I read a lot of people justifying the fact that they bought recasted dolls by complaining about how expensive BJDs are. So I decided I'd try to estimate the cost of making those dolls.
For the sake of the argument, I purposely used the average or lower estimates of the expenses those companies face, but I apologize in advance in case my numbers are off. I don't speak korean, so I had to roam through english and french websites to find my informations (also math isn't my strong point). I still think this gives a rough idea.
So I took the example of Fairyland, which is one of the most recasted companies. They're based in Seoul, South Korea.
I'll now assume there is at the very least a company president, a (3D or otherwise) sculptor, a marketing manager and a webdesigner. I'm petty much sure their team is larger, but let's assume the company only have four salaries to pay each month.
The average South Korea's gross wage is around 3000$ per month, around 12,5$ per hour.
3000 x 4 = 12000$
Now, maybe those people are paid less than average. Let's imagine they're actually paid 10$ per hour. Since korean people work 8 hours per day, we end up with a gross wage of 2400$ (10x8x30).
2400 x 4 = 9600$
Alright, now let's look at their office. Seoul is a pretty expensive city, if you want to buy an office, the prices are around 5,500$ per m2, but some areas are even most expensive, Gangam for exemple is twice that price. So Fairyland probably rent a place away from Downtown. I couldn't find the price for an office, but a three bedrooms flat is around 1300$ a month. An office would probably more expensive and they actually need a bigger place since there's actually more than four employees.
So, so far, we have 9600+1300=10900$ to pay each month.
A basic nude Pukifee is worth 210$. Which means they have to sell 51 Pukifee each month to not LOSE money (or 68 PukiPuki).
I asked a factory a quote for a Pukifee-sized doll, and they told me it would cost me around 70$ each piece if I ordered 50. Let's assume Fairyland orders MORE than that, therefore pays less. If they were to pay 50$, that means they'll only earn 160$ for each doll sold. So they'll have to sell 68 Pukifee a month.
AND this is without taking into account the translator, the photograph, the packaging designer, the seamstress, the make up artist, etc... they also hire and pay. AND it's not taking into account the taxes, electricity, water, furnitures, repairs, etc, either.So yeah. Dolls are expensive but there IS a reason.