Jan 142016
 

Sex toy copycats

This is a think-piece that has been brewing for awhile, and it’s been sitting here brewing because I don’t really have answers. I’m just going to say right here and now that I’d like your opinions — reviewers, consumers, and store owners — on this matter.

There are three types of sex toy copycats in the sex toy world – one is a given and one feels like really shitty business practices – and the third? Flat-out counterfeiting which we see online in places like Amazon and Ebay and in shadier stores in large cities like we learned exist in NYC thanks to attending SHE NYC. The given: lower-cost sex toys that are merely “branded” and redesigned for various companies. Sometimes even different lines within the same brand. Some examples: Lovehoney’s “Cupid Smoothie” and then the line branded Annabelle Knight Oooooh! (the second of which is more expensive). Doc Johnson’s Black Magic bullet is the same as the Harmony bullet; Black Magic has a matte-finish PU coat and Harmony is shiny and slick, but Harmony has always been a little pricier.  Even seeing the same thing across different brands like basic vibrators – bullets, that curved egg-on-a-stick design, etc.

But then there are patent wars and companies directly copying other companies designs which is NOT a matter of the manufacturing plant’s “book of blank sex toys” that companies come put their name on. Examples here are the We-Vibe vs Lelo Tiani (which is more concept than design rip-off), the Split Dildo vs Funtoys G-Vibe, the Fun Factory Big Boss vs Funtoys GJack, and various Blush Novelties or Pleasureworks vs Tantus product. Or the Fairy Wands and BodyWand brand – they are very much identical but one is made very cheaply (Bodywand). Fun Factory, publicly, didn’t seem to care much that Funtoys totally ripped off their design, but I think they’re a big enough company that it doesn’t bother them. Smaller companies care. You know who else cares? The fans of the smaller companies.

Blush Novelties – Twitter Wars and Quiet Design Copies

The most recent design rip-off, done by Blush vs Tantus, caught the ire of bloggers on Twitter. Blush decided to fire back publicly – insulting and being nasty not just to Tantus and Metis, but to bloggers who defended Tantus. DUMB MOVE, BLUSH. I saved their tweets in case the social media manager gets fired in the morning.

BlushTantus BlushTantus2 BlushTwitter1BlushTwitter2BlushTwitter3

So yes, the tweets quickly disappeared. In DM’s to others, it is claimed that this person was a very new hire and has been fired. I personally call bullshit on this because what new hire would know all of this information OR be dumb/ballsy enough to behave in such a way? It would clearly be job suicide. I don’t actually believe for a moment that this was a new hire.  Bloggers are being told1 that we’re (bloggers and certain manufacturers alike2) spreading misinformation about their materials, insinuating that they’re safer than we think. The deleted tweet to Bex included in the screenshot shows that she talks about “gross porous materials” NOT saying it’s toxic, while the Blush person tries to roundabout claim they’re using non-porous TPE….um, no. Fuck you. But, this goes beyond the tweet claiming that some medical supply companies use TPR (which yes, there is a medically-safe TPE/TPR material but it’s expensive and I refuse to believe for a moment that a company making super-cheap TPE sex toys is using a medical-grade non-porous TPR). Really? We’re “manipulating the public”? Yes. That’s my goal here. Sure. Come ON Blush! Seriously? Seriously. Blush is also stating that “Tantus started it” with the design rip-offs, but no one but Blush seems to know what this is about. Really adult way to behave, Blush.

Yes, Blush, you do have plenty of silicone products, but you state ON YOUR OWN WEBSITE that you use materials like PVC and TPE/TPR that are porous. This is my big complaint, porosity. I will recommend porous TPR only when there’s literally no other option and with plenty of warnings and education – which is more than you do. No one is saying TPR is toxic but porosity fucking matters.  I would like to see a giant fucking apology from Blush on their bullshit statements, their treatment of people during that now-deleted Twitter exchange, and for them to remove their head from their ass. I will pepper my site with caveats about Blush as a company during the few times I recommend their silicone products; I will recommend other brands above theirs, even if they have the same product for cheaper. Ethics matters, Blush.

Update: Blush Novelties not only unfollowed but blocked nearly all bloggers on Twitter by Sunday afternoon.  Very adult.

Split Dildo vs Funtoys – Patent War Turned Blogger Harassment

The Split Dildo creator; he’s been fun. He cared so much about his design being copied that he started harassing bloggers who had reviewed the G-Vibe. He would email them and try commenting on their reviews with (empty) legal threats, telling the bloggers they had to remove their review of the G-Vibe because it was a patent violation. Whether or not this is true isn’t my concern and isn’t the concern of the bloggers; we are legally on the hook for our review from the companies who provided the toy to review, even if that company is Funtoys – we HAVE to keep those reviews up because we entered into an agreement. If the Split Dildo guy has an actual case then he should be talking to Funtoys, not us. After all, Standard Innovations didn’t come harass bloggers who had reviewed the Lelo Tiani; not even after it was banned for sale in the US for a few years.

If there is a valid patent that Funtoys has violated then I empathize with the Split Dildo dude but it still gives him zero right to harass the bloggers and threaten us. He not only has zero understanding of how this all works, but seems to not even understand what we say to him. A year later after I told him that he legally has no right to harass us and ask us to do anything with our review, he’s still at it and even telling some bloggers that he’ll go to court to get us to remove our posts. He feels our reviews somehow are discrediting his reputation. So what can happen here? At worst, the Split Dildo guy wins a case and it is decided legally that all reviews and written mentions of the Funtoys G-Vibe be removed. He still cannot be the one to come tell us this, it would have to be Funtoys or the retailers we received the product from. That’s it. He can’t do anything about the rest of our blog and reviews, because it’s not about us it’s about Funtoys.

I’ve reviewed both products and, aside from the Y-split, they are different in every way – size, silicone shore strength, flexibility….one’s a damn dildo, the other is a vibrator. But still. If his patent is valid, if his complaint is valid, then I empathize but if he’s just butthurt that Funtoys made it work and he didn’t? Not cool.

What Can We Do?

So that all said….what can we do as bloggers, and even retailers, when duplicates like this happen?  Do we boycott entire companies in cases like Funtoys, Blush Novelties or Pleasureworks? Or do we simply never recommend/carry the imposter sex toys? Blush Novelties is not a company I respect, but I can’t ignore that they do have some really decent silicone products that are affordable (and NOT rip-off designs) and many people need affordable silicone sex toys. I’m reluctant to boycott the entire company, but will always promote the better brand over them if I can.  At what point do we say “this is a company taking a product that is good and trying to make it better”? In many ways, as much as I truly hate to admit it, Lelo did the “couples’ PIV vibrator” thing better than We-Vibe. I’ve always liked the Tiani better. If the patent on a dual-motor c-shaped vibrator meant to be worn during PIV sex wasn’t a thing, would anybody be bothered much by it? I wasn’t.

I think we need to look at the bigger picture. See how companies react. When a company starts to react like Blush…when you look at their overall line and see so many problematic things…you have a decision to make. Do you hold the entire company accountable for someone who shouldn’t be anywhere near social media, behaving like an ass? I don’t know. I think that WE care as bloggers/retailers…but do consumers?

When faced with a patent war that is smaller that has not seen legal rulings, the answer is clear: We listen only to lawsuit rulings. We can change our reviews to say hey, I’m not sure who is at fault and who ripped off who, but here’s what I’ve been told. Let the customer make up their mind after hearing what we know and what we feel.

  1. There is alot of misinformation in this unregulated industry and marketing and social media titans use their clout to manipulate the public.” The current person in charge still maintains that everything this person spewed on Twitter that was deleted is true but was said in a wrong way.
  2. I felt it was really hypocritical of Tantus to get angry of copying us when they did it first.” They then had a tantrum about all of the people who were deriding Blush for their plethora of porous materials on Twitter, saying that we don’t know “the facts” only what “these manufacturers” tell them. Fuck you, Blush, I’ve done enough goddamn research outside of what one person tells me.
 Posted by at 10:25 pm
  • Lunabelle

    There’s patent law, there’s coincidence, and then there’s blatant copycatting followed by butthurt tantrums when called on it. I share your feelings on Blush. Yes, we need companies that offer safe toys at a lower price point, but their behavior makes me hesitant to recommend them (or do any further product reviews). I’d much rather send folks to Tantus’ grab bag or tell them to wait for a sale. If they didn’t like those options, I think I’d direct a budget conscious shopper to Doc Johnson’s silicone products over Blush at this point (with a heavy caveat about avoiding Sil-A-Gel like the plague).

  • gardenlobster

    I’m probably quicker to boycott than most. It’s just how I am. I like to see companies apologize and set things right. If they do that, fine, but until then, I don’t plan to have anything to do with them. They had posted several tweets recently about trying to hire a social media manager, so we know they either didn’t have one or the one they did have went out in a blaze of glory. Honestly, I think it was the company and this is how they genuinely feel, and how they genuinely think about Metis, Tantus, and bloggers. Plus, I honestly don’t think they would have bitten back at Bex or Metis if they were men.

  • Sexbloggess

    I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings on this topic for a while now (before, but especially after the harness company artemessia femmecock blogged about going belly up), and, I don’t know, it may all be too big to tackle, particularly in a blog comment section.

    Overall I wonder where the line is that takes an item from “similar” to “that’s a copy of my work you stole my idea”.

    I wonder if we give a pass to people if they’re “stealing” from a shitty company (like if I copy something from pipe dream).

    I wonder what our own contributions are to people making copies, like with uncircumcised dildos. When tantus’s came out we said things like “I want to see more of this”, and I would totally agree that blush made nearly an EXACT copy, but I also can’t say that if someone told me to sit down and sculpt an uncut dick from a picture in my head, it wouldn’t have a striking resemblance to one of the ones tantus has created. I’d have to research all other possible uncut dildos and make changes to my sculpt that would be deliberately changing the way I WANTED it to look to make sure it doesn’t look like someone else’s. I wonder, especially with “realistic” toys, just how many ways we can make a dick without nearly copying someone else’s dick, and when we the consumers ask for specific details like a foreskin, how much it further limits the possibilities. I think I’ve only seen three uncuts so far (tantus and blush making up two of those), how many ways can it be done? Will the Xth company to make an uncut design have no way NOT to come too close to copying?

    I wonder just how long an original design can hold onto being the one and only, and I wonder if we stop caring so much after it’s been copied a certain number times. Do we hate the 5th copier less than the 1st? Once it’s been done so many times does it become fair game?

    Patent, trademark, copyright, etc all exist to make sure people don’t steal your shit, but of course they take time, money, know-how, and sometimes you still can’t register your idea as an original thing people can’t copy, so do we hold those as the golden rule? If someone’s work isn’t protected under those are they fair game? Legally, they are, but do our ethics match? I’ve seen people give one single-person manufacturer shit for “stealing” bad dragon colors (shades and color combos), can you really “own” a color scheme or pigment color anyone can buy at their local art store? Especially if your products shape is nothing like the other persons, you’re just using a color scheme someone asked for? To me the idea that you own a color is absurd, but obviously to others stealing someone’s color is the worst, who’s right? Can there be any majority consensus on what’s silly and what’s going too far?

    The line between “inspiration” and “copying” is something I’ve struggled with across multiple arts platforms.

  • This is a good article and spot on! Nearly 5 yrs sex toy blogging and like you, I’ve seen products pop up, copied, redesigned etc. Glad you’ve spoken up!

  • Any product that has ever been made has been cheapened by a company, replicated by a company, and improved by a company – that’s business, that’s retail, that’s manufacturing, that’s growth, that’s the industry, it’s just the way it is. It’s never going to change.

    For me, there’s a huge difference between taking a design and making it better/usable and blatantly ripping off the design of someone else, calling it your own, and using it to make a profit. Having said that, if you want to sustain in any industry the only way to do so is to be continually innovative, foresee what the next major trend will be, and/or hit an untapped market. Tantus has done all of the above time and time again, and when you’re that good there are bound to be companies like Blush that can’t maintain the status quo – so they rip off designs to try and compete. It’s unprofessional, shitty, tacky, and a terrible business practice to be involved in, but hey, I guess that’s just what they’re about.

    As for the pathetic way they reacted, if they’re into stealing we can’t then be surprised when they passive aggressively take to social media because they got called out. Some companies just don’t know how to carry themselves.

    Will I boycott Blush (and others) because of it? Maybe if more options existed for affordable silicone I might, but right now we’re limited with what’s available… they’ll just be the last company I suggest and it won’t be willingly. But that isn’t much of a change from how I felt before this happened.

  • Wren

    I think I know which single person manufacturer you’re talking about and TBH Bad Dragon was copying the colors they were using for sales and making their own sales with their copied colors right while single person maker was having a sale. To a lot of us on the outside and even Single Person themself, it looked like Bad Dragon was trying to poach their sales by copying their colors and putting up their own sale while Single Person’s sale was going on.

    Now mind you this isn’t vague similarity we’re talking about here, I’m talking getting really darn close to each other. It wasn’t a case of someone requesting Bad Dragon make a custom color toy with Single Person’s colors, it was taking the colors and making their own sale right after Single Person posted their colors and sale and the sale was still running.

    I do think in a way you can “own” a color scheme, especially if you’re using it as an exclusive for a sale or it’s a color scheme you’re particularly known for.

    Think of it like this, an artist takes a canvas and covers it in a beautiful marble of sea green, white and red to portray the light shining off the ocean after a shark attack, calls it “Shark Attack” and then puts it in a gallery to sell. But then another artist sees the first artist’s work and makes their own marble of sea green, white and red but calls it “Blood in the Water” and puts it in their own gallery to sell.

    Is it acceptable for the other artist to copy the first artist because all they used was a mix of paints you could buy at the art store?

  • I just want to add that as the designers of the Uncut, we spent hours looking at uncut dick pics and examining details. It then went to our artist who sketched what we thought would be the most “desirable” shape. The design then went to a 3D sculptor who we & Tantus then worked with to make sure every detail translated properly. We (and Tantus) spent many, many hours on this project. Blush did not come up with this on their own because they thought that’s what an uncut cock would look like. I do totally understand that designs (like music melodies etc) can seem finite and are destined to be repeated. But make no mistake, this was a blatant rip off. Thank you to everyone who is being supportive of the design and of Tantus – we’re keeping our heads low on this one for now.

  • Polly Vincere

    I’m so glad you posted this.

    When I started reviewing toys in ’07, there were only so many companies making toys. New companies would open, but they’d have very different items (think of when the pure wand came out.)

    I stepped away from paying attention to new toys for about 4 years. I came back, and suddenly everything seems to have a cheaper version. There are also a TON more smaller companies with great products that are unique. If these little companies can come up with new designs…

    Seems to me there’s no need to copy something, as it appears Blush did to Tantus. If Blush wanted to put out their own uncut, they could’ve given it different features, such as more foreskin or more head coming out of the foreskin, or with a different angle, or different vein patterns. It’s true that the features would have to be similar (an uncut is an uncut so to speak), but we’ve seen a WIDE array of realistics come out to represent the wide variety of penis so I don’t see why the copying happened.

  • Ok, so we may have just raised our heads up on Twitter, in true SheVibe style, lol.

  • I’m really glad this conversation is happening. I’m working on a Pleasure Works review right now (since Good Vibes has all their new reviewers start there), and I’ve been going back and forth on whether to mention their rip-off toys in it. I like Good Vibes, and I like the toys they sent me (one of which seems to be unique to them, the other being a standard silver bullet), and I think Pleasure Works makes some solid, body-safe toys (and lube!) at an affordable price that I WANT to recommend to people… but not talking about it feels dishonest? I don’t want to pretend that I support them in every aspect, but I also don’t want to seem negative about stuff I really do like overall. :/

  • *slow claps*

  • Just speak your truth. If that’s how you feel, then say it. Your blog is a place for your voice. Never forget that.

  • I think it’s definitely something to mention; I would. They’re slightly off my radar, it’s been easy to forget about these and the Blush rip-offs because I work with SheVibe primarily and SheVibe doesn’t stock the knock-offs.

  • Sexbloggess

    I think we may be thinking of different people, but either way, that’s not quite it though, they’re not two people painting the same image and calling it different names. Ones making dicks shaped like dragons or horses or wolves or something, and the other is making dicks shaped like other things entirely. If I sculpt something, ANYTHING in fire engine red, am I the only person who can ever use fire engine red then? Can I own red? Can I own red across the board, no matter what your items look like shape wise, no matter that their shape resembles nothing I’m making? Can I own red in all mediums, doesn’t matter that I deal in silicone and you deal in plastic for instance? And if you do custom work and have a customer who desperately wants one of your shapes in red, do you tell them “I’m sorry, I can’t use red, you have to get a toy in a shape you don’t want from a person you don’t want to work with if you want it to be red”? And if you say no, I can’t own red, but I can own a *combo* of red white and blue…where’s the difference? Why specifically? Or I can’t own all reds but I can own a certain shade? I can’t have neon purple but I can have pastel purple? I wonder about where that line is and why it’s where it is and not somewhere else. I know where I put it and where specific people I ask put it, but I don’t know that I’ll ever figure out where MOST people would put it.

    I saw people sneer when others started trying out marbling, saying they owned the technique. I saw people sneer when others tried adding stuff like glitter or metallic pigments or glow in the darks, because they owned those too.

    We seem to really love small indie designers, but I think a lot about what options we leave them when we tell them they can’t use something as basic as a couple colors. And I think a lot about how the rules we place in one arts industry compare to others, why we shop off-brand in some places but say it’s not okay in others. (which I’m perfectly guilty of myself, too.)

  • I actually have to claim ignorance on PW knock offs…email me?

  • DamnAverage

    Thank you.
    My observance: unique color schemes were outright copied from my uploads for months (starting August 2014) before two big incidences of sales being “coincidentally” too close. I could go through the (massive) effort to actually showcase the former and I would still have people tell me I’m full of shit, or try to twist the story around the other way. There isn’t motivation to work hard to get the same result.

  • Wren

    You make a point about owning a color and the difference of mediums. Maybe the term “ownership” is too firm a word to describe the kind of claim or hold over colors there is? There’s definitely some form of hold.

    I think there’s probably some leeway in the use of same or similar colors, like if someone makes a custom request or it’s a variation on a theme, but if someone is copying colors simply to poach sales off someone else, then I have an issue.

    There’s also probably some level of intent that determines okay and not okay too. Like the difference between accidentally stepping on someone’s toes and purposefully stepping on someone’s toes.

  • Sexbloggess

    Do your feelings on colors/color schemes fall evenly across the board, or is it most upsetting if the “copycat” is someone who makes similar shapes? Like if I happened to get a request that matched one of your toys colour schemes (accidentally or intentionally) but my dildos were shaped like…I dunno…flowers? and not anything like the monsters/aliens/animals shapes you work with, or does it not matter what the shape is?

  • DamnAverage

    Someone requesting my colors from another company for one custom piece is vastly different than that company going out of their way to replicate my colors over an extended period and then poach unique sales I have been doing for years.

  • Unfortunately in any sort of creative industry copying is always going to be the nature of the game. You only need look at the fashion industry as a prime example. No sooner has some designer come up with their latest look, and every highstreet store has their own budget-priced knock-off available. What can be done typically amounts to nothing though, because visual design alone has no legal protection, so in the case of fashion they handle it by constantly coming up with new creations to stay ahead of the copycats. Arguably in certain instances this can even be a good thing, acting as a driving force.

    While a little copying can be expected (even tolerated), I think the point where it crosses the line is when it becomes not only so brazen, but also quite habitual. By my count this is at least the third Tantus design that Blush have ripped off, and in a way it’s a little sad that they’re so creatively bankrupt that they need to resort to this. If they’d decided all of a sudden that they wanted to make an uncut dildo then fair enough, the timing would have betrayed the source of their inspiration, but Tantus weren’t the first to make a dildo with a foreskin, so I would have considered it reasonably fair game for another company to go down that route, on the simple provision that it was their own design. I really don’t think that’s asking a lot, and I don’t think it’s that difficult to achieve either. Without exaggeration I’ve probably seen thousands of dick pics over the years, and penises are like faces: despite a fundamentally shared layout they’re all quite different and unique. There’s no excuse to copy a realistic dildo that closely; it’s sheer laziness.

    When I think of little companies like Tantus, working their socks off to fight for a place in a market dominated by giants, and putting so much energy into coming up with something a bit different and unique to help them stand out in the crowd, it just irritates me to see someone swoop in try to take that without putting in any of the graft themselves. There’s no ethics in such behaviour and it really sours my opinion of any company that would do it. As for how it would impact sales in the long run, I tend to think that someone shopping for a $99 silicone dildo is more of a savvy consumer than someone who would buy a $30 TPE/TPR abomination, so I don’t see much of a crossover where customers might be lured away. It’s more of a personal injury of having someone pull a low stunt like this on you, than potentially a financial one, and really those ridiculous tweets are awfully insightful vis-a-vis how this company sees fit to conduct its business.

    As for the other forms of “copying” mentioned, it really doesn’t bother me if someone comes up with designs and then licences them out to a load of other companies to put their own logo on. Sometimes the products can actually be pretty decent, made from safe materials, and more often than not actually affordable, so the name on the box matters less. I even have some respect for the Doc Johnson approach where they make different versions of the same design using different materials, so at least there’s the option for the consumer.

    Anyway this was a good article and it’s nice to see some discussion being sparked.

  • The Blush thing I find amusing in my own way. They’ve been posting for a social media opening for months and my day job is social media FOR adult e-commerce, and they haven’t even given me so much as a nod to the 4 messages I’ve sent applying and offering my help. I’ve dealt with them in the past and for the most part their departments are very nice, very respectful, but that debacle floored me. Does make me question it.
    Anyway, it IS a conundrum, I agree. Sometimes I’ll have a hard time figuring out if what I have is the real thing if I’ve thrown away the package and I begin to question it. Then again, price-unreachable products like the Womanizer are kind of dying to be copied and marked down to a more attainable price bracket, so there are wins and losses for either side.

  • Tzipora

    I bought a Blush toy that was basically a copy on a Tantus toy. Enough so I literally looked at and said “Oh, this is a cheaper version of X.” Though to be fair it had notable differences. The diameter was smaller (1.25 vs 1.5… That’s notable and honestly I was super bummed by the size) and the texture was similar… Think it’s Blush Xi or something similar vs Tantus Echo. Also the Echo of course has the vibe hole and the Blush doesn’t… So I don’t know. Is that a copy or not or just similar?

    Either way I wasn’t impressed with the Blush toy. I have my own pro-Tantus bias. I’ve been aware of Tantus from somewhere around the start of the company, before I even knew of sex blogs because they were, if I am not mistaken, the first of their kind with Feeldoe which was such a hit in the lesbian community. Given that I came to the brand that way, I have MASSIVE respect for a brand that makes high quality toys for the lgbt community especially at a time when literally almost no one else was (of course there was Aslan leather for harnesses and some other very very niche brands). I can’t explain how much that meant back then when not only could gays not marry, there was a majority against it, a remarkable amount more stigma than now. And obviously silicone wasn’t yet mainstream. Most any sex shop you saw carried exclusively tacky packaged often homophobic products. So much respect for Tantus and I’m thrilled at how big they’ve grown.

    I bought my first Tantus dildo around the same time as the Blush one and it’s a world of difference in quality. Granted, I expected that. I do like the matte texture of Blush’s silicone but I have very visible flaws in mine. And it feels cheap. If I was going to share and use toys with a partner I’d be embarrassed to pull out the Blush one. It just looks like what it cost. All their copies look cheaper. Tantus is like a work of art while Blush is like any other mass produced shoddy quality sex toy. And really, with all the amazing sales and grab bags at Tantus, Blush isn’t even really cheaper. That’s what makes me laugh at the end of the day.

    But yeah, when I see things like companies behaving this way, its a massive turn off. Reading this I literally felt ashamed I owned a Blush dildo at all. I’m more of a vibration fan (and Vixskin!) anyway, so I went a long time without owning a straight up dildo but I realize dildos are super popular and I’ve grown quite a collection very quickly (I blame Tantus sales!) So I guess you know Blush was maybe my intro into silicone dildos (though not to silicone and I owned high end toys for almost a decade before that point) and maybe they serve a purpose. I truly don’t see most people buying and sticking with Blush anyway. Maybe they make a lot of intial sales but I doubt they get the repeat business like Tantus does wnd I am sure they know that too. Tantus really hits a sweet spot in terms of variety, quality, and pricing (and fab customer care. Super impressed by every interaction I’ve had) I feel good supporting Tantus. Blush is a cheap beginner maybe you don’t know what you want and are scared to spend too much option but I think most people learn you get what you pay for. Even without the amazing sex bloggers out there, so many people still eventually discover that fact. You guys (bloggers) definitely help people discover that stuff sooner and help people feel more confident in what they buy and are an amazing service to all of us but I think consumers are getting smarter about sex toys on the whole (after all that’s why Blush and the like are releasing more and more silicone toys, for example). So I don’t how much the average consumer cares about ethics as far as the copying and shitty social media behavior goes, but Tantus and other high end upstanding brands are really spreading (there’s far more Tantus than Blush at the sleazy chain shop all across my state, that says something, doesn’t it?) Consumers want quality. And while in rare cases (your example of the split dildo and the Lelo vs WeVibe thing though obviously in that example both are pricey/ high end) the copy may be better than the original, in the vast majority of cases (and this tends to be true even in other industries… Ask me about my first smart phone and first Tablet… In both cases I went with cheaper Apple knockoffs and hated them both, had massive issues and eventually got the apple products) the original is much better than the copies.

    So eh long rambliness but the tl;dr synopsis would be all customers want quality. Blush and their ilk frankly just doesn’t deliver at a level on par with a company like Tantus. I think many, many people know this and discover this. I suspect the companies themselves are aware of it. Blush or the big 5 type brands are the shit people buy their first times and they break or cause problems and repeat buyers tend to go for better quality the next time around and its those better companies that get the loyal customers. It’s like entirely different marketing plans really. And Blush is so late to the game they’ll never hold a candle to Tantus anyhow.

  • FieryRed

    I’m confused – what makes you think a man wouldn’t have “bitten back” at them?

  • FieryRed

    I disagree that one uncircumcised-style dildo would necessarily look a lot like another. Look at the enormous variety of circumcised-style realistic dildos out there. Hell, look at real penises. There is a HUGE variety of shapes, sizes, proportions, curves or lack thereof, veining, etc. etc. etc. With dildos, the level of realism also varies greatly. Just because you add the look of a foreskin to a dildo, that doesn’t make everything else about the dildo’s appearance the same or even close to the same.

    Unless you’re ripping off another popular company’s design in order to avoid the costs of creating your own.

  • FieryRed

    I think making a less-expensive product that similar in concept to an expensive one is a far different animal from outright copying a design. The Satisfyer, for example, works on the same concept as the Womanizer (maybe without the vibration option?) and looks similar due to that, but is shaped noticeably differently. (And I must say I much prefer the name of the Satisfyer, despite the cheesy deliberate misspelling.)

  • FieryRed

    I think you’re referring to Blush’s ripoff of the Tantus Charmer. The design is similar to the Echo, but it is an exact copy of the Charmer’s shape – size and all.

  • FieryRed

    I, too, am interested to know which of Pleasure Works’ toys are rip-offs. I haven’t come across any that look exactly the same as another toy I’m aware of. Are either of you able to share that info?

  • FieryRed

    Wow. I could see the basic shape of the Charm and Silk being an easy coincidence – I’ve seen a few other very similar toys, one from Doc Johnson – but that G-Twist. That thing is no accident. :(

  • Aurora Glory

    See this all the time from a certain retailer/manufacturer and no one says a word. I hate it when larger companies shamelessly rip off the smaller ones :(

  • Which one is it? We’re certainly not coy here, I have no issue with call-outs !