Local sex device company Jimmyjane has long been heralded as the "Apple of sex toys," creating products that combine slick design with impressive performance (oh, grow up). And they've recently been acquired, which is great, right? Well, maybe not, as one of the companies involved in the merger has a less sterling reputation.
Diamond Products, LLC, a "holding company" under the umbrella of private equity investors Brookstone Partners, announced Wednesday that they'd acquired San Francisco based Jimmyjane for an undisclosed sum.
The other company that Diamond owns is Pipedream, another sex toy business, but one that skews a little less Apple and a little more garish, quivering banana. With products like the "EXTREME Robo-bator"* (seriously, that's the lead product on their website right now) and the Big Beautiful Becky Plus-Size Love Doll, their products stand in sharp contrast to Jimmyjane's sleek devices.
This disparity between the two companies has industry insiders like Violet Blue worried about the quality of Jimmyjane's products post-acquisition.
In a 2007 column for the SF Chronicle (here's where I should disclose that Blue is a friend and colleague, and that I edited the piece I'm about to reference), Blue reported that Pipedream is a longtime distributor/manufacturer of the type of "novelty" type sex toys that have been found to contain toxic chemicals.
Comparatively, Jimmyjane's website points out their "FDA-approved materials that are bio-compatible, hygienic and free of toxins" as a differentiator between their products and others on the market.
Blue tells SFist that she's concerned about the marriage between the companies, saying that "Jimmyjane innovated and pioneered high-tech, high-end, respectful bodysafe and eco-friendly vibrators."
"Pipedream is the leader in low-quality products," Blue alleges, "unsafe materials, fraudulent packaging, insulting and harmful sexual stereotypes, and purchasing Pthalates-packed landfill from China by the ton."
In a release sent by Diamond on Wednesday, the company says: "Together as part of Diamond, Jimmyjane and Pipedream Products aim to shape the future of the category as the world’s leading manufacturer of pleasure products." The release also quotes former Pipedream Products CEO, now Diamond CEO Nick Orlandino as saying that the two companies "share the same values of quality and intense customer focus. I am convinced that our group will prove a good home and can help realize the significant future potential of Jimmyjane."
For now, at least, Diamond says that Jimmyjane will continue to operate separately from its parent company, and that "its product development, creative, online, sales and day-to-day operations teams" will remain at their office at 15th and Potrero in San Francisco.
*If you're as amused by the phrase "EXTREME Robo-bator" as I was, you might find this YouTube video of use.