By Ashley Altadonna
Q: In what year did you launch New York Toy Collective?
A: New York Toy Collective was established in 2012, so, wow-- almost 8 years ago!
Q: What is your company's mission?
A: The short answer: to provide quality silicone products for a sex-positive culture. The longer answer? We create high-quality intimacy toys and products for all forms of gender affirmation, including packers, STP products, binders, and accessories. We consistently embrace new ideas to enhance consumers’ personal lives in a way that is affordable, body-safe, and durable, with a functionality which allows for both a continued physical and emotional connection for the end-user. We’re a company that’s driven by technology and innovation, but we also understand how emotional connection is vital to gender expression. We believe your body shouldn’t limit your sexual possibilities, and we’re committed to providing products with that goal in mind.
Q: Why did you start your company?
A: We started New York Toy Collective like most companies do-- just a couple of people, with a couple of ideas, and a couple of bucks, trying to solve a problem. We started the company because there were products we had envisioned, but realized did not actually exist-- and we thought, “Hey, maybe we can make these ideas real, and create better products!”
Q: Please tell us about the products you make for trans and non-binary folks.
A: We make products for all people, and prioritize the needs of trans and non-binary folks in our design and development. Most of the folks who work here are non-binary and trans, so we make the things we want and use. As far as our gender affirmation products go, we have a lot, like binders, packers, stand-to-pee (STP) products, and pack-and-play dildos. We also have custom accessories, like pins and keychains, that help folx with their gender expression!
Q: What sets New York Toy Collective and/or your products apart from folks that make similar products?
A: We’re unique in that our core products are actually made by hand, right here in the United States by queer people. In addition, we actually design all of the products we create-- we literally make them out of clay! Our best-selling product for the past five years, Shilo, is a perfect example of our team’s creativity-- it’s a fully posable dildo, made of dual-density silicone. There’s really no other product on the market like it, and we’re really proud of that-- and our customers agree.
Q: What has been the best part and most challenging part about running your business?
A: The best part is being able to do something I love, with people who are just as passionate and knowing that I’m making a difference in people’s lives. Every day I come to work, loving what I’m doing, and so excited and grateful to be doing it! The most challenging part is probably staying fresh and innovative, but also keeping up with all of the pressures and challenges that come with being part of a global economy, like cheaply made knock-off products.
Q: Do you have any new or upcoming products or projects that you'd like folks to know more about?
A: Well, right now we’re heading into the Christmas holiday season, which is always a wild and fun journey-- we definitely get a peek into what’s popular from our catalog, which helps us plan the next year. This year we launched Jack, which is our representational 2-in-1 stroker. We’re thrilled to share that Jack is up for a bunch of awards this year, at both AVN and XBIZ-- we’re super proud of Jack, and we urge people to check it out for themselves!
Q: What are you excited about for the coming year?
A: In 2020, you can expect from us… the launch of our brand-new website! There will be a bunch of new elements we can’t wait to share with everyone. We also have some new products coming out in the Spring as well, so stay tuned!
Q: Is there anything else you'd like people to know about yourself and/or New York Toy Collective?
A: We’re a LOT smaller than people think! There’s only about four of us here, and we’re actually, like, doing it. We’re physically making the products-- pouring and pulling them out of molds, trimming them-- and packaging and shipping them personally. A lot of people think we have all these machines and warehouses, but we don’t. We are your nitty-gritty dildo-making crew-- I literally tape up the boxes that go out personally! We put our actual hands into making these for our customers, and we’re proud of each one we ship.
And definitely check out our products at Tool Shed* (https://www.toolshedtoys.com/search/New+York+toy+collective/)! You’ve been with us from the very beginning; I remember when you reached out to us on Facebook right after we launched, all those years ago! We so grateful to have so many independent retailers support us as we’ve grown and expanded, in addition to our mainstream retailers, who’ve taken a risk on new and innovative products, and support indie makers like ourselves.
*The Tool Shed is a sex-positive, education-focused sexuality boutique, and the parent company of Trans Tool Shed. Trans Tool Shed began in 2019 as a project to deepen and enhance The Tool Shed’s longstanding commitment to serving to trans and non-binary communities.