Babeland Announces Finalists in Toy Design Contests

LOS ANGELES — Adult retailer Babeland has named the top contenders for the grand prize in its Project Sex Toy contest.

Babeland co-founder Rachel Venning said the company’s marketing department received a flood of entries after announcing the contest earlier this year, with designs coming in from across the U.S. as well as from a number of foreign countries.

Submissions initially were judged by an in-house panel, and the top 10 were selected for the final competition next month.

“We were truly awed by both the range and the quality of designs we received during the call-for-entries,” Venning said. “It’s always so gratifying to hear from our customers — real people — about what they want in an erotic toy. The Project Sex Toy contest takes that feedback, creativity and desire and brings it to life.”

First-, second- and third-place winners will be chosen by a panel of "sex-pert" judges at the Babeland store on Melrose Blvd. in Los Angeles, July 11. The first-place winner will receive $250 cash, a $250 gift certificate to Babeland, a package of sex toys valued at more than $300 and a meeting with sex toy manufacturer Doc Johnson to discuss bringing the design to market.

Customers also are being invited to vote at Babeland.com can for a special People's Choice Award, with the winner receiving a $50 gift certificate to Babeland.

Venning said the finalists were chosen based on a combination of eroticism and innovation. Specific criteria for evaluating the Project Sex Toy finalists include viability, originality of design, functionality and safety, aesthetics, and the ability of the toy to advance the cause of human sexuality.

Finalists include: Shooting Star, a 1930s-style atomic ray gun design; Bunny G, a take-off on the popular rabbit-style toys with multispeed ears; Octopussey, a toy with eight arms that can be folded, bent or connected in numerous directions; Duette, a toy that can be worn as a ring; and Project Roll Up, a flexible computer keyboard that rolls up into an instrument of pleasure with a washable, textured gel bottom.

Judges include adult star Mary Carey; Dr. Janet Lever, research scientist and regular contributor to Glamour magazine and MSNBC.com; Christian Trinker, president and CEO of Funfactory USA; and Sylvie Vaught, a stylist at Estilo Salon.

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