Innovation, Excitement Abound at Winter ANME

Jan 14, 2014 6:00 AM PST

 BURBANK, Calif. – The winter edition of the ANME Show was held this weekend at the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel, where manufacturers big and small gathered for the biannual showcase of the latest pleasure product releases.

With three different showroom areas, retail and distribution buyers had a wide variety of product to navigate and networking to do during the three-day show. As the first trade show of the year, ANME brought new releases timed for the Valentine’s Day rush and previews of upcoming products set to be released later this year.

ANME’s ‘Big Five’ Lead Show With Major Releases

On Saturday, the first official day of ANME, CalExotics stole the show with the debut of the Cocolicious line and signing by the curvaceous model and reality TV star, Coco.

 “She’s very personable and so easy to work with,” CalExotics President and founder Susan Colvin said. “She’s got a definite style and she knows what she likes. It’s been fabulous to work with her, she takes her fans very seriously and wants to give them a quality product and that’s why she picked us to partner with.”

Coco told XBIZ that the line was the first of more upcoming collections.

“I wanted to focus the line on the fun of being a girl,” Coco said. “All of these toys can be concealed in your purse and it’s basically all of the top products that girls like. I made it especially for them, and the colors are distinctly mine – these colors are Coco colors.”

Doc Johnson entertained trade show attendees with a super hero themed photo booth in order of the success and expansion of its Super Hung Heroes line. The collection is now supported with matching themed wall skins for retailers. Doc also introduced new additions to its Black Rose collection, new James Deen dongs and a new Dana DeArmond masturbator, along with many others.

 Victoria Bowman-Steinour, Doc Johnson’s director of marketing and public relations, told XBIZ that the everlasting main selling point for the manufacturer is its U.S. manufacturing.

“Ninety-seven percent of our products are made in North Hollywood, complete formulas are developed in-house,” she said, “people are loving products that are made in America. We have such a variety of retailers that all of our new releases are able to satisfy their needs. Our wall skins, shelf talkers and giving them basically everything that they need to merchandise is also what contributes to our success.”

Pipedream Products made sure it left its mark on ANME attendees with a large display of its most notable new releases. The company’s new range of Extreme dolls were front and center.

“For about two years, dolls weren’t in production by any manufacturer,” Pipedream’s Rob Phaneuf said, “and never before have dolls been offered in three tiers ­– entry, mid-level and deluxe. These are the only high-end dolls on the market and they’re available for every budget.”

Pipedream also broke new ground with the release of its Fetish Fantasy Lube Wrestling Ring. The inflatable pool intended for lube wrestling comes with half a gallon of lube.

“This show was a huge hit for Pipedream,” Phaneuf said. “We sold out of a lot of lines and are urging customers to get your orders in fast.”

Nasstoys shared its top 100 bestsellers to its clientele via a new catalog supplement. Kathryn Hartman, Nasstoys sales and marketing director, said this edition of ANME surpassed all previous shows in terms of success.

“A big thumbs up from Elliott [Schwartz] and Kat at Nasstoys,” she said. “On the third and last day of the show, we can say that we are extremely pleased with the tremendous success of our big new releases and all of the unique product we’re bringing into the market.”

Topco Sales’ Lynda Mort said that although the company didn’t debut any new products, retailers were excited to see bestsellers back in stock. Among the freshly re-stocked lines were the Climax and Average Joe lines.

“It was a very exciting show,” Mort said, “all of our bestsellers are back in stock and we’re looking forward to releasing new products in July. We’re also very excited to introduce Farah Abraham’s collection of three new pieces molded directly from her.”

Tech, Design Innovators Debut Latest Developments

Design-centric pleasure products brand Jimmyjane previewed new additions that included a “Luxury Edition” of its Form 2. The solid black massager and matching charging base is highlighted by a 24-karat gold plated control interface. The new Form 2 also features an improved motor that features a new function.

Alicia Sinclair, Jimmyjane vice president of worldwide sales and business development, told XBIZ that the company also attended the show to test a possible upcoming line of Jimmyjane branded glass designs.

“This show was really great for us,” Sinclair said. “Everyone wants to partner up with us for marketing, distributors are all really interested in tapping into Jimmyjane’s mainstream popularity.”

Among the most talked about new releases was OhMiBod’s blueMotion, a wearable massager that uses Bluetooth technology that was just unveiled at CES in Las Vegas.

“As people get more buried in technology, we wanted to develop something that would bridge that intimacy divide that’s being created,” OhMiBod co-founder Brian Dunham said.

The massager connects to smartphones via OhMiBod Remote, an intuitive interface that allows the creation of unlimited vibration patterns on the fly. Customers can download OhMiBod Remote at no cost from the iTunes and Play Stores. Dunham said future upgrades to the app will include new functions and in-app purchases.

Fun Factory followed up on the success of its pulsator range and “Trust the Thrust” campaign with the introduction of a new design innovation in the form of the Amorino. As the first vibe to include a silicone band for clit stimulation, Fun Factory’s Emilie Rosanvallon said that the only method to present its functions was through a detailed user manual complete with instructional depictions.

“The Amorino has gotten a lot of attention,” she said, “at the show we’ve been testing feedback for its promo material and signage.”

New Brands Make ANME Debut

Industry vet Kim Airs now serves as the director of sales and business development of Bubble Love, an innovative underwater personal massager that was unveiled at ANME.

“It should be available by May, and so far I’ve gotten incredible feedback,” Airs said, adding that the product’s developers have been working on the device for eight years. The rechargeable massager only works underwater and stimulates by shooting out a jet of air bubbles, "like a Jacuzzi," Airs said.

Lekker is a one-year-old manufacturer from Northern Calif., which specializes in 100 percent platinum grade silicone. According to the company’s chief sales officer Ryan Prinz, the company has invested in an automated process for production that enables it to produce high volumes for a lower price.

“Lekker set out to produce only safe products at competitive price points,” Prinz said. “We also have a wide variety of retailer tools that are free with our introductory packages.”

Though well-known for her expertise in sexual health and wellness, Yvonne Fulbright attended ANME with XR Brands to debut her line of endorsed products.

“It’s the perfect transitional line between lingerie and toys,” XR Brands’ Randy Alvstad said. “Savvy is a great line to introduce comfort when jumping into toys. The products are perfect for every customer.”

Fulbright added that the line was conceived through brainstorming with the XR team and that the goal was not to appear too self-promotional.

“This line is to acknowledge all people with a wide variety of products and a concentration on the educative process and communication,” she said.

Industry Icons Reveal Makeovers

Vibratex’s Dan Martin said the company is gearing up to reintroduce the market to a revamped version of the iconic Rabbit Habit vibe similar to the treatment it recently gave to the Magic Wand.

“We kept all of the iconic elements but we’re introducing several new improvement,” Martin said. “We’re investing in branding and have huge plans for the Rabbit Habit.”

We-Vibe updated its whole line of pleasure products, which were presented to ANME attendees. New releases included the We-Vibe 2-Plus, which is now seamless, waterproof and features inductive charging. The new Tango and Touch vibes now come in new premium packaging, which all feature a similar aesthetic for cohesive merchandising. To further support retailers, We-Vibe unveiled a range of new merchandising tools, including a new freestanding tower display that recharges tethered product samples and requires no tools for assembly.

“Retailers were really excited about all of our products and their new simple packaging,” We-Vibe’s Denny Alexander said, “plus our new displays that feature new universal product holders were very well-received.”

Sportsheets reintroduced ANME attendees to the Sex In The Shower collection with new merchandising materials and new products, including Shower Gel Lube and Velcro suction cuffs. Sportsheets’ Joanne Queenin said the response to the new products was “astronomical.”

 “Lots of orders were placed, the girls were busy non-stop,” she said. “They were very happy to see Sex In The Shower and new marketing materials. Appearing in Cosmo two months in a row also had a powerful impact – we were the only non-vibrating product to be featured.”

The company is also gearing up for Valentine’s Day with new gifts that come in a variety of three styles, and feminine satin cuffs that come in red, black and pink to match popular lingerie colors.

Sportsheets President Julie Stewart took time away from the booth for an interview with Tristan Taormino.

“Interviewing with her is like talking to an old friend,” Stewart said. “We talked about the revamped Sex In The Shower line and its staying power. We had a very great show, it was very busy and the response to our new releases was overwhelming.”

Specialty Manufacturers Redefine Niches

Sliquid attended ANME with a new look for its popular bath and body brands. Its Ride Bodyworx collection has done away with its former cowboy theme and introduced sleek, simplified packaging.

“The new packaging for Ride appeals to the sophisticated male clientele,” Sliquid’s Dean Elliott said. “Some dig the cowboy theme but we are really hitting home with the upscale look. It’s been a great launch at ANME and we’re gearing up to continue to expand the Ride Bodyworx line with masturbation and stimulation products in the works.”

Hott Products continues to innovate the edible novelties category with several new candies in the shapes of peckers and boobs. The company presented new Pecker Puffs marshmallow candies, chocolate pens and plenty of party supplies such as the Peter Margarita Glass and diamond ring shaped ice trays.

“We’re always expanding our range of bachelorette products,” Hott Products’ Chris Post said. “There’s not a lot of boob stuff on the market so we’ve developed a lot of new themed releases.”

Little Genie has been specializing in bachelorette and novelties since 1999, said company CEO Tiffany Lysene.

“We got a great response to our ne Behind Closed Doors A Month of Sex couples game,” she said. “We sold our entire first shipment so that’s really encouraging. It proves that we have something that no one else has.”

Beamonstar Products’ Jeff Bolanos said his company is making a comeback, with reformulated sex enhancement products and now offering NV hookah pens and e-liquid.

“The display hangs on the wall or sits on a table,” Bolanos said. “It’s very seller friendly and visually appealing. It’s clear that the future of e-cigs is hookah pens. Beamonstar is making a tremendous comeback this year.”

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