I've done a bit of testing on the character makers that I came across by just casually searching, and I've given them all a verdict out of 10.
For reference, I've used one of my own fancharacters for all of them; Stickles. You may have met him before;
By doing this, I can test just how customisable these character makers are, and how out of the box you can be with your character. I've also taken into consideration that some of the design intricacies (eg head shape, specific marking pattern, clothing insigna etc) are unrealistic to expect from these, so I'm looking more at core facets. For the females, I just tossed on some crud and called it a day.
So, trying to mimic Stickles as much as possible, this is what I got;
1. The Retro Sonic Character Maker (Male-orientated, although some female options present...none being dresses)
Maker designed by; SkittyCat
Word Analysis; Arguably the best of the lot, despite appearing a tad crude on the surface. Eye options are basic, but there are various retro muzzles to try out, as well as various head and hair styles (which Stickles obviously doesn't sport) and a good range of markings. Standard stuff for ears and tails although the horn option is nice. There's also a standard range of gloves and shoes.
There are two things that set it apart from other makers; colour options and the technical side of clothing. For colours, you have a base colour and a tint colour, which means that even though you have quite a limited range of colours, you can mix them up to open up more options. A very novel and spiffing idea, if I do say so myself. For clothing, you can actually overlap styles as long as they don't come into direct conflict (so we have fingerless Rouge gloves and long Tails shoes with generic and Knux steel plating). The colours for the clothes are customisable in sections, which also adds that little spark of individuality. To improve it, I'd give some female-orientated clothing; there's also some female gloves styles, and the option to have female eyes, so it's only natural progression to move onto that.
2. The Furry Doll Maker (Male)
Maker designed by; Gen8
Word Analysis; Personally, I don't think much of this (nor it's counterpart, later). It seems more like something you'd use to try and make yourself into a vague Sonic-esque style as opposed to outright fancharacters. Customisation of colours is limited for the body, and the muzzles and bellies even less so. There's a standard range of tails and above-average range of ears and hair styles. There are no options for markings.
What really lets it down are the clothes options; it offers quite a wide range of things like shirts, accesories and trousers, but they're completely uncustomisable save for the wings, thus there's no individuality whatsoever unless you go for the limited variety of colours available! The gloves and shoes have woefully low ranges compared to them, which is especially bad given that these are arguable the most important parts of a male character! This was honestly as close as I could get, as the colour variety was absolutely pitiful (black, grey, brown or white usually) and is not ideal for characters who want to have a little splash of colour.
3. The Sonic Character Creator (Male)
Maker designed by; Kevicus
Word Analysis; One of the first Sonic makers on the net, and it shows it, unfortunately. Compared to other makers, the range of everything is rather limited. The maker seems to be more skewed towards recreating traits of existing male characters than opening the field up to a whole spectrum. In it's defence, it does have a very limited yet much appreciated range of markings available although I didn't use them. And at least it has more eyes and bellies than the Doll Maker. You can also get mecha options, which is still quite unique now. And the beefy arms...
It begins to shine more in the clothing options, though. Because it is more skewed towards existing male characters, it doesn't hide the fact that it's pure testosterone and does away with any clothing aside from gloves and shoes. This allows the limited range of clothes you have to be EXTREMELY customisable. Although I've only gone as far as the half-shoe (which has three seperate colour areas), you can get five or six categories on some types of shoe. That means that you can get away with having some pretty original colour combos, even if the actual colour range isn't that great. Overall, it was good for when it came on and still has some charm about it.
Maker designed by; Cinos the Ferret
Word Analysis; It gives you some Tails muzzles, some Sonic/Shadow muzzles, some angry eyes, some bellies, a base colour changer, a range of eye colours and a pair of gloves. Really. It still has more freakin' bellies than the Doll Maker, though.
5. The Sonic Charrie Maker (Female)
Maker designed by; Chriserony
Word Analysis; First thing's first; the only maker with a FULL COLOUR SPECTRUM avaliable for most available options. This is definitely a big plus for customisation. Aside from that, the range of other items is at least decent enough to justify having the spectrum, although why it offers different coloured muzzles and stuff for you to choose from when you have a full spectrum to select from perplexes me. Standard ear range, standard tail range, yadda yadda. But there is a good selection of markings to choose from.
The clothing lets it down, somewhat; often you have quite a limited range of shorts/skirts/dresses, etc to chose from, and quite a few of them don't even have the full spectrum. The glove and shoe range is astoundingly woeful (Two gloves! Really!), even with the full spectrum. This is odd given that you can actually make a fully customisable shirt albeit without the full spectrum. Just extend that customisability to the other clothes, make the full spectrum applicable to all the clothes, add more shoes and gloves and you'd have a near enough perfect female character maker! [Edit: Oh yes, and an actual long tail, not just a mouse's tail!]
6. The Furry Doll Maker (Female)
Maker designed by; Gen8
Word Analysis; See 2 for most of the details on this. At least the clothes are more relevant this time, and there is a slightly larger range of both clothe styles and colours to pick from. Still, the good art on the Doll Makers can't rectify the fact that these really aren't ideal for fancharacter designs at all. And I find it odd that it touts itself as a 'furry' doll maker (which would explain the fact that all the muzzles have noses, or that one beak), but then includes the option to make yourself up as a chameleon
Moral of the story; It's always best to try and use your own imagination for these sort of things, but if you're really stuck, I'd recommend using the Retro Maker for males (if you can look past the slightly crude graphics and overall not-modern slant) and the Charrie Maker for females.
So there we go, my personal reviews of them. Yeah, I have no life. :3