Retailers often struggle with the question of whether or not to introduce adult “toys” to their product mix. They fear customer reaction and making customers uncomfortable by the overtly sexual nature of the items. Oftentimes the resistance comes from having the toys out, in view of shoppers who might be intimidated or turned off by the visual of phallic, obviously sexual toys. At the same time, the margin on these items is hard to argue with, and the 50 Shades of Gray phenomenon has certainly changed the conversation with regard to toys for many. But still, the look of the toys in a store can remain a sticking point for many retailers.
Luxury sex toy designer Shiri Zinn, decided to create something that didn’t look like a sex toy at all. “What can I make to ride the burlesque that plays with the domestic goddess and turns it on its head? A lot of the existing toys were masculine and unsexy looking. And everywhere I went I saw cupcakes, and one day it just dawned on me”¦that’s it! I’m going to make a cupcake!” And the cupcake vibrator was conceived.
Putting her design background to work, Zinn began translating her vision to reality. While it may seem like a small thing, getting the icing drips right proved to be the biggest challenge. It took two years to get those drips just right. Zinn ended up working with a Japanese baker who made about 100 cakes with royal baking icing. Once the best drips were identified, Zinn took them to a model maker to place them.
“The cupcakes are a great conversation starter, while remaining friendly and cute. They are extremely approachable — they gets folks laughing, which opens people up for fun. Fun and laughter change the way the conversation about toys starts, because when you see or touch or feel this product you’re not nervous. A cupcake is one of the most female friendly products on earth. Baby – puppy – cupcake. It’s unthreatening.”
Because the vibe is unthreatening, it makes it easier to merchandise it with the rest of the items in the store without rocking the boat with the rest of the product mix.
Cupcakes, says Zinn, are “naughty, but seductive and delicious. So I made something that looks deliciously bad but is sweet. Everyone loves a cupcake.” Especially when the vibrators are merchandised on a cupcake stand. And at a price under $50, the cupcake vibe delights on many levels.