“Make Fantasies Real“ – that was the slogan everything started with ten years ago in Phoenix, Arizona. At first, Bad Dragon’s fantastical dildos – shaped like the penises of dragons, demons, and other fantasy creatures – were only known to a small fanbase, but today, the company is shipping more than 10.000 packages a month, selling their dildos, masturbators, lubricants, and merchandise the world over. In our interview with Derek, the administrative manager of Bad Dragon, we learn more about the history of the company and about its current position in the market.
This year will mark Bad Dragon’s 10th anniversary. How will you celebrate this achievement? Derek: We have a few incredibly exciting things that are planned for the 10th year anniversary, a little bit of everything for everyone. However, we would like to keep them under wraps to preserve the surprise, so I urge you to keep close tabs with us as we approach the spring months. I promise you will not want to miss the upcoming announcements!
For those of our readers who may not be familiar with Bad Dragon yet, could you tell us about your company and what it does?
Bad Dragon is a fantasy sex toy company based in Phoenix, Arizona. We design, texture, and handcraft sex toys made from 100% pure platinum-cured silicone. This allows our toys to be nonporous, hypoallergenic, and some of the most body-safe products you can purchase in the market today. Our goal is to offer toys that not only give peace of mind due to the body safe material, but also let you explore various fantasies you may have that our unique designs and textures can fulfil.
When Bad Dragon was founded, did you expect it to evolve into the business it is today?
Bad Dragon was founded in 2008. At the time, it was not expected that the business was going to grow to the point that it is at now. However, that does not mean we did not fantasise about a company growing to our size and beyond, and that “aim for the stars” attitude has never left the company.
A decade is a long time. Looking back, what were the most important steps in the development of the company?
Understanding the strength of the relationship between customer and business. We would not be nearly to the point that we are now if we did not use both our ears to listen, compromise, and move forward with things that made sense to the business and customer. We will continue to strive to provide the best possible experience we can give to our clients/customers, and humbly thank you all for your support and feedback you give us.
Your customers can choose from different models, but they can also customise the size and the colour of each dildo they order. Could you take us through your development and production processes to illustrate how you achieve such variety?
We start off with a concept of a product we would like to produce, and this goes over a multitude of revisions to get right. After we develop a concept we go into producing what it would look like in real life, and if it does not work then we go back to the concept stage. When we find something, we would like to proceed with we go through all the stages to produce physical prototypes of the product, which then goes through a series of critique and tests, and as you might have guessed, if this does not match our vision we backtrack to fix the issues. Once we have prototypes that pass we go into what colours are compatible with the toy and its various shapes and sizes. If the colours are too limited, we go into what can be done to achieve a compromise. Rarely do sizes become an issue at this stage though since we have a pretty solid path on sizes when it gets to the design phase. As for production once it reaches that stage it is pretty automatic.
Creating custom items also means a lot of individual work. Can you give us a rough figure how many items you ship every month?
As you eluded to it can vary heavily, for simplicity’s sake I will estimate how many packages we send out, which is roughly 12,000.
You sell most of your products directly through your website. How can interested retailers profit from selling your products as well? Also, are you working with distributors?
Our primary avenue for selling produce is through our website, www.bad-dragon.com . Our other avenue to buy from us directly are various tradeshows/conventions that we attend. Currently our only official distributor is through Amazon.com we currently do not have plans with any other distributors but are considering a multitude of options and how we would like to structure if we did offer. At this time though I do not want to go in how the structure would work, as we do not want to send out plans still in concept.
Despite your success, the type of product Bad Dragon is offering is still quite unique. Why is there so little competition in this niche? How important is building a brand in this regard?
Building a brand is everything in this regard, especially because Bad Dragon is a unique company, and with that comes the pioneering and expectations of what fantasy toys are and can bring to an individual/group. While competition is certainly out there, I feel that companies are cautiously dipping their toes in because they either unsure of 100% fulfilling the actual appeal fantasy toys give or have a bad launch into the space hurt their brand for not hitting it correctly.
I expect most of you customers buy a Bad Dragon dildo for pleasure, but could they also be seen as collectibles?
Absolutely, and I am very glad you brought that up! Many of our customers purchase toys as collectables, and we even have seen people sell and trade unique ‘surprise me’ or promotional colours to other clients/customers.
What is your current bestseller, and do you know why it is so popular?
Our current best seller is Chance, there are a handful of reasons I feel it is the most popular with customers, but one reason I like to think is it’s because of its length primarily. There are also a ton of colours that are easy to showcase and create with Chance as well, which I think adds to the appeal for sure.
Will Bad Dragon continue to focus on its core product category in the future, or do you plan on branching out, maybe adding non-fantasy related sex toys?
Our origins have been, and will always be, to “Make fantasies real”. This is also true as we branch into non-traditional fantasy-related sex toys as showcased from Bad Dragon. We have already delved into this space with our Ultimate Fantasy toy, which was an April Fools promotion turned into a mainstay product. We will continue putting our touch in wherever people have fantasies in.