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The Porsche of Doll Eyes Versus the Volkswagon Variety

Jun 9, 2010

    1. It is often said that the eyes are the window of the soul.....is it really the expense of a pair of eyes that determines their beauty or are glass eyes more luminous than acrylic by definition?......can you achieve different moods from your doll my simply using a different substance for their eyes?..........is there a type of eye than stands apart from all the rest?.......superior?
    2. The price itself doesn't make eyes beautiful, the quality does. Glass eyes seem to mimic real eyes the most.
    3. I am sad urethane eyes are not mentioned >_> <_<
    4. This is a matter of opinion, as some people love good quality acrylic and some people prefer glass . . . I am a complete and total urethane convert. Eventually every doll I own will be in urethanes. I have some high quality glass eyes that are extremely nice (two pairs of Silver, both sooo well made, and I also have Hitomiya and Zoukeimura), but glass just doesn't pick up light in the same lifelike way urethane does, IMHO. Acrylic or silicone I'm not interested in owning.
    5. I have used all types of eyes, and to me it's the doll who picks the eyes not just the color but the size, the shape and the material. I have found glass more and more working in my dolls, but it's usually the ones I got for free, or from another doll that works for my kids. The ones I buy work, but care is taken no matter what material is used because a broken one is a lost link to my doll.
    6. Urethane eyes really can bring dolls to life.
    7. i've never heard of urethane eyes before !!!!
    8. Most of the eyes I've bought have been Masterpiece acrylic, I like realistic human looking eyes and they make replacement ones for people, and Glastic Realistic for the smaller dolls because they're easy to find. Two of my dolls have their default eyes which I assume are acrylic, one pair is pink but otherwise look as natural as the others. The only pairs I've paid more than $10 were the Soom silicone ones because it was part for the color and part for the name of the color, and one has spiders. I don't care much for silicone because it attracts dust.
    9. I've never used urethane before, but for the longest time, all I had were acrylics. Just yesterday I got my first official glass eyes in (2 pairs of 'imperfect' glass eyes... the flaws in them are barely noticeable), and I cannot believe how much more 'real' my girl looks now. They seem to pick up light sooo much better than my old acrylics and I no longer have a problem with Mirai's eyes looking black in pics, even though they were supposed to be hazel.
    10. I definitely find this to be true with my dolls as well. While some of my dolls need more expensive urethane eyes (such as Dollflower, or even the cheaper Enchanted Doll eyes or Gumdrops), I have one doll who only looks good in a pair of cheap, Eyeco acrylic eyes -- and he's my favorite doll.

      While I do believe that eyes make the doll, I don't believe that any particular brand or type will make a doll more special looking... I think it's finding the right kind of eyes, the right kind of size, color and fit that does it.

      With some molds, urethane eyes just don't sit right in the eyewells and can look too plastic-y and fake. While in other dolls, they really catch the light and look amazing.

      I will never snub acrylic eyes simply because they're cheap. They can look amazing in the right kind of dolls.
    11. I agree with this totally. I have some dolls which look perfect with cheap glass, some with expensive glass, some with acrylics, and some with urethanes. In the end I like the eyes I like because they suit the doll. There are some acrylics which give the most amazing glow effect I have never seen replicated in eyes three times more expensive. To me, bigger eyed dolls may need more detail in the eye to make them more lifelike, whilst dreaming dolls need eyes that will catch light and glow, so that they can photograph well. It really depends on what exactly you're wanting for your doll.
    12. For me while depth and clarity is also needed the most important aspect of an eye is a realistic iris pattern. You see, a human iris is like countless tiny strands interwoven with each other - beautiful and delicate. I have only seen a pattern that resembles that in 3 urethane types (Mystic, Gumdrops and Dollshe - still not the same, espeially as a human eye doesn't have such a high dome...)). For me the other urethane eyes are quite similar to glass eyes - very clear and deep, but lacking that unique pattern (that actually lessens the glow because the tiny bumps in the iris make it harder to catch the light and reflect). I have seen some very realistic silicone eyes, too - if you don't get too close they are absolutely lifelike, but don't catch light as well (but they catch dust very...well...). I also own(ed) many beautiful acrylics - they might not be as sharp and deep as glass and urethane, but the colors can be amazing, and some of them shine in the smallest of lights.

      I agree, some dolls require different types of eyes than others^^ While I absoultely adore my DS urethanes, I'm just not sure if some of my dolls' eyes are wide enough to catch enough light for them (that won't stop me from trying though XDD). Still, I've found that I'm not so fond of acrylics anymore (and I was never fond of silicone) - so it's urethane and glass for me^^
    13. I am with this commentor. I've seen some eyes where the iris looked like it was printed with a dot-matrix printer... That turned me right off. I think the iris pattern is the thing I notice most, for sure.
    14. i have used glass, acrylic, and urethane eyes. there are pros and cons to each. if you click here you can see a thread i started some time ago that shows the difference of acrylic and glass eyes. also in my faceup services thread you can the doll with long black hair with urethane eyes instead of acrylic. and the urethane next to the glass eyes.

      i am sure there are some amazing acrylic eyes out there, which is good because they are a great deal more affordable then urethane eyes. but my opinion is that urethane and glass do a much better job at imitating eyes like ours then do acrylic.

      the acrylic eyes i used are from junky spot, the urethane eyes are enchanted doll and i don't remember the glass eyes. they were from a dealer on doa tho.
    15. I don't know about "superior" but for me it's urethane all the way. I love the way they catch and reflect light, they have wonderful depth and sometimes very realistic and natural color threading. I love the very nearly three dimensional looking pupil. They can come in wonderful vibrant to very pale neutral shades and can be made in custom color combinations. I could collect urethane eyes all on their own, I love looking into them the same way I love peering into opals.

      Two of my dolls do not wear urethane. One has a pair of glass eyes I bought at the Volks Sumika in Ginza. They are 16mm but have an extra small iris which is more like you find on 14mm eye, give him a nervous expression that suits him. The other guy is wearing Alice in Labyrinth eyes that are a combo of glass and urethane with a lovely iridescent metallic iris. I think AiL just started selling them - they used to only come as a gift with purchase of a head. Quite lovely and they fit my Chrom perfectly.

      I don't like silicone eyes because of the lint attraction problem and I don't use acrylic because the white of the eye ends up looking very flat and they yellow into a jaundice color. Glass are nice, I have some lovely eyes from ginarolo but glass is still my second choice.
    16. I think it all depends on the complete package. Mine both came with fairly simple acryllic eyes. As for my girl I'm still satisfied with them. They're dark brown and partly covered by hair so they don't really show they're a pretty basic variety. For Shinta I am looking for a new pair of blue eyes. A while ago I got a pair from a doll/miniature fair but the irises were pretty small and made him look a lot less friendly. Maybe next time when I visit such a fair (it's non-ABJD but BJD stuff can be found there), I'll bring him and perhaps take along a stash of putty to see whatever suits him.
      With my girl, I got a pair of purple glass eyes as a freebee. I think I'm going to use them for my drow elf project.
    17. It really depends on the eyes and doll. There are lovely acrylics out there with beautiful color and detail, and acrylics that are very flat and not so good looking. There are beautiful glass eyes with great shine and depth, and glass eyes that are disappointing in terms of color and detail. Then there are the times when you get what you thought was a beautiful pair of eyes, put them in the doll, and realize they aren't right at all...and sometimes the opposite happens and the eyes look so much better once in a doll's head. It can take a lot of trial and error to find the right pair of eyes no matter the material.

      For myself, I prefer a good pair of glass eyes over anything else, but I can be picky about them so a lot of my dolls are still using acrylics. It all comes down to personal preference, though.
    18. I really like the Jelly eyes.
    19. I think in a lot of instances, price does reflect quality. My more expensive glass eyes are more detailed than my cheaper ones, and I feel like they make the dolls look more "lively" when I put them in. I have a few pairs of urethanes though, Everpurples and Mystic Eyes, and those are by far my favorite. The color, depth, reflection, detail, everything about them is so pretty.

      However, I will note that I really don't like any of the Volks glass eyes I've received with my dolls, and those are pretty expensive. They just seem so flat to me.

      I can't say a whole lot about acrylics or silicone eyes. I don't really like either, since I'm an eye snob. XD