Reinventing the Wand: A Sex Toy Staple Gets Retooled

The Magic Wand (formerly the Hitachi Magic Wand) has long been considered THE wand massager. The “Cadillac of massagers” even had a cameo appearance on the season opener last month of Louie, the FX sitcom featuring the warped humor of comedian Louie C.K.

But after a decades-long run at the top with no real challengers—unless you count the Acuvibe, which was sold on traditional drugstore shelves alongside the Magic Wand—there’s been a rush in recent months from various adult novelty manufacturers to put out their version of the vibrator.

Some claim to offer more power (the Magic Wand has long been considered one of the most powerful vibrators ever created—too powerful for some women) while others boast unique features, from dial controls to heads that can be placed in different positions.

But why, after all these years, are there so many manufacturers looking to create their own version of the masterpiece?

Bodywand from Xgen Products was one of the first wand massagers to make a splash in the industry. With various sizes and styles to choose from, representatives say it’s what re-invigorated the market.

“We were the first to really offer an alternative wand that featured a combination of power, smooth speed control and beautiful packaging,” said Andy Green, president of Xgen Products, the only distributor that carries the Bodywand collection of vibrators. “They’re easy to sell and always in demand.”

Green said when Xgen Products introduced the Bodywand line of massagers, they predicted that there would be increased demand from consumers for the items.

“As adult products’ mainstream acceptance continues to grow, demand for items that are clean, non-intimidating and effective will grow as well,” he said.

Sex toy critic, educator and blogger Dangerous Lilly said when she began reviewing wand massagers in 2008, the selection was limited.

“The most popular were Hitachi, Acuvine and Wahl,” she said. “Drugstore vibrators, but they had the power! And for a number of people, the power of the Hitachi was what they needed. The Hitachi got this reputation for being the ‘Cadillac of vibrators,’ an analogy I do not understand. But in ’08, there weren’t many ‘This is a sex toy and meant to be a sex toy’ options. Now? Tons.

“They’re all trying to build a better Hitachi,” she continued. “They all want you to believe that their wand is better than the famed Magic Wand.”

But it’s not just power that the new breed of wand massagers are touting. Extra features and attention to little details mean that today’s wand massagers aren’t all the same.

“What sets Bodywand apart is the versatility and attention to detail,” Green noted. “We have A/C powered plug-ins in two sizes—both of which can be used worldwide—A/C and USB rechargeable options, the submersible Aqua, battery-powered minis in a range of colors and available functions. We have the only complete wand collection that is both UL and CE rated, and our mini massagers now feature a redesigned battery compartment that prevents improper battery installation.

“Our goal from day one was to create a line that retailers could easily sell in any environment to virtually any consumer, and I think we’ve achieved that,” he continued.

But Bodywand is not alone in offering options. The Wanachi collection of wand-style massagers comes in various sizes—from the Mini Mini Mini version to the Maxi size—as well as numerous colors and battery-operated and plug-in versions.

NS Novelties debuted their Aria wand massager earlier this year. The piece offers seven powerful, independently controlled functions, whereas the original Magic Wand only has a rocker switch that toggles between Low, High and Off functions.

XR Brands’ Spellbinder Wand Massager, also introduced earlier this year, features 10 pulsation modes and speeds and is both 110v and 220v compatible.

“A lot of thought went into the development and production of the Spellbinder, as we wanted to re-create the power and functionality of famous wands of yesteryear but updated to keep it modern and moderately priced,” XR Brands General Manager Randy Alvstad said. “No other wand massager has the ability to deliver the same intense stimulation that women around the world depend on. And with its value price and 220-volt compatibility, the Spellbinder is a groundbreaking addition to the Wand Essentials lineup.”

LELO’s Smart Wand series upped the ante a bit, adding technology unique to the Swedish design-centric brand and bringing home a Red Dot Design Award for Excellence in Product Design to boot. The cordless wand’s rechargeable battery powers the quiet motor of the waterproof massager. But the real selling point for the Smart Wand is LELO’s patented SenseTouch Technology. Using touch sensors, the Smart Wand steadily increases vibrations as it comes in contact with the body.

“Wand-style vibrators have been popular throughout history, and the magic-wand-style vibrator in particular has had a long and very loyal following,” noted Marina Fourier, product development manager for Shibari Wands, which made its adult market debut earlier this year. “We recognized the need to modernize the look and functionality, while making sure that price points were more reflective of a new millennium consumer market. Our Halo and My Wands are much more affordable, lighter, sanitary, and comes with an improved motor and more speed options, which should appeal to everyone.”

Even Vibratex, which has long been the primary U.S. distributor for the Magic Wand, offers its own Mystic Wand line of wand massagers. The smaller Mystic Wand was designed to go places the bigger and bulkier Magic Wand couldn’t reach, company reps explained.

No matter the size, color, features or power source desired, these days there’s sure to be a wand for everyone.

Evolution of the Wand

AVN reviewers have seen all types of wand-style massagers hit the market. Here's a litle stroll through some highlights that have come across our desks in recent years.

Smart Wand
The Swedish design brand has finally offered its take on the wand massager. Part of the Insignia collection, the Smart Wand is extremely powerful and perfect for all-over body massage. The Smart Wand incorporates LELO’s SenseTouch technology, which means it has touch sensors that allow vibrations to intensify once the wand comes into contact with the body. The Smart Wand offers eight patterns of vibration and pulsation and is rechargeable and waterproof.

Magic Wand
Hitachi Magic Wand, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways … There really aren’t many “classic” toys still on the market, but there’s a reason women are still clamoring for the Hitachi Magic Wand. It’s reliable. Even using the wand over clothes on the lowest setting can still produce some mind-blowing orgasms. The Magic Wand plugs into any outlet, and the various speeds are gained via a lever control on the handle. The neck is just flexible enough to really get the head of the piece in place. And the wide head covers plenty of skin and delivers powerful vibrations without stopping. We love the Hitachi Magic Wand, and consumers really love the Hitachi Magic Wand. Sometimes you just can’t beat the classics.

Mystic Wand
This waterproof vibe features a silicone bulbous head and a flexible base that lets it move easily for great stimulation. The six vibrations functions are controlled through a simple touch of a button on the stem. A separate switch controls the on/off functions, so there’s no need to worry about losing power in the middle of a session.

Bodywand Midnight
Xgen Products
The Midnight version of the popular wand-style massager from Xgen Products offers a one-finger dial control to take the massager through its multiple speeds. The head and shaft are silky soft and the head is flexible on the neck to reach more places. The Bodywand Midnight is also compatible with all accessories available for Bodywand massagers.

Rechargeable 8 Speed + 8 Mode Massager
XR Brands
For some, the drawback to a wand-style massager is that it traditionally comes with a cord; plugging in really gives it that extra “oomph” sometimes. But this battery-operated version from Wand Essentials doesn’t skimp on the power by losing the cord. With the standard design, it delivers more power and more possibilities without being relegated to one spot near a wall.

Fairy MiniMini
Merci Toys
Part of the line of durable and powerful wand-style vibrators from Merci Toys, the MiniMini offers up a compact size, but a high-powered massager. A wheeled control on the base takes it from mild to wild. And users can choose from two power sources to increase their pleasure. A corded battery back included with the massager allows for a little more mobility, but a plug-in cord attachment (sold separately) gives it a little more kick.

Mood Fantastic
Doc Johnson
This wand-style massager not only delivers intense vibrations, but also features a pulse option that kicks in with the simple touch of a button. The massager’s handle is ergonomically designed for all-over body massage.

My Mini-Miracle Massager Electro Power Kit
California Exotic Novelties
This wand-style vibrator has a curved handle that is ergonomically designed, and it also comes with its own unique attachments. The two-speed, high-intensity motor is powered by a corded plug.

Climax Twist
Topco Sales
One twist is in the middle: Users can lock this foot-long purple powerhouse into a 90-degree boomerang shape. The other twist: It’s two vibes in one, and both ends—a wand-style clitoral stimulator and a hefty insertable G-spotter—are powered by separate seven-function rechargeable motors. Though it’s not waterproof, this plastic and rubber vibe is easy to clean, can be used with either water- or silicone-based lubes, and is free of phthalates and latex. The powerful motor also can be turned loose on the shoulders and back.

Wanachi Rechargeable Massager
Pipedream Products
When your horniness level calls for breakin’ out the big guns, you want to reach for this puppy, the kind of toy you plug into the wall, the kind of toy that takes no prisoners, the kind of toy that’s gonna need a lotta cleaning by the time you’re done with it. What makes this particular massager special, though, is the rechargeable factor. No need for batteries, and no annoying cord to tangle with, just lots of buzzing power to roam with as you please.

This article originally ran in the June 2014 issue of AVN magazine.