Jun 052012

Toy: Lyla (sent by Babeland.com)
Type: Remote Bullet Vibe
Power source: Dual (bullet recharges, remote takes 2 AAA)
Intensity: 3 out of 5 (from Babeland.com)
Manufacturer: Lelo
Material: Silicone & ABS Plastic
Price: $139.00
Sizes: 3.15 X 1.3 X 1.3 in.

Oh Lyla. How I wanted to love you. Your gorgeous color, silky silicone and fun remote thingy seduced me. But, alas, you just … well … you just have so many flaws!

Lelo's Lyla is full of promise, but unfortunately not worth your time

Yes, the Lelo Lyla is riddled with flaws but before we get into what Lyla ISN’T, let’s talk about what it IS. Lyla is part of Lelo’s new Sensemotion line of toys. This bullet type toy was designed for both solo and partner play and comes with a remote that controls the main portion of the toy from up to 39 ft away. The remote can be tilted, circled or shaken to change the intensity and pulsations of the toy. The remote also vibrates along with the main potion of the toy so the partner operating the remote knows exactly what they are doing. This is a really neat feature that I was very excited about.

Like most of Lelo’s toys, the bullet has a nice range of vibration intensities, ranging from whisper soft to a medium/strong speed as well as an array of vibration patterns which you can also increase or decrease the intensity of. Also, like all of Lelo’s toys, the Lyla is rechargeable. (well, the bullet is rechargeable … we will talk about the remote in a minute). Add all this to the fantastic feeling silicone and shiny ABS plastic accents and it sounds great, right? Well it is … for about 5 minutes. The 5 minutes from the moment you to open the box and ogle your new toy to when you try to put the batteries in the remote and then struggle to turn the damn thing on.

Lyla’s first major flaw becomes apparent almost as soon as you remove it from the box. The bullet is totally rechargeable, which is great. You just unscrew the small plastic cap, plug it in and let it charge for a few hours. Simple, great, done. The remote, however, is battery operated. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but the cover on the back of the remote must be removed with a key. Not a house key, not a nickel, not a screw driver but a specially designed plastic slot key that Lelo gives you in the package. Reading the directions, Lelo specifies that you are not to use any coins or tools to open the back cover (presumably because it may ding up the ABS cover or the metallic finish) and that you must turn the cover “a 10 degree turn counter clockwise”. Apparently they measured it. Once you do that, you can kind of dig the cap up off the remote and insert your 2 AAA batteries (which, to Lelo’s credit, they provide for you). To put the cap back on you must turn it “a 10 degree turn clockwise. Insure controller is fastened shut”. Here lies the problem, there is no real way to check that. No click, no dot to line up, nothing. Since the plastic cap is already about a 1/16 of an inch off the silicone base to begin with, it’s hard to tell if you have it back on properly. I took it off and put it back on about 5 times because I was convinced I did something wrong. If you have any sort of vision impairment, it’s going to be doubly hard to line it up and twist it back on and you are going to have to just tug at it to make sure it’s on there all nice and secure. Lovely.

The second major flaw is in how you actually turn this thing on. The remote has 3 modes – “Sensemotion mode 1, Sensemotion mode 2 and manual mode”. Ok, not too hard, right?  Here are Lelo’s instructions, slightly abbreviated. “Establish a wireless connection by pressing the + button on your controller. Press activation button on Lyla for 1 second. For Mode 1 press center button on remote once. For Mode 2, press center button on remote once more. For manual mode press the center button on the remote twice. To turn off vibration in remote during manual mode press and hold center button for 3 seconds.” Right, ok. This is all well and good when reading it. Try changing modes while you are actually using it! It’s difficult. No matter how many times I tried to change modes, it just wouldn’t work. Either I wasn’t pressing the buttons hard enough or I wasn’t pressing them fast enough or maybe I was pushing them too fast. The world may never know. It just isn’t intuitive. I don’t want to have to stop what I am doing with my partner and grab my toy manual so I can change modes (which I actually did … and they weren’t happy. But hey, this is for science!).

Oh, and speaking of stopping what you are doing – that leads to the third major flaw. If your body or your partner’s body ends up covering the toy, the wireless connection to the remote is broken and it stops. Let me repeat that. If you put it between your body and your partner’s body, IT STOPS WORKING! No wonder Lelo designed the remote to be used up to 39 ft away. Your partner needs to be about that far away for the thing to continue to work! And this is in all modes, not just the Sensemotion modes. Seriously? Why on earth would you design a “couples vibrator” that stops vibrating if you get near each other? It makes no sense. Think it will be ok if you are just using it by yourself? Think again. If you have a larger body and any part of that body covers over the toy, it will also stop working. So, as long as you are very thin, are willing to lay completely still and don’t want to get within 10 feet of your partner, this is the toy for you!

I could go on and on with the flaws (dirt can collect between the cap and the toy making cleaning a bother, the remote is really loud when it’s vibrating, etc.) but I am going to stop here. There is honestly no way I can recommend this toy to anyone in good conscience. The idea behind the toy is brilliant and the materials are lovely but the execution is just too flawed to be believed. Lelo really needs to go back to the drawing board with this one.

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