and theft.
I've put some Leeke wigs and shoes on my list to buy for Tryphosa and my incoming girl, but I don't know about that now. I'll have to ponder the issue more.
What I do know is that those who purchased Mikhaila are certainly not to blame for this incident. I really hope that I don't see backlash on DoA for the Mikhaila owners.
What are your thoughts on the issue?