UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.—While there were plenty of new products that featured all the technological bells and whistles, quite a few attendees were just as impressed with some of the simpler items showcased during the AVN Novelty Expo 2009.
The three-day expo, considered the premier B2B event for the adult pleasure item industry, closed Wednesday, leaving behind many satisfied buyers and exhibitors.
Despite initial concerns about the scheduling of ANE and the ANME Founders Show so close together, in most cases exhibitors were happy with the attendance and business at ANE.
“It would have been a lot better if the conventions were not split in two,” said Joshua Maurice, president of sales for RockHard Laboratories. “I felt bad for most of the buyers; they were exhausted and split between the two shows. I feel like this political battle didn’t honor the larger purpose of having a place for interested buyers to find the best products for their needs.”
Though many exhibitors shared Maurice’s sympathy for buyers, the majority of exhibitors said they were happy that many international buyers were seen at ANE for the first time. And those buyers, they said, were interested in what they saw.
B3, a division of Big Teaze Toys, introduced the Onye Fleur line, which features some modifications to the original Onye line in an effort to drop the price point to $30-$35 instead of $55.
Scheduled for release this fall, the Fleur items are the same shape and size as the original Onye, and still feature a three-speed motor, but the five pulsation features have been dropped to help reduce the price. The band around the middle has been textured to feature a floral pattern, and the Fleur line will be available in pink, red and purple.
And not all of the popular items at ANE were powered. LELO officials showed off the prototypes of several new light-play BDSM products scheduled for release in the coming months, including classy whips with glass handles and pastel-colored leather strands, glass-handled feather dusters, and satin bags that hold a satin blindfold and restraint straps.
“They are very easy, because you just put your wrist through the loop and then cinch it,” LELO’s Shaye Saldana said.
Also coming soon from LELO is the LOLA, a new rabbit-esque vibrator that will be available in vibrant orange, grape and lime.
Liberator Bedroom Adventure Gear, which has made a name in the industry for creating shapes and playwear for couples, introduced a smaller version of its popular wedge that is packaged for distribution through home party companies.
Besides getting the chance to show off new offerings, many company officials said they were excited to have the chance at ANE 2009 to meet personally with others.
“It’s been great to get face-to-face time to talk with people we’ve been communicating with,” said Gary Elliott, director and owner of Rocks-Off. “There is nothing like face-to-face time.”
Rocks-Off launched four items at ANE 2009, including the new Arrow 120mm bullet, which was well received.
First-time exhibitor Jonathan Parks, creative director for DFNovelty.com—the company behind Pornaments, adult-themed holiday ornaments—said they were surprised by the positive response they got at all levels.
“This is our first year with this product line, and everyone who came by, as an exhibitor or as a buyer, was very helpful, he said. “We didn’t expect other exhibitors to be so helpful.”
Those unable to attend ANE 2009 can start their planning now for the B2B section of the Adult Entertainment Expo, scheduled for Jan. 7-10, 2010, at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. For more information, visit AdultEntertainmentExpo.com.