ANME Preview: What's the Buzz Before the Big Show?

LOS ANGELES — With less than a month away, ANME Founders show summer fever is spreading far and wide across the pleasure products market in anticipation of what many top companies believe may be a banner year to come.

In an informal “taking of the pulse,” XBIZ reached out to some of the segment leaders to gauge what’s trending and to snare a sneak peak at what they’ll be showing at the summer event.

Doc Johnson, a continued frontrunner when it comes to securing hot adult stars’ brands that recently included the Belle Knox Fresh Meat Stroker and the molding of starlet Mia Malkova for new lines, said it will strengthen its Super Stars collection right through 2015.

Company COO Chad Braverman told XBIZ that the company would also reveal new products for the first time at ANME.

“We are expanding upon our WonderLand collection, the existing products in the collection have been very well received so we are excited to be introducing new product into the collection. The new releases will include five mini massagers, and five of the most delightful anal plugs you have ever seen. Each piece is made of silicone taking on similar looks of the existing products in the collection,” Braverman said.

The executive added that Doc Johnson is also releasing two new colors — black and brown — along with new packaging to one of its best sellers, the Squirting Realistic Cock. In addition, an entirely new collection called “Bust It,” will be unveiled that will offer “a brand new shape for its squirting cock loving customers.”

“Lastly, we are expanding upon our Platinum Premium Silicone Collection with two new anal plugs available in four colors, as well as introducing one of our bestselling Vac-U-Lock attachments to our Vac-U-Lock Platinum,” Braverman said.

The look ahead for pleasure products requires better health grade products with body-friendly choices in Braverman’s estimation. He said Doc Johnson would continue to explore new and better ways to produce products in an environmentally safe way, all in its U.S. facilities.

Another giant, California Exotic Novelties is presenting its Vivid Raw Collection in association with Vivid Entertainment. The pinnacle product is the Super Model doll that’s 100-percent fully molded and lifelike. Cal Exotics’ President Susan Colvin said, “The user can really feel the difference. Inner inflation means they control how firm or soft she is. Attendees of the show will be able to see her first-hand along with the other 33 exciting products in the Vivid Raw Collection. Plus there will be a broadcast of Vivid Radio on SiriusXM from the CalExotics’ booth. It’s going to be a great time.”

Other new collections and products coming down the pike from the company includes: “Impress,” a collection of massagers that use state-of-the art technology and pressure-sensitive pads to increase the speed of the vibration. There is also the new Packer Gear Collection — a line of intimate wear in boxers and briefs, they are designed so the user can look like they are “packing.”

“We also have the new Passion Pals, Heated Aluminum Vibes Collection, and the Pocket Exotics with their new bold new look. Additionally there will be incredible additions to the Scandal, Apollo, and Colt collections — just to name a few. All these and more will be seen for the first time at the July ANME Show,” Colvin said.

Sticking to its innovative approach to pleasure products’ design and aesthetics — a trend it says has been evolving in the category over the past few years — Jimmyjane is bolstering its mainstream-like approach to consumer marketing with new retail assets, displays and marketing collateral materials.

And Icon Brands’ sales manager Joanie Lee — also a proponent of consumer-minded marketing — said these types of materials are a key trend that all pleasure product players need to adopt.

"As the market becomes more crowded, an individual item gets lost on a wall or in a shelf. So definitely, families of products are key, and that family has to have a definite point of difference...a unique selling proposition,” Lee said.

She added, “Distributors want new materials and new ideas...they definitely don't want more of the same. And of course as product offerings increase, it becomes more and more challenging to find the new and the undiscovered, which is why we devote so much of our time to research and product development."

Although the company was not ready to divulge what it will unveil at ANME, Jimmyjane vice president of worldwide sales and business development Alicia Sinclair hinted that it would be showing a new edition that emphasizes the aforementioned marketing attributes. “It is an exciting time for the company with a lot of new items on the roadmap, and we are looking forward to connecting with our peers on the future of Jimmyjane and the category,” Sinclair said.

Maia Toys however did reveal to XBIZ that it would be debuting “Maia Man” at ANME, a new line of products targeted at metrosexual and gay men.

Executive director Mara Epstein said the Maia Man line will include a rechargeable cock ring, remote controlled anal plug and dual vibrating cock rings — all priced to sell.

“These are great new items, and keeping in Maia’s colorful tradition, they’ll be offered in grey/black and orange. Full details will be announced in August," Epstein said.

Pipedream Products chairman and CEO Nick Orlandino also revealed ANME debuts. He said the company will be introducing two new collections at ANME — Bonnie Rotten’s signature “Be Rotten” line and  Fantasy X-Tensions — plus more than 25 additions to the Fetish Fantasy Limited Edition, and new items within Pump Worx, Neon, Jelly Gems, and WOW.

When asked for her take on what’s trending in pleasure products, Epstein said this is the age of the boutique manufacturer that can listen to feedback and make instant changes to a product or line. “I work the [U.S.] States and was recently in Denver. I listened to what they want in Denver, and if we want, we can adjust. But that may not be what they want in New York. Companies have to adapt quickly in the coming years,” Epstein said.