I couldn’t help but write a review on this product I’d so deeply longed for. Of course with a healthy dose of skepticism, I saved my excitement and endorsement until it arrived on my front doorstep.
With very little information written about this plug from the various websites that sell it, I was left to speculate on the full extent of its features and overall usefulness as everyone else was. At the original asking price of nearly $400, I found this lack of information to be utterly laughable. Really? You want me to spend $400 on an item that you describe in 2 or 3 short sentences?
At $140 which it’s currently going for on amazon, it’s still a little high, but if you you appreciate the aesthetics it could be worth it. Still, I think for what it actually does, it should be somewhere more in the ballpark of $80-$100 for the average toy collector…let me tell you why.
My first critique about the item itself, was the the device came covered in a thin coating of machine oil in a small plastic bag. No instructions, no wrapping, not even a stitch of tissue paper; just a toy in a bubble wrap bag. For something like this, I’d expect a littler something more, perhaps a small drawstring bag or maybe even a little inexpensive display box, just something that doesn’t scream ‘made in china’.
Fortunately, I don’t need that kind of consumer pampering to be excited about my purchase (or gift in this case), so I took the plug out of the bag and began my exam. The smell of warehouse musk and feel of something a bit ‘sticky’ could be detected immediately. A further inspection reveals it to be machine oil!!! Machine oil….covering an insertable toy. Wow….just wow.
I know we’re all supposed to assume our toys are not sterile (or even surface clean) when they arrive, but this was an odd item to have all over a toy like this. MACHINE OIL doesn’t just come off with a soap and water rinse. It’s meant to lubricate small parts so by its very nature, it coats every crevice of the item and sticks around. Even the tiny screws had some residue in the head of the screw itself! It took several washings and a thorough once over with toothpick to get all that gunk out. I’m concerned some people might get a little careless in their enthusiasm and accidentally forget to deep clean this toy before the initial use.
With it’s brushed metal surface, it wasn’t as easy to clean as something made of polished steel. I find this notable only because drying it immediately after washing it will be essential to avoid rust buildup and with the aforementioned handful of nooks and crannies, you may want to consider using a hair dryer to make sure you get all every crevice.
As for the function itself; by the design and photo we are led to believe the item twists open slowly until you lock it into place in its fully open position. That’s why I was originally drawn to it – the idea of a slow – intentional and perhaps slightly agonizing process of opening it up to it’s flowery shape.
The truth of the matter is that it has only TWO sizes. Closed or fully open. There’s no midpoint at all which causes a very extreme size shift. You will absolutely need to build up to stretching with other toys before inserting this and opening it all the way up.
Once open, you’ll be hard pressed to close it fully before taking it out gently. As each sharp/hard metallic edge on the petals close there’s a lot of opportunity to pinch the delicate internal bits of your play partner, which can be quite painful and obviously dangerous. You need a steady hand and a responsive partner to make sure things go smoothly until you get the hang of it.
Now with the type of toys I tend to have, all of these concerns are normal. I typically do over analyze flaws and err on the side of caution more often than most, so I’m not particularly inconvenienced by any of the items ‘draw backs’.
Despite all of this, it’s still a device I’m excited to own. I love the look of it, the immediate intimidation it produces when you pull it out to show your captive and the potential to be used as a massive plug – which in my experience, can be hard to find. It’s a true ‘torture device’ which is a rare find these days so even with all the fuss and care needed to use the product, I’m still inclined to keep it in my collection.