Novelty Companies Have Strong Showing at ILS

LAS VEGAS—While it’s known as the International Lingerie Show, in recent years the manufacturers and distributors of adult novelties and pleasure products have taken over booth space at the biannual show. And this year was no exception.

ILS, which ran April 8-10, saw several companies touting new products and partnerships, as well as promising big things in the coming weeks.

After a few hiccups with customs issues and the FDA, Je Joue had a big presence at the show with a booth and their items on display with their new distributor, Eldorado. The manufacturer’s Ami balls, which are Kegel exercisers, will soon be available in a new color, company reps said, The fuchsia will match the color options of other products. And Alicia Relles of Je Joue noted a “soft touch” version of the MiMi will be coming out in June.

“The vibrations are deeper … more rumbly,” Relles said.

Additionally, the company will be coming out with new POS displays for stores that have charging station for any combination of the five SKUs Je Joue offers, and a theft device. The displays give retailers the ability to customize them for their own needs, a company rep explained.

Jopen also had a presence on the show floor, with Brand Manager Robin Stewart showing off the Vanity, Ego and Key lines from the luxury manufacturer. The Envy line was drawing plenty of attention, especially since recently published the results of an independent study that named the trio of vibrators the strongest rechargeable vibrators available, she said.

The hot-pink torpedo vibrators were also showcased at the East Coast News booth, which had an early exclusive on the Envy line.

Things were really popping at East Coast News throughout the show, with many manufacturers’ reps on hand to educate the distribution giant’s clients about their products. Among the many brands that fielded representatives were California Exotic Novelties, Doc Johnson, Evolved Novelties, Gvibe, ID lubricants, Kama Sutra, Pipedream Products and We-Vibe.

Taking up a prominent chunk of wall space at the ECN booth was the Zolo line, now in stock and shipping from ECN. The collection of strokers offers users a range of textural experiences in seven disposable cups and six compact sleeves.  The cups are pre-lubricated and feature an air control hole to adjust suction. The Pocket Pool balls include a packet of lube and are well suited for travel.

But perhaps the biggest news from East Coast News was the arrival of Ovo, a line of luxury “lifestyle toys for everyone” from a brand-new German manufacturer. The line has already debuted in Europe but made its North American debut at this show.

In a gleaming white display area with surfaces as sleek as the pleasure products themselves, the new North American representative answered questions about these eye-catching cock rings and vibrators. Made of silicone and designed and engineered in Germany, all of the products come with a 15-year warranty. The packaging is just as elegant as the products themselves, which have won recognition at recent Red Dot international design competitions.

Ovo’s introductory release consists of a range of 36 products broken up into distinct categories, including rings (far too elegant to be called cock rings), loveballs (aka Kegel exercisers), bullets, mini vibes, vibrators, rabbits and lay-ons (pebble-style vibes). In addition to the design awards, the company holds 17 patents for a variety of product features.

At the ovo booth, show attendees could also inspect the POP display options. The ovo ring counter display received the VISCOM Bronze Medal at the international exhibition in the high quality category. The five-tier modular wall display showcases more than 100 items and 24 fully functional tester units—all of which are included with the display. There is even a built-in, 14-inch HD monitor to play the accompanying product videos.

The complete Ovo lineup is available now from East Coast News. As the nation’s largest adult distributor, sales manager Alan Mandell said, ECN is equipped to meet orders. “We are stocking ovo displays and products at each of our three nationwide warehouses,” he said. “Representatives from Ovo have met with and trained our entire sales team. ECN is 100 percent ready for this launch.”

Speaking of new arrivals from Europe, Dean Elliott of Sliquid and Lovehoney had his company reps in attendance to show off the Fifty Shades of Grey—The Official Pleasure Collection, which is the only collection of pleasure products based on the best-selling trilogy that are endorsed by the books’ author E.L. James. The line has been available in England but was making its North American bow at ILS.

In the Fifty Shades booth was Lovehoney Sales Director Michelle Marcus, who mentioned her recent appearance on the television show Access Hollywood. Marcus—introduced on the show as a professional “sex educator”—presented samples of the collection to the live show’s hosts, Billy Bush and Kit Hoover.

Marcus made the most of the opportunity to reach both Fifty Shades of Grey fans and BDSM first-timers alike. In addition to the handcuffs, love ring and Kegel exercises, the segment also introduced the viewers to the Fifty Shades of Grey Twitchy Palm Spanking Paddle, the Sweet Sting Riding Crop, the Soft Limits Deluxe Wrist Ties, and the No Peeking Soft Twin Blindfold Set.

The Fifty Shades collection could also be found at various distributors’ booths, including Entrenue, Eldorado and Nalpac.

Dean Elliott also noted that Sliquid has some new items that will be ready by July, including a new moisturizer with jojoba oil and beeswax for the labia, and a revamped version of the company’s popular Splash line.

“There will be a new formula and some new packaging that will have more of a spa look to it,” he said.

Another European company, Laid, also was in attendance at both the Entrenue and Eldorado booths. Karianne Ronning of Laid, which is based in Oslo, Norway, did demonstrations of the company’s C.1—the first vibrating item from the manufacturer—and the new magnetic Kegel balls.

“For the C.1, the C is not for ‘cock ring,’ even though the design is a ring,” Ronning said. The C, she said, stands for clitoris. The ring is ergonomically designed to work a number of ways in stimulating the clitoris and labia. And since the entire ring vibrates, it can be used anywhere, really, she said. It is waterproof and rechargeable, and can also fit over any vibrator to add a new dimension of pleasure.

Alongside the Laid products at the Entrenue booth were attractive displays for many manufacturers, among them Aneros (which debuted its Euphro Syn prostate stimulator), Fun Factory (which also had a booth to showcase its Stronic pulsator and several new vibrator models), Jimmyjane (including the hot-selling Hello Touch), J’Naja (a lower-cost version of the precious-metal cock ring from J’Cobra), Wet for Her, Minna’s Ola vibrator and Big Teaze’s VërSpanken.

Tsuneki Sato of Tenga was in the Liberator booth and spent much of his time talking about the items in the new Iroha brand for women. The products launched in early March in Japan and sold out within a week.

“We issued an apology in Japan that we were sorry about running out, and that has sort of gone viral,” he said.

The items—which resemble mochi, a Japanese confection—come in pastel colors and boast a unique “soft touch” material that feel likes silky smooth silicone over a gel-like material.

Another international traveler was Sam Watts, in the Eldorado booth to demonstrate the Cascade self-lubricating vibrator, which was also seen at the AVN Novelty Expo in January. The personal massager, which releases a stream of lube as it vibrates, now comes in a black Twilight model, complete with black carrying case.

In addition to Watts and Laid’s Ronning, many other product reps mingled with buyers at the Eldorado exhibit area. Also from Europe was Ladyshape’s Daphne Heltzel, who talked about her unique shaving aids, which help women create different shapes below the bikini line. There are three stencil designs—Brazilian, triangle and heart shapes—and razors to trim the surrounding hair. Heltzel was also there to talk about items from another Dutch company, Rianne S., a maker of high-end vibrators, nipple covers and other pleasure enhancers.

Also making the scene at Eldorado were Sportsheets’ Cheri Poe and Pipedream’s Cheryl Flangel. Poe did a lengthy demo of Sportsheets’ new adjustable spreader bar, among other light bondage toys, with help from members of the audience, inspiring one participant to joke that he didn’t want to see any videos of himself on YouTube. The good-natured Poe joked along with him, noting that even her pastor knows what she does for a living.

Another product ambassador working the show floor was Michael Guilfoyle of Masque Sexual Flavors, who was spreading the word on a new marketing idea: a sample of his oral gel strip attached to an informational card that explains what his product does—enhance the oral sex experience—and how to use it. Guilfoyle noted that these cards would help retailers introduce Masque to their customers.

Over at Xgen Products, the sales reps seemed to never stop talking up the company’s lingerie lines in addition to accessories such as Pleasure Wigs, the Power Pole, Perfect Position Cushions and Eye Candy accessories. And there were also new models of the Bodywand vibrator: a range of new Minis—four neon color options as well as a five-function model. To support the line, Xgen is offering a custom display unit that holds 68 assorted Bodywands plus testers.

When it comes to displays and merchandising, there’s always something new with Screaming O. This show was no exception. Several fishbowl POP displays are available to push impulse sales, including one for Screaming O Condoms, the new RingOx3 cock ring threesomes, and the brand-new RingO Ranglers. In honor of the release of the latter—nubby cock rings named Cannonball, Spur and Outlaw—the models and the company reps were wearing cowboy and farm attire, with demin pants and plaid shirts.

Getting a bit of attention on the show floor was Revel Body, a new company that is currently conducting a crowd-funding campaign on for its sonic vibrator. Company rep Linda Cox said the product’s True Sonic Technology is based on that used in sonic toothbrushes. Unlike traditional rotary motors, which typically vibrate at a range of about 60-100Hz, TrueSonic resonating motors provide a significantly wider range of vibration—adjustable between 24-200Hz—and substantially more power than any other battery-powered vibrator. With only a single moving part, TrueSonic motors are also extremely quiet and efficient, lasting at least four times longer than traditional rotary motors. 

Other innovations include the Deep Vibe from Dorcel—a penis sleeve that incorporates a vibrator to stimulate both the wearer and his partner. Dorcel had a booth at ILS, but its rep also spent time at the booth with the Eldorado team, which now carries the toy line.

Also new from GoldReallas, a maker of herbal dietary supplements for men, is the PinkReallas formula for women and the ReallGasm formula, which can be taken by both sexes. Both products are still being tested, but should be headed for market in the next coule of months.

In addition to sticking with their specialties, some exhibitors were branching out into new areas. Hustler Lingerie had a line of glass toys, called Gläs, alongside its boxed lingerie. And the Bondage Bearz plush novelties that had been at the Hustler booth at the last show now had their own exhibit space.

Other crossovers were seen at the booth where the Joyful Pleasures glass toys were on display alongside a new lingerie line for the Scores gentlement’s clubs. And the Crave vibrator shared display space with a vibrating droplet necklace, leather tassels and leather cuff bracelets.

Representatives from Merci Toys were ready to discuss the company’s new Merci Lubricant, a water-based organic lubricant from Japan. Hansen Hwang explained that the lubricant is, for all intents and purposes, the only lubricant used in Japan, and Merci Toys is the only company authorized to import it into the U.S.

Deeva, which carries the Fukuoku Glove, showcased a new display unit that holds 12 of the waterproof gloves (thee of the pink left gloves, three pink right, three left black and three right black) and has a TV monitor built in to the unit.

“It basically acts as a silent salesperson in the store,” company official Howard explained.

Additionally, the display can also be used to show off the 6000, 9000 and 12000 Fingertip massagers the company offers, he noted.

The massagers work when the user inserts his or her fingers and makes contact with the two sensor pads inside.

“There’s no switch to turn on or off,” Howard said. “So you can’t screw it up.”