One of the premier lines we are really delighted to carry is Fun Factory. Coupling bright, festive colors with innovative German engineering and top-quality materials including medical grade silicone Fun Factory brings out all the best in sex toys. We caught up with their Director of Marketing and Education, Kristen Tribby and CEO, Frederic Walme, earlier this month at the XBIZ Retreat in Miami.
How did your company or organization get its name?
Our name comes from one of the guiding principles that we outlined when the company was founded 21 years ago: passion, innovation, performance, and fun. We want to help our customers have more fun with sex and less stress around the outcome. To do this, we offer playful colors and versatile, non-realistic shapes that invite experimentation, all made from medical grade materials.
What is the appeal of your product? What differentiates your products from those of your competitors?
All of our products are designed, produced, and packaged under one roof at our factory in Bremen, Germany. We were founded by two engineers, and they’re still heavily involved in creating our powerful German motors. Plus, Fun Factory is an eco-friendly choice. Our consolidated operation means that we have one of the smallest carbon footprints in manufacturing. Our packaging is made from recycled cardboard, uses no plastic or glue, and is printed with soy ink. Comprehensive recycling practices save about 40 tons of resources a year.
Since we’re always innovating, we’ve created two entirely unique product categories. Our bestselling Stronic Pulsators offer a hands-free thrusting motion unlike anything else on the market. Our new Battery+ line is great for first-time customers as well as sex toy enthusiasts. The strongest battery toy out there, it gives customers the option of upgrading with the Hybrid Kit, which takes advantage of the toy’s smart charging technology to let them charge batteries inside the toy, just like one of our luxury rechargeable vibes. We’re not just about high-end toys; we have something for everyone, at any place along their journey.
How do your products enhance customers' experiences?
That really depends on the product, but each design is informed by our guiding principles of passion, innovation, performance, and fun, and made with our top-tier German engineering. Every product we offer comes from the perspective of an engineer wanting to enhance pleasure products for a better experience.
The adult toy industry is largely unregulated from a medical perspective so there are some manufacturers who market their use of "body safe" and "medical grade" materials (e.g. the industry has moved from rubber, to PVC to Silicone among others). Do you think the industry would benefit from more regulation and oversight when it comes to materials? Does your business encounter stricter regulations and more oversight in other countries?
We absolutely believe in regulation and oversight for our customers’ health. Since we manufacture in Germany, we fall under EU medical regulations, making our products among the most regulated in our industry.
What criteria do you use in selecting your materials? How do you test/evaluate your products?
Since the beginning all of our materials have been medical grade. we test and produce products in house which allows us to make changes quickly if it doesn’t meet our strict testing.
Adult toys have gone mainstream. How has greater mainstream acceptance affected your business and how you develop products?
Sex toys have become more common to the average person, but there's still a lot of stigma for consumers interested in purchasing toys. Additionally our industry still has a lot of advertising regulations that do not allow us to reach customers the way businesses in other industries can. Because of this, we rely heavily on our internal creative and marketing team to develop campaigns and products that focus on FUN rather than on sex. This helps break down barriers that are often created in our society our sexual health and pleasure.
How has Amazon affected your business?
We do not allow retailers to sell on third party websites, as it is difficult to manage our MAP policy and ensuring that customers have a good experience. Our belief is that consumers need more information and connection to the brand in order to choose a toy that’s right for them. Fun Factory prefers to work with retailers doing this work instead of Amazon, as much as possible.
What would you like customers to know about your products and company that marketing materials might not adequately communicate?
We were founded by two engineers who wanted to make something that didn’t exist at the time: a colorful, friendly-looking, body-safe toy. They designed their first dildo while sitting at a kitchen table and have continued to grow the company based on consumer demand. Their ethos has guided both our innovative, inviting product line and our ethical, eco-friendly, fair labor manufacturing processes.
What are three products in your line that you think do not get enough recognition?
We wish that everyone knew about our Pulsator category! Their thrusting, pulsing motion is truly revolutionary.
The Cobra Libre II is a rumbling, waterproof vibrator for the head of the penis. It’s a unique offering in an already limited corner of the market.
With the ShareVibe, we used extensive consumer and tester feedback to create a new kind of wearable double dildo - one that provides a lot more stimulation to the wearer and includes a removable 5-setting rechargeable bullet that both partners can feel.
Our company believes that enjoyable sexual activity is important to healthy adult lifestyle regardless of physical disability. One group of consumers whom we are trying to serve are the physically challenged. What kinds of products do you offer or recommend which can help those with physical disabilities reconnect with partners.
The Cobra Libre II is terrific for people who find the motions of masturbation or other penis stimulation difficult. You can either hold it in your hand or rest it on the stomach and enjoy effortless stimulation.
Our Smartballs are a great option for people recovering from childbirth or who are experiencing incontinence or reduced genital function with age. Less a toy than a sexual health aide, these weighted balls provide resistance for doctor-recommended Kegel exercises, making them more effective.
Since our Stronic Pulsators move back and forth on their own, they’re great for people with limited mobility. Users can find an angle that works for them, then enjoy hands-free fun.
Every toy in our G5 line comes with a loop handle, which is a lot easier to hold onto than the average handle. The buttons are raised and easy-to-use, so customers can find them easily and operate the toy without having to apply too much pressure.
Customers (okay me really) are curious as to how you do product research. How do you develop products? Are there focus groups? Are there online discussion groups? Do you use market trends?
We use all of the above. The specific process depends on what we are developing. We also work with doctors when we are developing new items that need a lot of research on anatomy.
Check out the Fun Factory Collection for yourself.