Shades of Success: 2015 Looks Bright for Pleasure Products Sector

With a new year upon us and the crucial Valentine’s Day holiday looming on the horizon, it’s an ideal time to look at what leading companies in the adult pleasure products sector have lined up for the months ahead.

From innovative product launches to new twists on established lines, manufacturers are anticipating brisk sales and strong performance from their key merchandise and core brands, driven in part by the ongoing consumer fascination with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” erotic novel series and upcoming film. (For more on the impact of “Fifty Shades,” see this month’s Talking Heads feature.)

From innovative product launches to new twists on established lines, manufacturers are anticipating brisk sales and strong performance from their key merchandise and core brands, driven in part by the ongoing consumer fascination with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” erotic novel series and upcoming film.

Richard Longhurst, co-founder of Lovehoney, told XBIZ that for his company, “2015 will start in style with the launch of the official Fifty Shades of Grey Red Room Collection.”

“This high-end range of leather bondage equipment is inspired by what Christian Grey has in the Red Room,” Longhurst said. “It’s the real deal for anyone who wants to recreate the scenes that they’re going to see in the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ movie.”

In addition to the continued popularity of all things Fifty Shades, Longhurst said, “we’re seeing retailers become increasingly selective in the number of products that they choose to stock; they want items that have a genuine point of difference, the days of ‘me-too’ are numbered.”

“Our Sqweel 2 and Sqweel Go products are unique oral-sex stimulators and continue to exceed our expectations,” Longhurst said. “Rockbox 2 and Rockbox Finger are two more examples of products that provide a unique point of difference. They’re the ugliest, noisiest sex toys available, but also the most powerful. When a job needs doing right, you have to make sure you’ve got the right tool.”

Susan Colvin, president and CEO of California Exotic Novelties, said the plan for 2015 includes giving the company’s best-selling product, the Jack Rabbit, “a whole new look” for 2015, with the entire line, including new models, “packaged in one cohesive, branded collection that will look stunning in stores.”

The new “Silhouette” collection also promises to be a big hit in the year ahead, Colvin said.

“These elegant massagers not only have sleek and sexy shapes, they are filled with all the features women and couples crave,” Colvin said. “Body-safe silicone and USB charging cords make them luxurious, while the price tag makes them affordable.”

To help stores promote California Exotic products, Colvin said “all new and updated collections will have a fresh Visual Merchandising Plan so stores can easily set their walls” available through the Downloads section on Product information, images, and other sales collateral are also available through the website.

Chad Braverman, COO and leader of product development for Doc Johnson, said the company’s GoodHead has been “enormously successful” and will be expanded upon in 2015.

“The first of three new GoodHead product sets is a smaller, travel-friendly version of our ultra-popular GoodHead Deep Throat Spray, called ‘GoodHead To-Go,’” Braverman said.

“GoodHead To-Go features three delicious flavors in a compact spray container, so customers are always ready for some deep-throat action at a moment’s notice. We’re also doing another oral sex enhancer for the GoodHead line in the form of a plumping lip balm that also delivers a pleasurable tingling sensation to both the wearer and the wearer’s partner.”

The CANDiLAND Sensuals line will be another focus for Doc Johnson in 2015, according to Marketing Manager Sunny Rodgers.

“Our foray into developing more creative, original products going into the New Year continues with an expansion of our CANDiLAND Sensuals collection of lickable body products,” Rodgers said. “CANDiLAND Sensuals is a new collection, but has nonetheless enjoyed record-breaking sales, and is poised for mainstream crossover success. The first addition to CANDiLAND Sensuals for the New Year is a ‘Sweet ‘N Tart Warming Massage’ three-piece set, which differs from our other, full-sized warming massages in its sweet but tarty flavor palette. Sometimes our chemist makes flavors that are so incredible, we make a product for it, just to showcase the flavor. Our Sweet ‘N Tart Warming Massage products fit into that category.”

For Nasstoys, Sales and Marketing Director Kathryn Hartman said the big excitement for 2015 surrounds the new Amore and Ravishing lines, which Hartman described as “high-end, moderately priced, rechargeable silicone collections” to be unveiled at the 2015 ANME Show in Burbank.

“Amore and Ravishing are all unique shapes and simply exquisite,” Hartman added.

Hartman said Nasstoys anticipates continued success for two of its current best performing lines: The men’s collections Ram and Mack Tuff.

‘“We will continue to build these top-selling collections and will move our marketing of these items in a direction towards women and couples as they are not just for bad boys,” Hartman said. “Bad girls like them too!”

Steve Bannister, president of BMS Factory, told XBIZ his company’s two major new product launches for 2015 are the PalmPower Recharge and the Swan Wand.

“For a long time, there’s really only been a very select amount of options for users who were looking for a great wand massager,” Bannister said. “The big white one that everyone uses was a winner for its time. Nowadays, customers are looking for more, and that’s exactly what the PalmPower Recharge offers. In something that’s only a fraction of the Original Magic Wand’s size, the PalmPower Recharge offers incredible power, a removable, 100 percent silicone cap for ease of cleaning, and best of all, it’s rechargeable, so there’s no cord to get in the way. It uses USB recharging technology so it can be charged virtually anywhere.”

A new addition to the Swan Collection, Bannister said the Swan Want “isn’t a classic shaped vibrator.”

Rather it has a contoured look with two fully usable ends,” Bannister explained. “One has a wide taper to cover a larger area, while the other is more designed for pinpoint massage. The Swan Wand has a full silicone finish and is completely waterproof, rechargeable and powerful. It has two independently controlled vibrations and can be used either in our famous Press & Hold mode, or can enjoy different vibrations from seven pattern functions.”

XGEN Products has two new wand products coming out in 2015, according to XGEN President Andy Green.

“We are taking the line to the next level — ‘2.0’ as we call it in the office,” Green said. “We will take existing models and add more features to them. There will be a plug-in and a USB. Each will have eight patterns and eight speeds within each pattern. The heads are 100 percent silicone, whereas the originals were TPR. We will keep the originals also, so if a customer just wants pure speed they can still buy the track-wheel version, but if they want more features they can buy this new version. I think it will show very well at retail.”

Green added XGEN is “really focusing on all of our new testing that has been done on the Bodywand line” at the moment, in a relentless pursuit of ensuring the quality and safety of the products.

“Everything is certified for all parts of the world,” Green said of XGEN’s Bodywand line. “Other companies do not do this. We have gone to the time and expense to make sure we have the safest and most reliable wand company out there.”

NS Novelties Director of Operations Lavi Yedid said NSN’s approach to 2015 is all about adding more products to the company’s current best-selling lines.

“New shapes and sizes will be added to the Colours Collection, and we will also launch a whole product line of body safe TPE plugs, dildos etc. under the name of Jelly Ranchers,” Yedid said. “We will preview some amazing and powerful silicone, and compact and rechargeable vibes at very competitive price points. We will keep up with the innovative packaging NSN has become known for, and introduce the Adoravibe, featuring a new packaging concept. Our bestselling line of Renegade men’s toys will see the introduction of new vibrators and masturbators as well as new cock rings.”

No surprise, products which invoke images of “Fifty Shades” and capitalize on the growing consumer fascination with what you might call “light kink” are also a key driver of sales for NSN, just like others in the market.

“Our Sinful Bondage product line is an amazing performer for us, and we are anticipating even better sales with the release of Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie adaptation in February,” Yedid said.

Suki Dunham, founder of OhMiBod, was somewhat circumspect concerning OhMiBod’s specific plans for 2015, saying the company “has some great products slated for 2015, but you will just have to keep your eyes peeled.”

“We will be attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for our fifth year in a row,” Dunham said. “There we will be launching some pretty cool stuff… but mums the word, for now.”

Dunham said OhMiBod’s blueMotion app-controlled Bluetooth vibrator continues to sell extremely well.

“Customers love that we have created a user interface on our app that is super easy to use and a ton of fun,” Dunham said. “This vibrator is rechargeable via USB and comes with a beautiful blue lace thong with a ‘pocket’ sewn on the inside to hold the vibrator in just the right place. The other hot products in our line are from our Lovelife collection. Cuddle, our G-Spot centric vibe, has great power at a perfect price and Adventure is just as the name describes. This triple stim (three motor) vibe packs a punch and is offered at a superb price.”

Synergy Erotic President Bob Wolf told XBIZ the new product he’s most enthusiastic about for 2015 — The Passione’ — is so new, it’s not even part of the company’s catalog yet, but they’re pushing hard to assure it’s availability for Valentine’s Day.

“One of the things that makes the Passione’ so special is the size of it,” Wolf said. “At 9” long and 2” in diameter, this is not a dainty, petite toy. It’s made using food grade silicone which is exceptionally soft and supple, and the bullet in the tip is about 15 percent larger than the usual bullet. The bullet gives out a low-frequency, pounding sensation that really powers through the dampening effect of the silicone. The silicone in the Passione’ I’ll put up against any other silicone in the industry; it’s just exceptionally soft and supple.”

Wolf believes the Passione’ will duplicate the long-running success of Synergy Erotic’s most popular products, like the Perfect Touch Excite Her bullet line.

“Our strategy is to offer quality products with high intrinsic value,” Wolf said. “We like to give products time to live on the shelf, and to prove their worth. Our bullets have been around six, seven years; there’s consistency in quality and popularity, because the triad of retailers, distributors and customers alike know what to expect from the line.”

For Pipedream Products, three new lines will highlight 2015, all set to debut at ANME, Visual Merchandiser Briana Honz told XBIZ.

“’Real Cock’ is a 50-plus piece collection that offers the most realistic PVC dildos ever created in America,” Honz said. “Made from phthalate-free, latex-free, hypoallergenic PVC rubber, there are 18 unique styles available in three colors: flesh, brown, and black. Each piece has been handcrafted and sculpted with meticulous attention to detail to offer the most lifelike beginners dildo ever imagined.”

In addition to the Real Cock line, Honz said Pipedream will unveil “Crush,” an 18-piece ‘beginners-friendly’ collection which offers pleasurable stimulation paired with a discreet, travel-friendly design, and the iSex collection, which Honz said gives ‘plug and play’ a “whole new meaning.”

“This incredible nine-piece collection of portable USB-powered travel accessories is easy-to-use, perfect for beginners, TSA-approved, and eco-friendly,” Honz said. “There’s no need for batteries; just plug an iSex device into the USB port in your computer, car, or cell phone plug, and you’re ready for fun. They’re great for college students, longdistance video chats, solo sessions, office rendezvous, road trips, and any other time you need plug and play satisfaction.”

All in all, 2015 is shaping up to be a strong year in pleasure product sales. With a focus on innovation, quality craftsmanship, compelling marketing and — arguably most important from the consumer’s perspective — solid, pleasure-inducing performance, the leading manufacturers, distributors and retailers in this sector should have a very ‘Happy New Year’ indeed.

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