For those of you who don’t understand why Rootstein mannequins are the “Mercedes Benz of mannequins” this post is for you.
Let me start by saying that I never have worked for Rootstein. My experience is based on recycling mannequins for all the major retail stores in the country. So I have personally handled every brand of mannequin in the industry from the premium manufacturers to the knock offs like this one—-
When I was a newbie in the industry and I started selling recycled mannequins I was shocked that people were willing to pay top dollar for a USED Rootstein. Instead they could get several brand new mannequins for the same price as one used Rootstein.
But if you know the difference – it is like preferring to buy a used Mercedes versus a new Hyundai.
Here is a quick explanation –
Rootstein mannequins are hand sculpted out of clay after real life people (usually super models or a celebrity). Then that clay is turned into a plaster cast which is then reproduced. For a step by step detail of this process check out this article “The Making of Lauren”
After production each mannequin has make up hand applied artists using oil paint. This is a level of detail that just doesn’t happen with the knock offs. Which is why the knock offs look more like a doll than a human.
Speaking of human like, Rootstein was one of the first manufactures to design mannequins in poses that simulated movement. Their mannequins looked like they were dancing, lounging or hanging out at the bar.
This added to their realism and also complemented the clothing much better than a mannequin in a stiff military like pose. Others started to copy.
Although knock offs may have an identical pose as in the case of these two mannequins below, there are other details about the fabrication of the mannequin. These details result in the huge difference in the quality, durability and value of the mannequins.
The mannequin on the left is a Rootstein and the one on the right is one that a major retailer (now bankrupt) had replicated in China which was a common, but unethical practice in the retail industry.
Rootstein applies multiple layers of fiberglass on their mannequins. This makes the mannequin sturdier and more durable. While this is not something you can easily SEE, you can FEEL the difference when you pick up Rootstein mannequin versus a knock off.
While all fiberglass mannequins will shatter if dropped, a Rootstein mannequin is a little bit more resistant to breakage.
The connector piece that attaches the hands to the arm on a Rootstein is a sturdy and long piece of metal. This will allow it to withstand wear and tear during the multiple times it will be detached when changing clothes in a busy retail environment.
This particular knock off on the left has a sturdier hand connector piece compared to most knock offs. Most of the time they are teeny fittings made out of aluminum versus metal and they tend to break easily.
Check out the arm attachments. Can you guess which one is the Rootstein?
Check out the the construction on how the legs attach to the body. Which one looks more substantial? Look all the metal and attachments on the Rootstein.
Also this is how the leg connects to the lower part of the body. Look at the one on the right where their is fraying around the hole.
When Rootstein mannequin’s are on a metal stand (versus a glass one) it is a very sturdy high grade metal and the base is wide. The knock off’s have a thin, usually aluminum base and it tends to be circular (less material)
So hopefully now the difference are clear. When you are looking for a used Rootstein mannequin, if we have any available, you can find them here and we have Rootstein parts here.