LOS ANGELES — Who would’ve thought? Right in the midst of a pleasure products boom that continues to see stylish and technologically advanced sex toys debuting almost every week, a simple teddy bear would win the hearts of consumers?
But that’s exactly what happened when an upstart company created and marketed the “Teddy Love” vibrating bear that in just a few short months has secured a number of major distribution channels including Adam & Eve, Hustler, Williams Trading, Andrew Blake and more.
Despite its inherent “cuteness,” the bear is a functioning sex toy designed for women. It has a small protruding tongue with a10-speed motor housed in his muzzle, making his nose and tongue vibrate when “turned on.” Teddy’s controlled by his ears, making him “the ultimate listener,” and a fitting companion for a woman’s bedroom.
In order to get a grip — so to speak — on the quick success and marketability of such a unique pleasure product, XBIZ asked creator and CEO Wendy Adams to give us insight as to how such a simple idea got to play in the big boy’s sex toy market, and how the product has created what she describes as a “paradigm shift” in today’s novelty game.
XBIZ: What was the impetus behind creating the Teddy Love Bear?
Adams: Teddy Love was invented serendipitously. I had a huge teddy bear named Teddy and shared him with my sister because we grew up in a single-parent household. Teddy always represented a source of love and comfort. As an adult I always had many bears throughout my home. One cold, snowy New England evening I was watching TV, and cuddled up under the covers holding one of the many teddy bears. His nose hit my nipple and then I felt his nose and it was hard. I then placed him down in my erogenous zone and was really turned on. My husband came down stairs and started joining in the fun. I told him that if the bear had a vibrator in his muzzle it would be a really erotic, cuddly sex toy. He ran with the idea.
XBIZ: How was the product created – by a team or individual?
Adams: I created Teddy Love.
XBIZ: What’s your background? Design, marketing, etc?
Adams: I started out as started as a fine and performing arts major in high school and the first few years of my undergraduate degree. At the end of my junior year I switched and obtained an undergrad degree in marketing and psychology. I also have an MBA and am at the tail end of my doctoral degree. My professional career has been spent in the healthcare industry in sales, marketing, management, and training.
XBIZ: Is this product your first sex toy venture?
Adams: Yes, Teddy Love is our first sex toy venture, but we have been so inspired by the excitement people have had towards both the product and the uniqueness that we are in the process of developing line extensions, and novel, paradigm shifting products that couples can use together.
XBIZ: What inspired you to enter a crowded novelty marketplace?
Adams: We had our first two prototypes made and came to Las Vegas to a trade show to test market Teddy Love with both the lay public and industry people alike. We saw that there were no other products out there like it and people were really excited. We felt that there was a niche in the marketplace for this type of paradigm-shifting product and launched Teddy Love, and our company.
XBIZ: Do you feel it’s popular because it’s not a traditional sex toy?
Adams: It’s popular because it fills a need that other sex toys don’t. It is completely unique yet is very discreet. Also, you can hold his head as he is going down on a woman but is hands free once you position him. He can be held and cuddled and can be used on both men and women. He is really an ideal gift for Valentines Day or any holiday because of Teddy Love also has a cuteness factor. You really don’t see many sex toys that are functional, yet cute.
XBIZ: You just started last summer with an Indiegogo campaign. How much capital did you receive?
Adams: The Indiegogo campaign launched so successfully that in eight days we had more than 300,000 hits. That was amazing and that doesn’t include all the worldwide blogs that were going rampant. Unfortunately, I was still working in the healthcare industry, while launching Teddy Love and our company, and my ex-employer found out about our product, so we shut it down on the 8th day. It was supposed to run for 30 days, but we had it up for only eight days. Needless to say, we were far from our projected target amount.
XBIZ: The product has gained a number of new U.S. distributors. To what do you attribute the success?
Adams: Teddy Love is such an amazing product and completely different from anything else out there. National and international retailers saw the utility and embraced us. We have been very fortunate that we have met wonderful, supportive people that have provided great wisdom and guidance.
XBIZ: What are your sales numbers since your launch?
Adams: We sold out 100 percent of our first shipment. We are very grateful to our supporters and customers. Our second shipment just came in and we are fulfilling orders nationally and internationally for Valentine’s Day. Our third shipment will be here in the next week.
XBIZ: It’s obviously a woman’s product, but are men also buying it for their girlfriends/mates?
Adams: Funny enough, men seem to be the majority of purchasers. It can be used by both men and women. It’s cute, gives great orgasms, and any mate that gives it as a gift is guaranteed a really fun-filled time.
XBIZ: What new products are on the horizon?
Adams: Well, of course we have some really cute line extensions that will also make Teddy Love a collector’s item. But our vision and mission includes creating, developing and launching paradigm-shifting sex toys that can be used by both men and women. Stay tuned.
Photo: Wendy Adams (left) and spokesmodel Kayla Jane Danger