Earlier this year, new Falcon exclusive Cort Donovan found himself at the studio office with his hands on the brand new mold of his dick, one of the upcoming releases in Falcon’s hugely successful line of Supercock dildos.
“He was playing with his own mold, and he was, like, ‘This looks smaller than my dick really is…’” says Falcon Product Manager Jack Shamama with a laugh. “I was, like, ‘You cast this! It couldn’t have shrunk!’”
Just another day at the office for the industry giant, which recently revamped its novelty line to boost product quality. After switching to Pulse Distribution in 2005 to handle its DVD releases, Falcon put its novelty line on hold last December, dropping Erostar as manufacturer in favor of SCALA (the studio’s European distribution partner).
“We figured it was time to refresh the line," Shamama says. "Pulse took over distribution of the novelty line as well, and we went to a new manufacturer, and now they’re made out of a different material. It’s this new polymer that’s nonporous, hypoallergenic, and cleans up very well. It doesn’t absorb odors or discolor like a lot of latex and rubber dildos would over time. These will retain their shape, and it still feels soft and realistic.”
The Supercocks have long been the staple of Falcon’s novelties, as well as one of the top sellers overall in the industry. The new-and-improved cocks also come in new-and-improved packaging with windows to see the product, and a slicker, more modern, eye-catching design.
“We established a template for the look of the packaging that really better established it as a line,” notes Ted LeVine, VP of Sales for Pulse Distribution.
“Gone are the days when a gay consumer had to buy a dildo that had a chick from a straight studio on the packaging that really didn’t give any sort of positioning that any gay guy could relate to. They were having to compromise with choice. And today’s gay consumer is really particular about supporting a gay lifestyle, so they want toys that are branded with a studio and that have some reciprocation back into the gay lifestyle. The gay consumer obviously has a higher discretionary dollar amount to spend, and flexes that power by making choices that are supporting gay lifestyles of products and companies that they have grown up with.”
Falcon chose just the best-selling products to relaunch. The line has dropped extra-large sizes (they offer three, in natural or black), as well as star-branding on items that aren’t Supercocks. “We kind of simplified the line a little bit to make it easier to understand,” says Shamama.
LeVine has also noticed a surprising trend: a popularity with straight retailers for the Supercock line, which has 14 dildos in its stable. “They’re the one brand that has the largest assortment and variety of realistic dildos. There’s not another line out there right now that offers fourteen different shapes, sizes, lengths, girths, and textures other than the Falcon line. And with the packaging not being so blatantly marketed or positioned as a rainbow flag kind of product line, it has a very neutral positioning with its packaging.”
In addition to Donovan, 2007 will see the release of three more Supercocks: Erik Rhodes, Jason Adonis, and Brock Penn. The studio also plans some bundling opportunities with its new anthology line of DVDs: "greatest hits" collections of scenes from one star, first introduced this year. Each release so far has been of a model with a Supercock, giving retailers the perfect opportunity to combine the products.
“The Falcon brand has always been about our stars. Falcon founder Chuck Holmes realized the importance of being able to give somebody the experience of being with one of the Falcon superstars with the Supercocks,” Shamama says. “So next year we’re going to be doing some really cool bundling, like you get the Mike Branson anthology, which has all the scenes that Mike Branson ever did for Falcon, and then you also have his dildo, so it’s like the ultimate Mike Branson experience.”
LeVine notes that future ventures will expand the line’s reach (he aims for a new release each month to offer retailers), with a focus on gay couples as well as individuals. “There’s one very fun thing that I know doesn’t even exist right now that we’re having a lot of fun developing, so that’s going to be some exciting news for the line when that comes out.” He adds that the products will get more exposure through placement in videos and online scenes through Falcon TV, helping the brand strengthen its scope.
“For a lot of other manufacturers, novelties are sort of an afterthought, especially when it comes to the gay consumer,” says Shamama. “I don’t think you have too many other gay studios or gay manufacturers really looking at the gay customer first. That’s why we took such a hard look at really improving our line."