Now that's a lot of eye candy! They look like little candies, no? Sadly for this joke though there aren't any eyes from the brand "Eye Candies", but a lot of others.
Yes, I own a lot of urethanes. ... Krhm, actually, not even all of them are pictures here since I just wanted versatility between brands and lines. But owning so many of them I have wanted to do a comparison/review post about them for a while and this Sunday I finally got into the spirit of actually doing it!
Here's one of each of the companies I've got eyes from. From left to right: Vings (14mm), Mako (12mm), Dollflower (18mm), Dollbakery (14mm), Enchanted Doll (18mm wide).
Other companies worth mentioning that I just haven't been able to add to my collection are the aforementioned Gumdrops by Ethereal Angel Eye Candies, Droprops and Mystics. The links are to Den of Angels photo reference threads, where you can see pictures of those eyes. The Gumdrops were a dream of mine for a long time, but nowadays Dollbakery and Vings have mostly replaced them on my want-list. Mostly since I find it easier to buy the latter ones.
First up: Dollflower. The jewel of urethane eyes. I have had three pairs, but sold one. I have left one pair of 18mm Tourmaline and one pair of 12mm Amber, which in fact were one of my first urethanes!
Now I have no complaints about these eyes, but getting them is a bit nervewrecking. They are ordered in preorder periods where you can get 16-18mm in one preorder and then 12-14mm and 20mm in another. And it takes a loooong time to arrive. So you can order your chosen eyes maybe once a year. The last order I did (for 18mm eyes) took about ten months to arrive? But they are worth it.
They are very pricey though, about two times the price of EDs (which I have started to think of as a standard price for urethanes). But the detail and depth is correspondingly high quality. Iris lines fan out beautifully but aren't too prominent. The colours are vibrant and shimmering and form shade and highlights depending on the angle. They also have this little glitter to them that I love! In a doll they shine beautifully, even in dimmer settings.
In my dreams I would own a pair of Pansy Dollflowers for Yuffie, or Echeveria, or Amethyst (which I originally was going to buy but decided to go for Kunzite instead and they turned out to not suit Yuffie). Prumus Mume would be a perfect pair of sakura pink eyes for Milki, Peridot for Fyrd, Pearl just for the heck of it... :P I just better not go there anymore.
Examples in doll: Amber, Tourmaline, Kunzite
Enchanted Doll eyes were the go-to eyes a few years back and hence it's no wonder I've got a bunch of them. They come in three lines (basic ED, Sweety and Milky) and you can also do a very custom order for Unique eyes.
Customisation is imo the very reason EDs are so popular. They let you choose one or two colours for the iris, one for the ring and then one for the pupil. They also have different pupil shapes and offer red and black scleras. You have the option of a high and low dome, wider iris and bigger/smaller pupils. So with over 50 colours that is a lot to choose from. My main problem with ED has been the difficulty of choosing just one pair of eyes for each doll XD And finding that perfect nice combo of colours that compliment each other. I want to go all whacky and do very crazy combinations, but have ended up with fairly safe choices in the end. ED does lack in the very light colours though. They mostly offer nice vibrant colours, magentas for pinks, lots of blue-greens and blues and so forth. But no ice blue or sakura pink. :(
Anyways, of the eyes I have from ED, I don't have any of the Sweety type. They seem to be pretty much the same as the basic EDs though, only with lighter coloured rims and maybe the iris lines are a bit lighter too.
I do have a few of the basic EDs. Nuu's default are from this line and they are the brown eyes first on the left in the lineup. They are a gorgeous chocolate brown and catch light quite nicely for such dark eyes. The basic EDs are the ones to go for if you want a more realistic looking eye or you want a good blend of two colours. A gradient of two basic colours is a very smooth one. I have a gradient from black to pink (with black rim) as Cotton's eyes (originally bought for Hani) and it looks very nice. I have to say though that the white iris lines can look very prominent in the darker eyes and they can look even a bit shoddy, as they look like they were drawn by a pencil (versus Dollflower which looks like fine brush strokes). But one can choose to leave them out altogether if they look to off.
Then I have a bunch of Milkys, four of which are shown here (all the middle ones). Milky series has this pearly shimmery look that sets it apart from the basics. They catch light better and just look cuter. The downside however is that the colours won't blend if you order a gradient. They just abruptly change. So I won't recommend getting a blend of two colours of Milky unless the colours really compliment each other. Myself I have two pairs of blended Milkys and both of them look ok. Pictured here is Alex's eye that has a blend of light mint and dark blue, with a dark blue rim. The shade of blue is actually the same as that wholly dark blue eye (Milky #44, my all-time favourite!) so you can see how different the eye looks with just a little bit of added colour. You can also compare the light green eyes in the middle to the other eyes. The light green Milky #23 has been made without the iris lines, making a more solid coloured look.
And yes, if you still want something completely different, you can order Unique eyes. These eyes are made just for you as per request. I was fortunate enough to win a pair and requested very blingy green eyes for Fyrd. They ended up looking just like in the mock-up picture I made for them, but sadly I didn't take the doll into account so these eyes are too dark when Fyrd wears them :(
All ED eyes tend to be darker than the official pictures and even darker in doll. And I have to say that when comparing to Vings and Dollbakery of the same price range, EDs have a duller colour/shine, even in the Milky range. Doll's eyewells cast shadows very easily on them so if you need a certain colour, go for a few shades lighter than what you see in the catalogue. And look at plenty of owner photos. The official colour chart seems to be quite off for many of the colours so it is best to prepare so not to be disappointed.
EDs can be ordered via many agents in Asia, USA and Europe. They can also be ordered directly from them and through Taobao. Unfortunately I have only used local group orders and an agent in Finland to buy them so I can't vouch for other routes of purchase. But my orders have taken a little less than two months to arrive and I have never had any issues with the orders as such.
I have to mention that the eye cases are one of the most professional loking of the ones I have. Pictures here are the older black case and the newer white case. They shut tightly and I have never had to worry about eyes falling out in transit. Inside there is a foam lining that has proper holes for the eyes.
Photos in doll: Milky #47 +#7 rim, Milky #53, Milky #44, Milky #23 (in very narrow eyes), Unique forest green, ED #53, ED #40+#45+#40rim
Vings is a newer company that seems to make very nice eyes. Not much bad to be said about them, if you are looking for the more realistic 3D styled urethanes. I haven't got much experience of them though, as I only have bought one pair and it is more glittery than the others they show in their colour options. So not all of them are this bling bling! :D
But I can say that these eyes are made with a more 'crater' look to them than EDs, making the 3D effect. The pupil is also more of a sphere and pops out more. The pair I have don't have any iris lines, and judging from owner photos it seems that it might be the case for some other Vings eyes as well. Instead, the iris itself is made with a rougher texture, making them seem similar to Mystics. The eyes hence look more realistic than the painted irises of other brands. Well, not my blingbling eyes (no person has eyes like these), but the other colours :D The colour options also seem more of thr natural spectrum, although they also sell Captain America shield eyes ;)
I have made my own order through Ebay but they can also be ordered from Taobao. It took about two months to arrive in this smallest of eye boxes I have. It is a very compact package, but holds the eyes well. Still, not as fancy as some of the other boxes I have.
Photos in doll: N07
Makoeyes is the new go-to company after ED. They are almost half the price, making them quite affordable for quality eyes.
They offer multiple colourlines, ranging from the more realistic (like Iberis on the right) to fantasy type (like Moon on the left) eyes. There are plenty of options to choose from, but I haven't heard of them making custom orders if you still can't find what you're looking for. If they however can leave the pupils out or something like that, please let me know!
They started out with Zodiac-named lines and back then it seemed like they printed out the irises rather than painted them. Nowadays even those older eyes come out painted, so they will look different from the stock photos, be warned! But even with the newer lines it is recommended to look for owner pictures, as the eye colour chart doesn't usually 100% match the actual product. I've read that especially the eyes from Amaryllis line come out a shade bluer if ordering blue-green eyes.
I've handled quite a few pairs, although I don't own but four pairs currently. The newer lines have a nice sparkle to them and look clear enough (but not as clear as other brands), although the colours themselves are a bit more muddy than I would sometimes like. The older lines on the other hand have very vibrant colours, but not as nice texture in the iris. They might even look like blotted watercolours. They are cheaper though, so it matches the quality.
Still, I wouldn't mind owning some pairs of the Dandelion series, as well as another pair of Moons (or two). And I need a pair of 14mm Iberis to use as a spare. I already own a few pairs of Makos in neutral colours just for my comissions, so that I have nice eyes to show the face-ups with :D As Makos aren't that pricey, I can somewhat justify keeping these pairs that I have no other use for, but still need. (Let's face it, a face-up looks better with better eyes. And Mako are low dome enough to suit most dolls, unlike some glass eyes, otherwise I could just get those instead.)
Makos can be ordered through their own website, which has a nicely working cart system. The eyes arrive 1-1,5 months later. It's worth mentioning that you can opt for air mail with them, making shipping much more affordable. And if you order over 300$ worth of eyes, you can get free shipping (useful for GOs).
Photos in doll: Moon-002, AS-009, AS-013, AM-004, IB-010
I always think of Dollbakery as a high-end artesan company. Which is funny since I don't think that other urethane eye makers are such big companies either. But the maker of these eyes is such a nice woman, it really feels like you are buying the eyes directly from her. These eyes I got are actually a custom order, although the colour was later added to the regular options. And the whole order was such a pleasant deal, I won't hesitate to recommend this brand!
And the eyes are indeed worth recommending. The wide rim gives them a 3D crater look and the colours are vibrant and I like the iris patterns. The regular eyes look sort of like shells and shimmer like them as well. And the Jelly series are so full of glitter! These are happy eyes! :D The colours are definitely on the bright side, so if you're looking for something duller (and I mean that in the friendliest of ways :P) I'd recommend Makos or EDs over these. But if you want the doll's eyes to pop, go for Dollbakery.
I hope she keeps expanding the colour choices though, there has been something amazing with every new preorder. But still I feel that there are plenty of colours missing... Hoping for soft pink myself :D *fingers crossed for sakura* As well as other more pastely colours. From the existing range I want a pair of Unicorns, Confettis, Grey Foxes, Angelic Greens... Too many nice ones to choose from already! I think I might be shooting myself in the foot with wishing for more colours...
A couple of other things I want to briefly mention. All the other eyes I own have flat backs, but Dollbakery eyes are more rounded at the back. I have yet to decide if it makes any difference with positioning the eyes. Also, the box is the biggest of the ones I've got. It looks very nice though, but takes up a lot of space... and for an eye-hoarder like myself, it is not that good. :P
I've done the preorder through her website and it was a very easy order. From what I've seen from owner pictures, the colours on the site seem very accurate, so there shouldn't be any major disappointments on that account either. Dollbakery shop photos are actual photos of actual products, and not photoshopped colours over the same eye.
Can't stop gushing about these, but they really are my favourites atm. When the next preorder opens, I need to get a few spots, if only to get Meringue her own eyes.
In doll: Frozen
Well that was a long, long post. Congrats if you made it all the way through! And if you have your own experiences with urethanes, feel free to discuss it in the comments :)
Edit. here are some more comparison photos:
From left: 14mm Dollbakery, 12mm ED, 14mm ED, 14mm Mako, 14mm Vings, 12mm Dollflower
Makos in fact have the lowest dome, but Dollbakery is close second. My ED cases don't say if my eyes are high or low dome (the 12mm box has 'HG' written on it though), so sorry for that :( I use my 14mm EDs on my Ai, who had massive doe eyes, so the 14mm fits her well. The 12mm EDs work better for the other TG dolls though...
Top row: 14mm Dollbakery
Middle row left to right: 14mm Mako, 14mm Vings, 14mm ED
Bottom row left to right: 12mm ED, 12mm Dollflower
It is said that Mako irises are smaller than others in the same size and it is true for 12mm. See above in the Mako section the comarison of 14mm Mako and 12mm Mako. But in 14mm the difference is not really that big.
I coud also point out how unevenly these urethanes yellow. The 14mm EDs and the 12mm Dollflowers were the first urethanes I've purchased. The 12mm EDs were bought years after, but they have yellowed out the most among these. I don't know if ED quality just has gone down over the years or what, since the shoddy iris lines that I was talking about, I was thinking of this particular pair. IN these eyes the white lines are way too prominent and thick. The 14mm EDs in dark brown have much more subtle lines, making the eye look very nice. Which is why I love those chocolate eyes so much :3
Hope this helps with some comparisons. I could also snap a photo of a 16mm Mako next to a 16mm ED, but that'll haveto wait a bit.