Claws Come Out For Sex Doll Cat Fight

By Jackie Snow
Originally published on December 10, 2008 by The Naughty American

Ryan Gosling’s new movie “Lars and the Real Girl” deals with a guy in love with a life-size female doll, but the film is nowhere near as dramatic as the real-life catfight going on between two companies that make the synthetic women.

RealDolls, the San Marcos, Calif. company that supplied the doll for “Lars,” has dominated the silicone doll market since launching in 1996. In the last few years, however, the company has had to fend off attacks from start ups that simultaneously try to discredit RealDolls and establish supremacy in the sex doll market.

One competitor, My Party Doll, of Lakewood, Calif., began production (and, according to observers, the trash talking) two years ago.

Jim Arthur, owner and manufacturer of My Party Doll, claims that Real Dolls uses inferior products in its silicone love dolls.

“They really have some huge problems,” he said. “You can see a lot of pictures on the web of dolls falling apart, and the material eventually deteriorates. The tin silicone is a cheaper brand of silicone that is usually used to make rubber bands and inexpensive materials.”

He claims that, after a couple of years, the material falls apart in the same way a rubber band would “after years stuck in the back corner of your desk.”

Arthur says he only uses platinum silicone, a higher quality and more expensive material. Despite using costlier materials, My Party Doll dolls retail for $1600 less than Real Dolls dolls.

He credits being able to produce a cheaper doll to more efficient production methods and what he characterizes as a personal desire to make dolls over profit.

“The doll that I make is the best doll on the market,” Arthur said.

Even with the steep price, RealDolls is by far the biggest producer of realistic girlie parts. Matt McCullen, owner of Real Dolls, designed a half-scale doll more than 10 years ago and posted a picture online, sparking a flurry of requests for full-scale dolls that people could have sex with.

The company now produces between 350-400 dolls a year, with faithful customers who, like Gosling’s character in “Lars,” treat the synthetic toys as living, breathing girlfriends.

Many even buy multiple dolls to create their own harem, as depicted in the BBC documentary “Guys And Dolls,” which follows some of the most loyal devotees in their day to day lives with their dolls.

Not surprisingly, the folks who make RealDolls tend to take criticism from competitors very personally.

RealDolls spokeswoman Brownan Keller tells the story of running into a spokesman for Mechadoll, a competitor, at an adult trade show in Germany. The spokesman didn’t know who Keller was and proceeded to badmouth RealDolls.

“We were fairly disgusted by the outright lies and misinformation,” Keller said. “But figured in the long run that it wasn’t worth correcting him, as the proof of the superiority of our product is in the sales numbers.”

Keller also claims Mechadoll and My Party Dolls are actually the same company.

Arthur denies the charge, even though both companies are located in Lakewood, Calif. He explains that he bought the rights to Mechadoll’s patents and only occasionally interacts with Mechadoll management.

Contributors on the leading forum for all things sex dolls, back up Arthur’s claims.

They say that Mechadoll owner Yves Becker sold the rights in order to mitigate the negative publicity surrounding the Mechadoll launch, when buyers had to wait months for their dolls.

That’s when Arthur, who had known Becker for years before they entered the doll industry, came into the picture.

Even though Keller stands by RealDolls’ quality, she admits that after extensive use, Real Dolls dolls occasionally need work done.

“No one would buy a high-end specialty car and expect it to run forever without some repairs and maintenance along the way,” she said.

Those problems include loose joints, loose holes, and ripped silicone – issues that Arthur says his dolls don’t have.

“We have never heard of any problems like broken limbs,” he said. “The silicone itself will not deteriorate. I think the company that makes [the silicone] claims that the shelf life of the product is 20 years. The stuff that we have is completely durable and you just cannot see any wear at all.”

Keller dismisses Arthur’s claims and believes that other doll users will eventually switch to Real Dolls.

“It’s interesting to note that one of our clients purchased a Mechadoll several years ago, was not happy with it and gave it to us in exchange for a RealDoll,” Keller said. “After waiting over a year for delivery of the Mechadoll, the client ultimately preferred RealDolls and now owns three bodies and eight faces.”

Keller also accuses Mechadoll of stealing production methods, an allegation that, if true, would bolster RealDoll’s claim to superiority.

“We had a Mechadoll in house not too long ago which we examined carefully, and we were interested to discover that their manufacturing techniques appear to be reverse-engineered from the way we used to make the old Real Dolls many years ago,” Brownan said.

Arthur, however, scoffs at the accusation and insists his product is completely original.

“The allegations are totally not true,” he said. “Absolutely not.”

But while Arthur gave the feud plenty of fuel with his trash talking, he now says he’s tired of all the badmouthing and just wants to continue making dolls.

“I’m just a manufacturer,” Arthur said. “We really make a nice doll.”