(Mind you, I will make a confession: to me many/most recorders have what I consider a “plastic-y” sound at times, even the high-end wooden ones. It’s just the way a recorder, as an instrument, sounds in my mind. Other people may describe the sound differently. It’s part of the reason I’ve eschewed some plastic pennywhistles; I’ve described them as sounding “recorder-y” and I think it’s that “plastic” sound. To me a whistle tends to have a more pure and sweet sound. I don’t mean that to sound offensive, it’s just that the way my brain personally forms an impression of the sound of a recorder is, sometimes, as sounding like plastic.
The thing that defines a recorder’s sound is more likely to be the complex bore. A tin whistle has a straight, wide bore. Recorder has a narrower bore with a reverse taper.
You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing.