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In Blade Runner, it seems to me that making small replicants would be illegal for the same reason that replicants were hunted on Earth even though they were small. Was Sebastian using a combination of replicant technology and mechanical parts to make his "friends?" Is this explained anywhere in books, because I am pretty sure no details (in any version I have seen) are provided about the tech Sebastian uses although we know he works professionally helping to create replicants.

EDIT: Two things, one which might be a separate question.

  • Firstly, which is related to their nature: clearly they are not very intelligent, almost lacking in intelligence at all but more like the windup toys they sort of resemble as they bump into things and repeat phrases irrespective of what is going on. But at the same time, I think a saw one of the "toys" look concerned or afraid when the replicants were doing something threatening.
  • Secondly, I recall that one of the toys resembles Leon (the replicant whom Rachel shot) -- I wonder if that resemblance was intended by the director/writer -- perhaps they wanted to show that JFS was using replicant technology to create the toys by this resemblance.
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In the Blade Runner game from 1997 (which take time at the similar time as the movie), the player character can visit JF Sebastian's house. If my memory is right, upon pointing at the walking "toys", the protagonists comments

They are obviously replicants, but no one would pay me for retiring them.

Since you are the Police officer and the toys are not commented while talking with theirs author, you can assume that having such toys is not illegal, but they are indeed replicants.

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  • Interesting indeed. Do you agree that one toy resembled Leon? – releseabe Feb 9 at 0:37
  • I'm assuming you talking about the long-nosed one (since the other one has a head of a teddy bear)? Comparing it to the head of Leon I'm not so sure... maybe? The makeup on the doll is quite intensive, but they have been played by different actors – Yasskier Feb 9 at 0:54
  • yes, the long-nosed one. a very interesting detail if so. – releseabe Feb 9 at 0:58
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You can't use the book as reference for anything in the movie(s). They're very dissimilar. JF Sebastian isn't even in the book.

There is no reference anywhere to precisely how the toys were made.

They are replicants, or of the same manufacturing type as replicants, but were made my J F Sebastian for his own amusement or as company. They are clearly shown to have low intelligence & probably not even sentient, as they try to repeat the same script to Batty as they do when JF comes home.

As with all the replicants, it is unclear whether they are entirely biological, or part mechanical.
Sebastian was a geneticist partly responsible for the creation of the actual Nexus replicants along with Eldon Tyrell.

From Wikipedia - list of Blade Runner characters

J.F. Sebastian is a genetic designer working for Tyrell. He is not allowed to emigrate off-world because he has Methuselah Syndrome. Because of this, he ages faster and has a shorter lifespan, something he has in common with the replicants. He is only 25 years old, but his physical appearance is of a middle-aged man. With the Bradbury Building all to himself, he makes the most of his considerable talents creating automata companions. He is loosely based on the character J. R. Isidore from the novel.

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  • i confused sebastian with isadore, it looks like. – releseabe Feb 5 at 16:13
  • Isidore lives in the Bradbury building (or at least an equivalent, long time since I read the book). He meets the replicants at some point. That's about it for similarity between the characters. – Tetsujin Feb 5 at 16:17
  • I know. I answered it already. I didn't want to mention, but as you insist on bringing it up here, quite often downvotes are attracted by arguing in the comments. This one has no downvotes, nor does it have a long discussion thread beneath it. imho, the two questions are reasonably equally valid. – Tetsujin Feb 5 at 16:25
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    You'd honestly do a lot better if you stopped treating it all quite so personally, it you stopped railing at people & calling them names. I really don't care, so to drag it into this question too is rather rude of you. Please drop it. – Tetsujin Feb 5 at 18:00
  • He calls them his “toys” when he’s talking to Pris. I’ve always assumed they are “intellectually” very simple (recall the one that repeatedly bumps into a wall) and they are all small and grotesque in a way - no one would think they were nexus 6. It might even be that they are prohibited by Tyrell Corp or the laws of the time. But no one seems to know about them and Sebastian lives a very lonely existence. – Todd Wilcox Feb 5 at 23:29

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