The market looks healthy if we are looking at the distribution of top brands, with not a single one crossing the 30% border and roughly matching in distribution. Followed by ‘none’ with 9%, showing that there’s a number of heads that we missed and need to add to increase the accuracy of other brands, but that there are also people not wearing a mesh head. LAQ follows with 3.4%, and others claim the rest of the market with 1.5% and lower share each.
Everyone knew LeLutka made heads. EVOlution showed the world they can make amazing heads. Doing absolutely everything right, and giving enough variety that the customers could make any looks they could ever want. While the brief bump with the boundless versions did cause a bit of confusion, it also increased the shape limits each head can reach and so made them more versatile. Ultimately helping in the long term. 3990L$ is a good price, with the last Black Friday sale going with 50% off gaining them a substantial boost, requiring them to open a second sim after their main sim was full for days. BoM ready, animation ready, plenty of support, great range of shapes, and top mesh quality.
The previous king of heads, Catwa turned from a hair store into the most wanted store on Second Life what felt like overnight. For a while it held the crown without strong competition in the mesh head market. But then Genus came and snatched it, and now LeLutka took it away from them both.
The pricing is still an issue, being the highest priced mesh head at 5000L$, and the latest HD PRO line being 5900L$. There haven’t been any large discounts in past two years or incentives to buy another of their heads.
Yet even with reduced popularity from their height, Catwa Catja remains to this day the most used head on Second Life with 1202 users, with LeLutka Lilly coming in second at 983. But out of 2519 Catwa users, only 218 seem to be wearing their latest HD PRO line.
Genus came in and quickly took a bite out Catwa’s market share. With their amazing mesh quality, a fresh new look for SL, a friendly team and a great promotion of getting an additional head for free if you bought the beta. This was around the time Bento was becoming more popular, offering a bigger range than Catwa and quality animations. Their heads have a certain ‘waxed’ look to them with how rounded and soft they can become. I am curious to see if they will release a head that doesn’t have it as it could help them regain some of the users that LeLutka snatched away. Right now the heads are priced at 5500L$, but are often on sale or promotion, currently showing the price to be 3300L$.
And I am curious to see if they will make a male head, as with the current following it seems like they could easily enter that market as well. Their path to glory was plagued by DMCAs halting their sales and causing a support desk nightmare, but they finally seem to have recovered and hopefully won’t run into any more issues. P.S. please fix your HUD already! When it is hidden the transparent prims still overlap over other things and it is so annoying.
809 (9%) shows that there might be less people wearing mesh heads. And that we certainly lack some heads which results in this category becoming so big. We spotted plenty of different mesh heads we never heard of before, so gathering enough data to detect them all has been taking some time. In the future we will have a much more clear vision and this category will reflect only the people truly not wearing a mesh head.
After the top 3 claiming most of the market we come down to the smaller head brands. Creating mesh heads in easier in a way that the creators don’t have to persuade or wait for fashion stores to rig for them, which they are only likely to do with a large enough userbase already or everybody else doing it.
Head creators focus on making the UV friendly enough for skin and makeup creators, while making the end result look impressive. Mainly it comes down to making amazing mesh heads that attract enough people to start buying them, resulting in adoption by skin and makeup creators, which in turn causes them to grow in popularity.
With how many mesh heads exist I don’t have an in-depth commentary but I tried a couple of heads from each brand briefly to at least provide some insight. With mesh heads prices being 10$-20$ USD it can be tough to switch when you already own several.
Skin store that began selling mesh heads tailored for their own skins. With pre-installed omega support I can see how it can be attractive. For 1500L$ alone for head with omega support it can be good for a head on a budget, but it comes without an actual skin so buying the extra skin is 990L$ or finding an Omega applier of a skin that you own and that fits. The separate HUD costs another 1500L$ which brings the cost sharply up – but luckily is a one time purchase.
The HUD itself seems a bit messy, BoM is done through a relay, and each head is limited in range of shapes it can become, and the mesh quality is not quite as the top 3.
Akeruka has about 40 different heads out there at very least, and recently released the Advanced heads for BoM. Oh I love the clicks on the HUD, they are so satisfying. With so many heads it might be hard to find the right one, especially when UV mapping seems to differ between each of them, and mesh eyes end up re-positioned. Also why do you need to right click the vendor image to actually buy a head, when the demo requires a single click? Demo actually looks presentable when it has a demo skin included, but otherwise is likely to look off without a skin tailored to it. They can be amazing heads with the right skin, head, and shape combination. Generally costing between 3900L$ and 2500L$, I’m curious to see if they can find that secret ingredient and the right combination to join the big leagues.
When it comes to the anime and furry market, Utilizator is a household name. Since some heads are in a style that is unisex it is hard to distinguish every user since they could be either male or female. From the combinations we can guess that 56 are likely female, while 63 are unknown. Our further data will attempt to align this information better.
The store was a bit tricky to find since you don’t land right in front of it and the sim is split into two sides. Their items are moddable, well-optimized and with a head being 500L$-600L$ they are quite cheap, even a full avatar coming out to 600L$-900L$ and the store being full of items that fit it and can be grabbed right away. However only the Normie 2.0 head appears to have a demo, and while it fits the UV well enough it is not the most impressive head, but for 500L$ not a bad deal. The HUD covers some basics but is not as feature-rich and complex as the usual heads. Utilizator caters more to modders, and offers their dev kits for free on their website, which makes me wonder why don’t more mesh body creators follow the same.
The M4 head however offers a more advanced HUD, and while it is unlikely that Utilizator will make more products for ‘normies’, I am curious to see what they make next. The redelivery in the store is odd at first, but after trying it out once it is super fun and immersive.
GA.EG is still around, with heads going for 2500L$-3000L$ and few discounted for 50% off. The UV mapping is a bit strange, while their own skins generally look okay it seems to have a rough time fitting anything else. The HUD look s alright but having only one section of it change when hitting tab buttons looks odd. The heads however just seem to lack definition, making them a bit more complex and realistic would probably improve appearance.
One of the older head stores still hanging around, and even hosting their own event recently to bring supported items to their users. Heads going for 2500L$ with some monthly promotions offering a head for 300L$. With skins fitted for them the heads tend to look good, but non-tailored skins often look a bit off. The UV mapping is pretty close though, and with some tweaks they could get pretty close to others. HUD looks good as well, and there are included animations. Also worth noting is that a couple of their older mesh heads slipped our radar.
The AO maker turned mesh creator, they have left a mark on SL with their mesh hands, one of the first bento hands on the market. The Loyalty Card program might look a bit odd to anyone not familiar with Vista, but it is a great system that offers long-term discounts. And they work both for their AOs and heads! The head itself looks surprisingly good save for the ears, the HUD seems a bit simple and Vista could definitely improve it knowing them, it could help increase the level of quality. There doesn’t seem to be a preinstalled BoM, but there is a HUD you can place your own textures into which is helpful for creators and modders.
A couple of brands that we only saw bits of, it is likely that this category will grow in the future as we improve our data. Some new brands might overtake a couple listed out here. We have spotted a handful of Somemore, Mayreal, Newmanoid, Kurohead, and Genesis heads.
That’s all folks!
Feel free to leave comments below, next article with male mesh heads should be coming up this week!