Please note this is pretty much just a rant. It does have pictures of my cats, though.
Ah, Geeky Sex Toys. Fine purveyors of such creations as the Tard-Ass Paddle and the Dildek, as well as myriad other toys inspired by such properties as Marvel, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones, all carefully named and worded so as not to incur the wrath of studio lawyers. All their toys were fun and playful, and I even named them as one of my favorite queer-inclusive sex toy shops. They worked very closely with reviewers and cam workers. They were dependable and lovely. And then, last year, they shut down.
Everyone was very sad about this. They were a lovely, creative, independent toy company, a real pleasure to work with, and their toys were of top notch quality; they were a little pricey for some people, but not unattainably so for many, and they were genuinely well-made toys.
And then, this year, they returned! And there was much rejoicing!
Most their “original designs” are marked as sold out. (There are several that don’t say so on the sales pages, but as soon as you click them, they are marked as such. There are small quantities of a few others. I’m willing to bet it’s leftover stock from before they closed down but I might just be cynical at this point.)
Instead of the geeky toys we know and love, instead we have…
Knock-off Bad Dragon toys.
Which you can buy on Alibaba or Aliexpress for almost nothing.
Okay, look. Unlike many sex toy reviewers, I’m not always horrified by design copying and so on. Much as I feel that buying the 79 cent store brand macaroni from Publix will not tear down the Kraft empire, I don’t think buying the Satisfyer Yellow Sunshine is going to single-handedly destroy Fun Factory as a brand even if it is suspiciously similar to their Tiger G5 design. I understand why others don’t approve, I genuinely do, and it’s an “agree to disagree” thing ‘cause I’m not interested in a debate or expanding on my thought process, there’s wiggle room for individual ethics, etc etc. I think there is less wiggle room ethically for copying smaller brands, but Bad Dragon isn’t exactly a one-person independent sex toy shop, whatever, they’ve been ripped off before and are still doing great…
However, I still think this is a dumb-ass move from Geeky Sex Toys.
Look. Is it much cheaper to buy some AliExpress toys in bulk and distribute them? Yes, sure! In theory, could this make a much greater profit? Oh, that’s for sure, especially at these prices. Is this a good business move for them?
GST built their brand on their unique designs and quality toys. They worked well with reviewers and cam workers as well, which got their name out there. (A lot of this was due to the hard work of their affiliate and social media manager; however, the owners appear to be running their own social media at the time of this writing.) They were fun and exciting and now?
Now…they are literally reselling shit from Alibaba. There is nothing unique about that. As I said on Twitter, it’s very much like a world-renowned chef who closed their doors, and reopened only to sell store-brand frozen dinners from Food Lion.
(I’m outing myself as a Southerner with my grocery store references, I realize this.)
Also, the toys themselves look like shit. Like. Damn. You’re really going to trade in your good name for this crap? (I’m not posting pictures here; however, they’re the “new products” on their website, and in the above Twitter link, someone has linked to the original Alibaba posting for two of the toys.)
Others more knowledgeable in the sex toy industry have mentioned that they may be unsafe as well despite being silicone, but I don’t have any resources to link on that, nor knowledge beyond the basics.
EDIT: Upon chatting with Grace from Princess Previews, it seems that some of the toys contain glitter that will actively come off, including inside your body! So that’s fun and exciting.
EDIT #2: Members of the fantasy toy community also tell me that these toys (when received from other sources) don’t consistently feel like silicone, and are frequently labeled as “silicone blends.” What does that mean? I don’t know and I don’t trust it.
I will say, though, even without in-depth knowledge, that I definitely wouldn’t trust a white label toy like this without doing some serious testing on it, and that’s…not an inspiring feeling from a company that used to be extremely reliable. Especially not when they’re selling a knock-off Bad Dragon Ika for Eighty-Nine Fucking US Dollars. (You can buy an actual Bad Dragon Ika for less if you’re so inclined.)
Look. I’m not coming here as a sex toy expert or a business expert. I’m barely coming here as a sex toy reviewer. I’m here as someone who used to really enjoy this company, and is extremely disappointed with how things are turning out. They’re relying on the good name and reputation that they used to have. And let’s be honest; people within the sex toy community, the ones who know the issues with this, aren’t the ones they’re hoping to work with now. People outside of the sex toy community, who may have heard of them and seen previous reviews and gone, “Yes, I can finally get something from them!” may not know that they’re knockoffs of identical Bad Dragon toys, or that they’re resold mass-produced shit. They’re just going “Yay!” and buying it, without knowing about the huge drop in quality and in care.
Like…dang. That’s shitty behavior, Geeky Sex Toys.
So, to my knowledge, as of the morning of 9/19/22, which is when I wrote all this up in a haze of annoyance, that’s what I know about Geeky Sex Toys. I’m not an expert on anything from a business or toy-making sense, but I am an expert on being incredibly disappointed. This was a brand I really enjoyed and respected, and they’ve thrown all that away in like a week. It may be that this new model does work great for them, from a financial perspective; maybe a whole bunch of people who don’t know anything about sex toys will go, “No, this seems fine!” and buy a cheaply-made $89 dildo (which they could buy from Alibaba for $22). But they’ve definitely lost the respect of the people they used to work closely with, the people who helped promote them and helped to establish them as a good, trustworthy name.
Well. Aren’t we embarrassed now.
Liked this? Check out my rants tag for more of me being salty, or my fantasy tag for content similar to the old GST stuff.
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“Silicone blend” means it’s a silicone + a softening agent. This effectively means the material is not stable and will eventually degrade.
Ah thank you. I think years ago some of the big companies would use “silicone blend” also to refer to an attempted mix of silicone and various other materials, meaning basically just “not silicone,” hence it being unclear. Which is intentional anyway, they just want you to see the word “silicone.” 🙂 Thank you very much!
I stick to my local adult toy store. Very LGBTQ+ friendly. She is very knowledgeable and my BF and I always get great service and wonderful toys.
I’m very happy for you! Unfortunately, many of us don’t have access to quality in-person toy shops; I live in the South and we mostly have Spencer’s and interstate-adjacent, sex-negative shops.