I do not make, sell, or traffic in bootleg/recast dolls or any other product.

I do not provide information on where or how to buy them.

Any recast information on this blog is for information purposes only, for identifying recast products on the second hand market.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Big Eyes Photo Comparison Post


The photos of the dolls wearing eyes in this post have minor editing in photoshop, but the others will have no editing unless noted. I've used mostly blue eyes for the comparisons, since that's the majority of my collection and because blue tends to capture a lot of light when photographed.

I'll update this with more pics as I get around to it, and hopefully compare company pics to my own photos at some point too. I will also update when my Vings urethane eyes get here later this summer and as I buy more eyes in different varieties. Next on my list are some Enchanted Doll, Dollflowers, Gum Drops, and Ersa Flora. As a note, if you like a pair of eyes, get it. Photoshop can make any pair of eyes beautiful, so don't rule it out as an option if you can't afford higher end eyes or simply don't want to spend a great deal on eyes.

Personally, I feel that eyes make or a break a doll, especially on larger eyed dolls (like Delf Soony for example). I like to spoil my rarer, higher end dolls with stupidly expensive eyes lately. My grandpa once told me (granted he was talking about drawing, but the point holds) that eyes are the most important feature. They give expression, they give life. A good eye gives your doll a sense of life and that special spark. And when you can't or don't use top of the line eyes, a little photo editing goes a long way. ;) (Hey I've done it, and I'm not ashamed. I know a couple popular doll owners personally who do the same thing.)

After all of this, I can say urethane and glass eyes are my favorite. Urethanes and glass photograph the best and most vividly, and have the most depth and life to them. Granted, I'll need to use acrylics to get the right dragon-pupil eyes for my dragons eventually, but that's okay. I don't use anything other than glass, silicone, or urethanes in my dolls' eyes anymore.

Before the pictures I will do a table summary of the pros and cons of each kind of eye in my personal experience (yours may differ of course). Pictures will follow!

Again, this is all just my opinion and experience and your mileage may vary.

Posts on this blog about eyes:
Eye positioning
Eye Company Reviews
Types of Eyes and How to Care For Them (forthcoming)

DoA threads with great info on eyes:!

Flickr pools dedicated to eyes (tons out there, just search for them, especially specific brands)

Eye Type
  • Usually very affordable
  • Easily customized
  • Fantasy colors and designs
  • Easily DIY
  • Wider range of dome height and sizes available
  • Wide range of peg types (flat, hollow, or peg back)
  • Unique eyes, like steampunk, and such are common and easy to find
  • Best choice for eyes under 10mm

  • Break fairly easily*
  • Don't capture light very well
  • Often look flat in photos
  • Easy to get fantasy colors and custom work in 10mm and smaller
  • May yellow or crack over time**
  • Preorders are usually quick
  • Range from cheap to very expensive
  • Wide range of colors available
  • Fantasy colors available, but seem to be less common
  • Usually only come in peg or flat backs
  • Can give that "following you with the eyes" look
  • Greater depth than acrylics
  • Threading is possible and easy

  • Harder to find low dome eyes
  • Customizable glass eyes less common
  • Harder to find custom work or a wide variety of colors on anything smaller than 10mm
  • Rarer glass eyes (like Antique Rose) can cost up to $80+.
  • Sometimes have imperfections in the coloring or in pupil/iris size
  • Custom options are sometimes available
  • Bright, vibrant color options
  • Capture light extremely well
  • Have great depth
  • Usually lower dome
  • Unique eyes, like steampunk, are possible to find but a bit less common.
  • Can be extremely detailed

  • Tend to be expensive $25+
  • Will yellow over time
  • Take a very long time to make in most cases (Mako is the exception)

Silicone/Soft Glass
(apparently soft glass/silicone are the same thing; you learn something new everyday)
  • Vibrant colors
  • Lower domes
  • Average price, usually about $15+
  • Highly realistic look
  • Generally captures light well
  • Otherwise pretty much the same as regular glass
  • Don't use silicone eye putty or weird things will happen (unconfirmed, may just be a rumor)
  • Yellow over time when exposed to chemicals and abrasion or high UV exposure
  • Careful when removing even pastel dust off the lens or you will scratch the eye
  • Rare to find fantasy colors
  • Less variety of color
  • Don't appear to be anything smaller than 10mm
  • Seems to cloud/fog up a bit over time

*I've never had a pair of cheaper acrylics last long. They tend to crack over time, with use, or just from sitting in eye putty. I had one pair that I never removed from the doll crack from just sitting there. Higher quality Acrylics don't seem to have this problem.

**Age seems to crack them. I've heard reports of acrylic yellowing, like all plastic does, but I've never seen it myself.

Thornwood in 12mm Makos:

thorn with makos

Thorn in highly edited green glass 10mm eyes:
Thornwood (juri 08)

Those same eyes unedited.

Tangle in 12mm Makos:

Tangle with 12mm Makos

Jack in 13mm Eyecos:

Jack's new Eyeco Eyes

Jack in 11mm Eyecos:

eyecos 2

Jill in 15mm Eyecos:

Jill's New Eyeco Eyes

Junko in 18mm glass eyes from Fairyland:

This pic is glass eyes from Denver Doll, blue Makos, and blue Eyecos. The green glass are 10mm, the Makos are 12mm, and the Eyecos are 13mm.

This picture is a Souldoll 12mm glass eye vs a Glib acrylic from DDE in 12mm. Notice that acrylics do not capture as much light without help as glass, even when the glass is slightly shadowed.

Indoors with flash
This picture is a Souldoll 16mm(?) glass eye vs a Souldoll 16mm (?) acrylic eye. the lighter acrylic eye captures light better than dark acrylic eyes. The glass eye captures more light however, and looks brighter.

Just to show that glass doesn't always photograph well, here's a generic brand (from taobao) dark blue glass eye, high dome, indoors with flash.

A bunch of different types of blue eyes without flash:

1. Fairyland glass, 2. DDE Acrylic, 3. Makos, 4. Eyeco, 5. generic taobao glass

Mako eyes in various styles and colors in sunlight (outdoors to capture the best light, no flash used):

Mako eyes in various styles and colors indoors with flash:

That's it for now! I'll update as I learn more or get my hands on more eyes. Hopefully that'll be soon, since eyes are kinda my thing lately.

Thanks for reading and happy collecting. :)


  1. Hi! Which eye size do you use for your minifee doll? What do you think looks best?

    1. Hi there, usually I like 12mm to 14mm eyes. I think they look the most realistic!


Thanks for reading! <3 I try to follow up on every comment my readers make.