There are very few products in the adult market that customers ask for by name. Sure, customers will ask for a rabbit but there are about 1500 rabbit vibrators on the market so that’s not all that specific. Other than Fleshlight, the product with the largest name recognition has to the the Hitachi Magic Wand. And this year it turns 50!
We’ll all pause for a moment to contemplate that this is probably the vibrator our mothers used. And now their daughters, and granddaughters – that’s quite a legacy for a simple vibrator! But the Hitachi isn’t all that simple. Hitachi is a Japan based company that manufacturers hundreds of products ranging from huge construction machines to consumer rice cookers. When the first patented the Magic Wand in 1968 it wasn’t too far off from its current version. Originally marketed to relieve tension and relax sore muscles, women quickly realized that its power and shape were the most effective method to achieve a clitoral orgasm. And if timing is everything, then Hitachi certainly set its clock right because the Hitachi Magic Wand took off just as the women’s movement gained traction. Beginning with sex educator Betty Dodson, workshops around the country began teaching women how to effectively masturbate and a key component was a reliable, plug-in massager that could be placed firmly on the clitoris.
Since then, the Hitachi Magic Wand has maintained its basic shape and function – and its reputation for being a strong, reliable external massager. The funny thing is, it seems the corporation Hitachi didn’t realize until 2012 that Americans were using the Magic Wand as a sex toy (what do they think we were using it for??). Because they didn’t want to be known for selling “that kind of product” they were going to discontinue the manufacturing of the wand. Cue the screams of panic! Thankfully Vibratex, the company best known for making the original Rabbit Pearl Vibrator (featured on Sex and the City), stepped in to save all of us from a long, dry season. Vibratex not only upgraded the product, but the packaging and added a rechargeable model too! The “Hitachi” was dropped from its name, but its legacy lives on!
Today, there are many imitators (and some of them are very good!) but only one original. So Happy Birthday Magic Wand – and thanks for the millions of orgasms you have given us!