Mar 042012
 

There’s something to be said for the simple things in life.  Sure, sometimes we want a toy with lots of attachments or tons of moving parts, but sometimes we want the comfort of something that only does one thing and does it well.  That’s the joy of bullet vibes: these compact little vibrators are easy to use, versatile, and affordable.  If the only experience you’ve had with these small packages of buzzing pleasure is the cheap metal ones that are handed out like candy, however, with the little button that’s hard to push and their lackluster vibrations, you may be a bit underwhelmed.   Good thing Babeland is here with the Obsession, a powered-up bullet vibe that’s entirely waterproof.  So whether you want some buzzy fun in your bed, in the shower, or anywhere else, the Obsession’s there to make sure you’re not left wanting.

  • Toy: Obsession (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Bullet vibrator
  • Manufacturer: Babeland
  • Material: ABS Plastic
  • Price: $28
  • SMT rating: 0 (Nice and rumbly vibration)

The Obsession is a Powerful, Waterproof, and Affordable Bullet Toy

The Obsession is a plastic bullet vibrator with a small hand-held control unit.  The bullet, cord, and control unit are all totally waterproof.  It runs on 2 AA batteries (not included).  The bullet is about 2 1/4″ long and 1 1/4″ wide at its widest point; this means it’s slightly larger than the more common metal bullet vibes you tend to see.
While some people may prefer the compactness of a cordless bullet vibe, I tend to find that the ones with a control unit have better control and are more powerful than self-contained bullet vibes.  The Obsession has a nice, rumbly buzz at its higher levels, and has 7 different speed/patterns.  The controls are simple: one button to turn it on/off, the other to scroll through the different settings.  One nice touch is that the toy has function memory–when you turn it off and then on again, it will restart on the same setting it had when it was turned off.  So if you find a particular speed or pattern really hits your spot, you don’t need to scroll through to find it again next time you play.  On its low levels, it is quite quiet, and on the highest setting it has an audible buzz, but not as loud as an electric toothbrush or similar item.  When it’s under the blanket or pressed up against/inside a body, it’s nice and quiet.  The control unit makes it easy to adjust the toy without having to remove it or stop the stimulation, which is nice.  It’s an excellent toy for clitoral stimulation, and since it’s plastic, not silicone, it’s safe for use with silicone lubricant as well as the other usual lubes.  It can also be used vaginally, and tends to nestle nicely against the G-spot for many women.  As with any other toy that can only be really retrieved by the cord, I do not recommend the Obsession for anal use.  While the cord seems nice and strong, an embarrassing emergency room visit can await the unlucky vibe-user who happens to have the cord pull out while trying to retrieve the toy.
You’ll recall that with the Honi, another bullet vibe I reviewed a couple months ago, I was troubled by the places on the toy that were difficult to clean.  Thankfully, the Obsession has no such problems; it’s nice and smooth with no weird crevices for stuff to build up.  And since it’s totally waterproof, it’s particularly easy to wash without having to worry about hurting the battery case.
There’s few negatives about the Obsession.  Other than the aforementioned warning about anal play, the only other real qualm is that if you pass by a setting you like, you have to scroll through all the settings to get back to it, since it only has a single function button.  But this is a trade-off with the simple nature of the toy, and those who want a toy with very few buttons to figure out will likely be happy to do a little extra scrolling in return.
Overall, the Obsession is a high-quality, enjoyable bullet vibe.  It’s affordable, but not of cheap quality, it’s easily cleanable, it’s waterproof, and it has a nice buzz for a toy its size.  If you’re looking for a simple bullet vibe that isn’t a wimpy disposable, the Obsession makes a great choice.
Dec 112011
 

The Honi is a cute, larger-sized bullet vibe, but it’s just not sweet enough to be worth the effort.  It could use a bit more power, unless you’re a light touch, and (in what seems to be a pattern for the Picobong brand and, to a lesser extent, its parent brand, Lelo), it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to ease of cleaning.

  • Toy: Honi (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Bullet vibrator
  • Manufacturer: Picobong
  • Material: Silicone and ABS plastic
  • Price: $34
  • SMT rating: 0
The Picobong Honi lacks the power and ease of cleaning necessary to capture our hearts
The Picobong Honi is a fairly standard bullet vibrator.  It’s made from silicone (for the vibrating end) and ABS plastic (for the screw-cap/battery case end) and, at 3″ long and 1″ wide, is a little larger than the standard bullet vibe.  This larger size is nice, giving bullet vibe users more of a choice in terms of size variety, and is one of the Honi’s strengths.  It also has a nice, solid retrieval cord that makes it easy to remove if it’s being used internally.  Plus, it runs on a single AAA battery rather than expensive and harder to obtain watch batteries like some of its bullet relatives.
The Honi, however, failed to impress on several levels.  First, its vibration felt a bit lackluster, and we would’ve preferred a strong motor.  Those who prefer a lighter vibration, of course, may consider this a  pro instead of a con.  Second, the section where the plastic battery-cap screws onto the body leaves a small ridge that collects lube and body fluids; this section will need special attention during cleaning but this cleaning must be done carefully to avoid getting water in the battery area.  Furthermore, the unscrewing cap portion has hollow areas that require a Q-tip to get clean.  And, as a lesser cleaning complaint, the engraved Picobong lettering can be somewhat annoying to properly scrub out, as well.  On a non-cleaning note, the +/- buttons are hidden in the engraved Picobong logo lettering, which will make them difficult to find for visually-disabled users.  Overall, the Picobong just didn’t seem to have a lot of thought put into its design, particularly for cleaning purposes, and wasn’t powerful enough to be worth using, in our opinion.
Nov 042011
 

  • Toy: Mahana Duo Vibe (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: AAA battery powered vibrator, dual vibe innie/outtie combo
  • Manufacturer: Picobong
  • Material: silicone and hard (ABS) plastic
  • Price: $69
  • SMT rating: 0, low to  moderate strength vibes
While rumor has it that I’ve never met a toy I didn’t like, I’m sad to report that I am not a fan of the Mahana Duo vibe.  It’s not that it’s crappy, it’s just not worth your time or money.

The Mahana Duo is not twice the fun

The Mahana Duo vibe from Picobong is meant as a lower-cost alternative to the high-quality, classy but more high-end toys from Lelo (which shares the same toy design team).  Unfortunately, it ends up being a get-what-you-pay-for situation, and so is hard to recommend.  The Mahana Duo is a combination innie-outtie vibrator, like several other toys that have been previously reviewed here (see the bullet list at the bottom for these more highly-recommended toys of a similar style).  It has a flexible C-shape with both ends containing vibrators; one end is meant to be inserted, while the other should rest against the clitoris.  It’s about 1/2″ wide at its widest, and takes 2 AAA batteries (one for each vibrating end).
On the plus side, since it’s from the same design team as Lelo toys, the Mahana Duo has a reputable brand to back it up, and is made from body-safe silicone and ABS plastic, as we’ve come to expect from its higher-end siblings.  It comes in two cute colors (pink and blue) and has a smooth, simple, non-intimidating visual design.  If the C-shape stays in place correctly, then its innie-outtie design can be useful (but see below on our testers’ feelings on how well it stayed in place).
Unfortunately, the Mahana Duo raised many qualms and negative points in testing.  First of all, it’s difficult to clean well; the engraved Picobong logo and the edges where the vibrator-ends screw onto the plastic are both grooved in a hard-to-get-at way.  Cleaning the Duo thoroughly would require Q-tips and a lot of patience.  It didn’t come packaged with any directions, instead opting to include a little six-sided die with various toy emblems on it.  This is exacerbated by the fact that the controls are somewhat non-intuitive; the buttons aren’t readily visible, and are hidden beneath plus and minus signs that blend into the logo.  It just feels cheaply made, with little aesthetic appeal and the sharp contrast between silicone ends and plastic middle.  The vibrations are fairly low-level and lackluster.  Additionally, C-shaped innie-outtie toys are meant to be able to stay in place without help (and maybe even be able to stay in place during intercourse or other play).  None of our testers, however, reported that the Duo could stay in place without constant assistance.  Finally, if you’ll watch the video review, you can see that the toy began making loud, ugly buzzing noises during the course of the review after only a couple of uses.  It’s normal for vibrators to become slowly louder over the course of many uses, but to have a toy start making such obtrusive noises so early in its life is a bad sign.  Overall, it’s hard to justify spending the money on the Duo–it has no special qualities to recommend it and several flaws that speak against it.  Here are some better alternatives that fulfill the same functionality and general design of the Mahana Duo, but are worth your time and money:
Aug 292011
 

 

  • Toy: Ola (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Rechargeable vibrator, mostly button-free controls, touch-responsive vibration, waterproof
  • Manufacturer: Minna
  • Material: Silicone
  • Price: $165
  • SMT rating: Strong 0 if you squeeze hard, but not quite a 1.

The sex toy industry is always looking for the newest, fanciest, prettiest way to seduce you into purchasing a brand new best friend.  Sometimes, these attempts are gimmicky flops, but every now and then one of their crazy ideas really hits the spot, if I ain’t being too subtle.  The Ola by Minna (aka the Minna Ola) gives us a truly original way to control the power of this S-shaped, waterproof, rechargeable sex toy.  The underside of the small part of the S is a squeezable, soft, enticing little touch-pad that reacts to pressure.  Stroke it softly, and it responds with an immediate rumbling purr.  The harder you squeeze it, the more intense the vibrations get, culminating in a very respectable intensity level.

The Minna Ola lets you make your own vibration patterns and control them by touch

The Minna Ola is rechargeable, and its recharger connection is magnetic, which makes it easy to line up and attach.  Thoughtfully, the Ola lets you know how charged it is by vibrating one to three times (three being fully charged) when it’s turned on; this is much more useful for people who are visually impaired than the “blinking light” method of demonstrating charge that many other toys use.  The S-shape of the toy works with the body in all sorts of delightful ways, whether you use it on the vulva or in the vagina.  The main draw, of course, is the touch-responsiveness.  You can use this to create all sorts of fun sensations and patterns, and when you find a favorite, you can use the second button on the toy to memorize and repeat a pattern until you want to give it a new one.  The Ola even comes fully charged, so you can start playing with it right away!
The touch-responsiveness of the Ola may be a downside, depending on what you like from a toy.  If you enjoy upping the vibration intensity or flipping through patterns by simply hitting a button, you may find the touch-pad too fussy a way of controlling the toy.  While this touch-vibration style makes it a great toy for exploring, either with a partner or solo, the creativity necessary to use it effectively keeps it from being totally effortless.  It’s intuitive, but not effortless.  The body isn’t flexible, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on what you’re looking for.  Finally, like any other silicone toy, you need to use water-based lubes, not silicone-based, with the Ola.
Overall, the Ola is a cool new type of  vibrator.  Its touch pad is intuitive and easy to use and allows you to let your creativity shine in what sorts of patterns you make for yourself (or your partner).  It’s a fun, sexy toy, and while the touch-pad is certainly unique, it isn’t a cheap gimmick.  The Minna Ola is being sold exclusively through Babeland, and I appreciate that they sent me a copy of this delicious toy for review.

 

Jan 142011
 

Sometimes you don’t want lots of bells and whistles, but just something simple and pleasant that does one thing and does it well.  If you’re in that sort of mood, then the Buzzlet, by Miuzu, may be just the toy you’re looking for.  This simple hard plastic toy (with some elastomer coating on one side) has simple one-button controls, easy charging method, and a shape that makes it easy to play with externally or insert and enjoy internally.

  • Toy: Buzzlet (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Innie, rechargeable, waterproof
  • Manufacturer: Miuzu
  • Material: Hard plastic and elastomer
  • Price: $80
  • SMT rating: 0 (Moderate rumbly vibration)

The Buzzlet is a nice, simple and functional internal toy

The Buzzlet is about 4 inches long and 1 inch thick and is totally waterproof.  It has a small hole that isn’t big enough to fit a finger into, but which does help get a slightly better grip on its end.  The main reason that this whole is there, though, is for the Buzzlet’s unique inductive charging station.  Unlike most other rechargeable toys, the Buzzlet doesn’t have a port to plug a cord into, nor does it have metal contact plates that need to be touching matching plates on its cradle. Instead, this toy just gets set onto its little cradle station (that has a post which fits through the hole), and voila, it’s charging!  The lack of any holes or metal plates ensures its water-safeness and makes it easier to set-and-forget for charging than toys that may not sit in their cradle quite right.

In terms of use, the Buzzlet is easy to work with.  The one button on this little vibe turns it on and off and scrolls through the different strengths and vibration patterns.  The Buzzlet has a moderate intensity, rumbly sort of vibration.  It’s a decent bit louder than many of the other toys we review here at EI, so keep that in mind if you like your toys quiet and super-discreet.  It’s a nice size and shape for setting to your vibration of choice and then inserting vaginally and holding it in while you touch yourself externally; since it’s only 4″ long, many women may be able to fully insert it and hold it in by tensing.  Or, as with the previously reviewed Soraya and Alia, rope bondage enthusiasts can surely find some interesting uses for a toy with a hole in it!

Those who like their toys to have a bit more variety of functionality and more specific controls (such as the three-button system of many Lelo toys) may not find the Buzzlet to be quite to their taste.  Additionally, as stated before, those who like their toys whisper-quiet are also recommended to look elsewhere.   Finally, as a word of warning that must be made with any toy without a flared based, particularly one this small, do not attempt to use the Buzzlet for anal stimulation.  This toy would be very easy to “lose” anally, since it is thin and short with no wideness at the base.

Dec 122010
 

The Groovy Chick by Rocks-Off is a delightful way to stimulate your G-spot and clit simultaneously with its curved silicone body and buzzy removable vibrator.  If you’re looking for a bright pink, non-intimidating way to enjoy this kind of sex toy, you might consider grabbing the Groovy Chick as a gift for yourself or your sweetie.  Or you can win it from me this week!

  • Toy: Groovy Chick (sent by Babeland.com for review)
  • Type: Innie/outtie combo, vibrator, waterproof
  • Manufacturer: Rocks-Off
  • Material: Silicone
  • Price: $68
  • SMT rating: 0 (light side of moderate intensity)

The Groovy Chick: Vibrantly pink and innovative

Rocks-Off’s Groovy Chick certainly catches the eye, with its non-intimidating shade of bright pink and comfortable looking curves.  This silicone vibrator is made for simultaneous clitoral and G-spot stimulation, with its curved tip made to rest internally against the G-spot, while the lightly ridged end near the vibrator rests against the clitoris.  The toy is well-designed, and is substantial enough to stimulate the G-spot well without being so large it’s intimidating.  The silicone the Chick is made from is semi-firm; it’s flexible enough to allow it to be comfortable, but firm enough that it provides good stimulation.  Since it’s silicone, the toy can be boiled for 10 minutes to fully sanitize it (after you’ve removed the bullet vibrator, of course).  Additionally, the Groovy Chick is waterproof, so you can clean it with soap and water, or bring it into the shower for some bathtime fun!  While it still takes some effort, I also found that the vibrator was easier to remove from the Groovy Chick than it usually is in toys with a removable bullet.

One concern with the Groovy Chick is that the battery size for the bullet is N, a somewhat non-standard size.  Specialty battery stores should carry it, but it isn’t a common size.  Second, it’s important to note that the Groovy Chick isn’t a toy that you should expect to just insert and turn on in order to warm up the body to stimulation; the toy’s pressure against the G-spot may be uncomfortable if the body isn’t sufficiently aroused.  Instead, to use the Groovy Chick for warm up you may either want to take out the bullet and use that for some beginning stimulation, or turn the toy around and use it to provide more outtie stimulation (see the video for a demonstration). Most women will probably appreciate that the clitoral part of the toy vibrates harder than the G-spot-stimulating end of the Groovy Chick.  Note, however, that the Chick only has one speed, which is on the light side of moderate intensity, and no other settings.

Overall, the Groovy Chick is a pleasant design of a toy that is non-intimidating and sexy without being overwhelming.  It’s easy to clean and use and can provide good clit/G-spot stimulation.  Its lower power and lack of different settings may be drawbacks for some, but for those looking for a simple innie/outtie combination toy, the Groovy Chick does a solid job.