Adult Retail Gets X-Rated for the Holidays
Every year, the December holidays wind up the selling season when both manufacturers and retailers hope to sell through to the bare walls to keep the accountants happy and end the year on a high note. Specialty adult retailers can distinguish themselves from other retailers who are vying for the same hard earned cash by offering items that are specific to our industry. Several manufacturers in the pleasure products and adult gift arena have created holiday gift themed items that fill that niche for that important selling season.
Seattle-based Kheper Games has been crafting clever games and novelties since 1994. Three years ago, they added several holiday specific games to their popular line of drinking and sex games to offer to their retailers. “We started with creating the Twelve Drinking Games of Christmas for a major retailer and thought ‘why don’t we elaborate on these for our adult retail market?’” said Brian Pelham, CEO of Kheper Games. “We parodied the names of popular Christmas carols and changed them to ‘Jigger Balls,’ ‘I’m Drinking During a White Christmas,’ ‘Do You Drink What I Drink?’ and many others. The Twelve Drinking Games of Christmas became a huge holiday hit for us.”
The trick that Kheper quickly learned was to estimate the growth of the holiday product line since the window for selling these items is short given the time the manufacturer has to produce the items and retailers have to sell them off their shelves.
“We decided not to create too many holiday SKUs since Kheper Games are mostly impulse buys,” Pelham said. “Otherwise, both the manufacturer and the retailer have to wait a year sitting on inventory, to sell them again. And for us as manufacturers, we like getting large buyers so we can run our inventory down during holiday buying season. At the same time, we need to keep enough inventory on hand for last-minute buys for distributors who, in turn, sell them to their customers. We don’t want anyone to run out of stock, including us.”
Distributors and retailers know that it’s more than just adult toys that will bring customers flocking to stores and websites to buy holiday specific products so Kheper’s expansion of their holiday-themed games has grown to include more kits of drinking and party games. Their Holiday Helper is a complete holiday kit that not only includes drink recipes such as “Three Wise Liquors” and “Grandma Got Plowed by a Sidecar,” but also includes holiday party themed games like “Adult Toy Drive Party” and “White Trash White Elephant.” Kheper’s popular line of shot glasses also include a holiday set called “Deck the Halls With Alcohols” and for those celebrating Hanukkah, “Drinking Dreidels,” which also happens to be their number two best seller behind “The Twelve Drinking Games of Christmas.”
Distributors tend to stock up on their holiday inventory in October and often check out new products at the September International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas, being held this year Sept. 23–25.
“ILS is a very good show for us because it’s not only a retailer show but a distributor show as well,” Pelham said. “Distributors can easily place their orders from us there then add the new holiday items to their inventory the following month to give retailers plenty of time to bring them in.”
Another company to hop on the holiday bandwagon is Dirty Flirty Novelty. Their exclusive Pornaments, introduced in 2009, have easily blended traditional hand blown glass Christmas ornaments with the naughtiness of the adult world. Pornaments include Santa in various sex positions, naked men and women, boobs, bananas and bondage beauties complete with hanging loops that are perfect for any naughty tree.
Manufacturers who offer gift packaged products also become instant holiday merchandise. Evolved Novelties’ “Perfect Gift” collection includes battery operated candles, lubricant, a sex toy and other goodies. The clever packaging makes these distinctive gifts stand out: the front of the box is simply removed, revealing a gift wrap style printed box that includes an elastic ribbon which can also be used as a stretchy cock ring.
California Exotic Novelties’ line of six romance kits, Amore, is also perfectly packaged for easy gift giving. “What we like about the Amore collection is that they not only make wonderful Christmas presents with the red hearts packaging, but they easily transition over for Valentine’s Day gift giving,” said Desiree Duffy, director of public relations at CalExotics. “Two of our kits include a little white teddy bear along with different kinds of romance enhancers like dice, rose petals, feathers, massage oils, and of course, a little red pocket vibrator. They are perfect for any retail store.”
LELO’s Adore Me Pleasure Set combines a vibrator, blindfolds, restraints and other necessities in a sexy black package. LELO’s other holiday offerings include a holiday edition pack of massage oils and many of their products are packaged in simple black boxes. Just add a red ribbon and voila, instant holiday package.
Don Wands’ Glass Candy Cane dildo packaged with a padded Christmas stocking carry bag is a definite holiday staple. With glass being considered one of the special materials sex toys are made of, it immediately becomes an easy-to-give holiday present and one that looks perfect under (or in) the tree.
Longtime adult novelty manufacturer, Pipedream Products, has been releasing Christmas products ever since they started in the novelty business. Their offerings include plastic pecker and boob ornaments, the Santa’s Coming stocking shaped bag which includes a wide variety of Christmas related products including a green butt plug, bullet vibe and condom, red cock ring, Finger Fun and blindfolds, and last but not least, a Santa vibrator. Their most popular Christmas item is the Adult Mistletoe, complete with two artificial leaves of mistletoe and an attached red condom, giving holiday celebrators even more reason to kiss under the sprigs.
According to Sabrina Dropkick, media relations director for Pipedream Products, “We usually start to see orders coming in around September. Distributors and their customers want to make sure they get in line to receive our best selling Christmas items before they’re sold out!”
Recent additions to the Pipedream Christmas collection include a variation of their clever Tuggie penis covers in a cheerful candy cane red and white twist fabric. Their new Candy Cane Undies are a much longer version of the Tuggie for men that are more, um, “well hung.” For the ladies, new additions include two designs featuring Jingle Bells panties complete with jingle bells nipple clamps or pasties. Their popular Fetish Fantasy line includes a whimsical Christmas kit that sports a Santa hat, blindfold, and red fabric wrist and ankle cuffs.
Brand Ambassador Cheryl Flangel suggests that “any item in the red/white/green color scheme can be merchandised with holiday items to create a lush winter wonderland in your store.”
Pipedream VP of Sales Steve Sav, adds, “Our unique brand of humor always brings a smile to someone’s face during the holidays. Imagine opening a present on Christmas morning and seeing an X-mas Tuggie or Jingle Bells Nipple Clamps and Panty Set — it’ll start a new tradition!”
Now’s the time to tell the holiday elves to buy special Christmas products so Santa will have plenty of stockings to fill and lots of gift wrapped presents to leave under the tree.