ANME Founders Show: Special Report

Anne Winter
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — The ANME Founders Show, which returned to Southern California after a several-year hiatus, wrapped last night with exhibitors singings its praises.

The five “founders” — Pipedream, Doc Johnson, California Exotic Novelties, Nasstoys and Topco Sales — were more than pleased by the buyer turnout, and other exhibitors, including Classic Erotica and Brasshead/Inferno Lingerie, were happy to see the “big players” were walking the floor both days of the show.

A common theme among the larger product manufacturers was consolidation and brand merchandising, with several companies scaling back the number of skews released during the show in order to work with buyer and customer demand.

“We cut back our new releases by 30 percent,” CalExotics’ Director of Marketing Al Bloom told XBIZ. “Why overburden at a time when customers can’t afford to be overburdened?”

CalExotics also unveiled a few lines of product made in “petite” size in order to offer popular items at lower price points, another effort to meet consumer needs.

“We’re bringing products with price points that are reasonable,” Bloom said. “[Releasing our higher-priced products now] is not the time for the consumer. We’re waiting to release them when it makes sense.”

Topco Sales also expanded its existing lines thoughtfully, augmenting its TLC, Adam & Eve, Rascal Toys and other brands selectively with items that make sense for consumer demand, rather than just the sake of releasing new product.

Doc Johnson’s big release for the summer was its Platinum Silicone line, one of the few 100 percent platinum silicone collections made in the industry today, and with its specially designed packaging, reps said buyers were ready to order the entire set.

Doc also debuted several new display options for retailers to more easily showcase samples and, rather than purchasing a standing display designed with one brand in mind, the company developed a generic aluminum display with interchangeable Plexiglas signs.

“The display will last in a store forever, not deteriorate with wear,” said Chad Braverman, Doc Johnson’s director of product development and licensing.

Nasstoys was proud of its new releases, and more than half of the new designs are owned exclusively by the company, a growing trend that company sales manager Kathryn Hartman said is a focus from now on.

Pipedream debuted several new novelty gift items, including the Beatin’ Obama wind-up toy, and company sexpert and sales manager Kim Airs was on hand to show off her custom motorcycle, complete with dildo-shaped handles and a vibrating seat.

Attendance to the ANME Founders Show, held at the Woodland Hills Marriott July 10-12, was limited to exhibitors and buyers for distributors and retailers.