It goes without saying that aesthetics drive a large portion of our purchases, even if we might not want to admit it. But while choosing the cute phone case or the wine bottle with a happy dog on it over another one might not have a huge impact on its performance, the same logic sadly doesn’t usually follow over to sex toys. The immense amount of products within this industry paired with a complete lack of awareness about them by the general population is a dangerous combination, and is the reason why thousands of people continue to unknowingly risk their health every day by using toxic toys. Plus, without the usual means to advertise or promote items, companies need to think fast about how to make their toys stand out in a world that doesn’t want them. One such product is the OSUGA Cuddly Bird, a multi-award-winning oral stimulator that is not just adorable, but also doubles as a lamp to give it that extra touch. The question is, how much of this is a gimmick designed to capture people’s attention, and how much of it is actually a good quality sex toy?
Before we go any further, I think I should address what everyone has been asking me since I got this: “Isn’t this the same toy as what Biird and Cuddly Buddy claim as their own?”. It’s something I’ve been wondering myself since I saw this toy for the first time last year, and after a lot of research I can tell you the short answer is yes. The long answer is that this was originally a collaborative project in 2019 between two Chinese brands, with Courage & Wisdom supplying the brief and manufacturing, and In-Dare working on the design and functionality. Both brands don’t seem to have had prior industry experience, but aimed to make something that was “more than just a sex toy” and that could “attract newcomers” with its appealing appearance. They ended up winning three design awards, including the prestigious Red Dot, and launched an Indiegogo for further funding. This then attracted the attention of Dutch company Biird, who offered to distribute the Cuddly Bird to a European market for them. The problem was, Biird renamed the toy to Obii and claimed it as their own, with their website stating that it was created by them “after years of research and tinkering”. In fact, they emailed me saying that it was created in the Netherlands in 2018 “when 4 veterans of the adult industry got together to create memorable products”, and was then later launched to the Asian market in 2019 by them, which is just blatantly untrue (and when I asked them about it, they ghosted me). Courage & Wisdom then forced them to change the name back (which is why you’ll no longer see “Obii” on most Biird branding), but after continued legal issues, ceased supplying the product to Biird altogether (which raises the question of how they’re still selling it?). Taking on the name OSUGA, Courage & Wisdom then began selling the Cuddly Bird internationally themselves. As for where Cuddly Buddy fit in, I am a little less clear, but they do seem to be an authorised retailer of the product, probably intended to replace Biird and appeal to an US market. The big takeaway here though is that OSUGA are the original manufacturers, and Biird shouldn’t be trusted.
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