The Doc Is In

Ariana Rodriguez

A trip to Doc Johnson’s headquarters in North Hollywood, Calif., is the juxtaposition of the senses where fantasy meets realism and the company’s 35-year history meets the future of sensual product design, manufacturing and marketing.

Doc Johnson CEO Ron Braverman said that he founded the company after several years in the adult retail market and his fascination ultimately led him to manufacturing his own products.

Since day one Doc Johnson has been dedicated to realism; we strive to make fantasies as real as possible.

“We started as a very small company,” Braverman said. “I never anticipated we would grow to be this size.”

Among Doc Johnson innovations through the years — and perhaps the most important — is its development of decorative packaging, “the silent salesman,” Braverman said, noting that previously shoppers of adult products had to go through the hassle of asking for all the details now available on the packaging.

“Since day one Doc Johnson has been dedicated to realism; we strive to make fantasies as real as possible,” said Chad Braverman, Doc Johnson’s director of product development and licensing, during an elaborate tour of Doc Johnson’s expansive stateof-the-art facility, where approximately 500 employees work diligently to produce the company’s most popular designs, including the patented UR3, Sil-AGel, Vac-U-Lock and Platinum Premium Silicone. In keeping with popular trends, Doc Johnson overhauled in recent years into a non-phthalate facility.

Braverman describes the manufacturing team’s job as “labor intensive” with individuals operating one-of-kind machinery that pour, mix and dip, and others ironing out imperfections and adding details like skin color and hair for realistic creations that are among the company’s standout products. Doc Johnson’s facility also houses a lab with a full-time chemist that formulates the company’s range of water-based and silicone lube and massage gel offerings.

As “The Great American Toy Company” Doc Johnson strengthens the economy with some of its dedicated employees being a part of the team since day one. Many of these old-timers can speak on the devastation caused to the plant in 1994, when a fire, possibly ignited by an electrical power surge, destroyed hand-made machinery, unique molds and years of records and documents.

“It was a very devastating time,” Ron Braverman said. “We were down for three to six months and we worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day rebuilding machines.”

Braverman added that the disaster was a learning experience and now master molds are kept offsite just to be on the safe side. The company’s workers are reminded of the fire on a daily basis with a massive sculpture made from melted support beams as the centerpiece to the plant’s outdoor picnic area.

Contrary to most people’s initial thinking, Doc Johnson did not get its name after the slang term for a specific body part. Ron Braverman said a number of factors played into the company’s name, beginning with U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. “It’s also a universal name; it’s the second biggest surname in the world. ‘Doc’ was to refer a professional, someone you trust.”

What resulted is a mustached doctor character that personifies ‘70s style. Chad Braverman said that the while Doc Johnson’s logo and marketing material has undergone several makeovers throughout the years, the general public’s fascination with being “retro” often calls for throwbacks to the company’s early look.

“We bring him [the Doc Johnson character] back every now and then,” Chad Braverman said.

While staying true to its past by keeping the integrity in its product designs and manufacturing according to the principles that the company was founded upon, Doc Johnson stays innovative with new product designs and maximizing its reach on the Internet.

“The Internet is responsible for cultural change,” Braverman said. “It prompts the spreading of information and offers an open forum where shoppers can see what’s available and create demand for specific products.”

New Doc Johnson products have packaging directing shoppers to the company’s multiple social networking sites, which are active daily, engaging fans with contests, giveaways and behind-the-scenes footage of the molding of popular adult stars, such as Andy San Dimas who appears in a video giving a play-by-play of the process as it happens.

Braverman said that the videos are excellent for the pre-promotion of unreleased molds.

“It’s excellent because we get immediate feedback,” Braverman said. “It gets people talking and excited about upcoming releases.”

Braverman added that social media serves Doc Johnson as much more than an advertising tool by keeping consumers knowledgeable, interested and familiarized with the Doc Johnson name.

When it comes to molding adult stars, Doc Johnson keeps its sights set on the most popular stars and their most desired body parts. In addition to San Dimas, the newest crop of stars to be molded include Alexis Texas and Kimberly Kane, which are yet to be released. Popular starlets Kristina Rose, Faye Reagan and Bobbi Starr also were recently introduced as UR3 Pocket Pals in the All-Star Porn Stars series.

The forward-thinking manufacturer also recently introduced the Wendy Williams line of toys, modeled after the tranny superstar. Braverman said that Doc Johnson’s picks for stars to be molded are chosen based on their star power; and Williams is a stellar personality to be reckoned with.

Doc Johnson most recently released the iRide, a groundbreaking, rideable, multi-speed vibrator allowing users the ability to control rhythm, speed and sensation with the motion of their body. The iRide was a favorite among ANME Show attendees, and its allure is spreading online with a series of six artistic videos currently circulating online.

Other of Doc Johnson’s newest releases include an expansion of the Lucid Dreams collection, which features the No. 14 — Women’s Health Magazine’s pick as the Best “Maxi-Vibe” in its 2007 Special Sex Awards Special Issue, as well as the Mood line of vibes that come in stylish, contemporary packaging.