The adventurer in me is always curious about new brands, toys, and shapes. There isn’t anything like waiting for a toy and having absolutely no idea what it’s going to be or feel like. Trying out a new, especially a lesser known, brand is like going out on a first date with someone you never met. You’ve read their online profile, you know some pretty basic things about them, but that’s about it.
I wasn’t at such a complete loss when it came to IMTOY because I have seen a part of their Zoo line at the Sexual health expo in Brooklyn, and I’ve briefly touched and felt their toys. But that was pretty much my only impression and I had no expectations. The company kindly approached me and asked me if I was interested in reviewing the Gazelle, an external smart vibrator with an attachment. At a very competitive price point, and entirely body-safe, I absolutely had to say yes and further investigate.
A few words about the brand
IMTOY used to be known for their penis vibrator Piu and the Kegel training program Candy, both of which were very expensive and a number bloggers and reviewers expressed certain frustrations with the apps that operated these toys. Things with the new ZOO line from IMTOY seem significantly improved. Reasonable pricing, quality materials, sophisticated packaging: so far so good. All of the ZOO products are operated by the same app. The brand is trying to focus on innovation, so all of their products are app controllable and feature a number of interactive ways of operating your toy.
A few words about the line
The ZOO, which features several different toys, has embraced the animal metaphor entirely. Each product has a name that corresponds with the shape of the toy. There’s the Giraffe, which is their internal vibrator and the Rhino, which funnily is their rabbit vibrator. I have to be honest: it does look like a rhinoceros and it’s somewhat less ridiculous of a name for it than a rabbit. “Rabbit” makes me remember those old tacky vibes with the rotating beats, bright colors, cheesy packaging and literally little bunny head and ears for clitoral stimulation. They really did themselves a favor by distinguishing themselves from the old name. Gazelle is their external vibe that can be used for clitoral stimulation, or on any other body part that fancies vibrations (balls, cocks, nipples, etc). These are so far the only products you can purchase from them, but they have three more models coming. There are two dual stimulation vibes, one of which is meant to be worn during intercourse (think We-Vibe 4), the other one meant to be worn more like a vibrating vaginal egg and is similar to Je Joue Dua. And there’s the Manta Ray which I am really dying to get to try on my partner one day: it’s a vibrating toy for penises. I don’t know what the prices of these last three products are, but $75 for an internal rechargeable vibe, $89 for the dual one, and $89 for Gazelle: that’s roughly half the price of similar products from their competitors, and a pretty good deal for what you get in exchange.
I have to say that I don’t know how I feel about the line and the zoo metaphor. In a way I think it’s cute and clever, it gives the whole line a distinction, it’s far less creepy than human names or properties. (Although, if human names are just a way of distinguishing between toys, I kind of don’t have a problem with that either. As long as the copy doesn’t suggest that your vibe is a passionate lover or that it’s better than a human being. For whatever reason, maybe because Tantus are a great company and they don’t have any misogynistic or superficial copy, I have no beef with my dildo being called “Alan“). It’s very distinctive, and will definitely stand out, and I hope that people are not going to think it’s some cheesy brand, because despite the playfulness, it’s a really high-quality and sophisticated product that doesn’t look nor feel cheap one bit.
Yes, a number of products from the line seem similar to ones from other brands, but IMTOY seem to bring new features and to have changed a few things. All for roughly half the money. I am definitely curious to see more from them.
What you get from IMTOY is a whole experience. It’s like unboxing jewelry. Your toy comes in very stylish pastel beige box that only has a drawing of the given animal, and just a few words: the name of the brand, the name of the line and the name of the product. Nothing that suggests it’s a sex toy. At the back of this packaging you have some of the features of the product listed: superior motor for intense vibration, randomized vibration option, smart device control, orgasm button, 16 vibration patterns, draw your own vibration, voice, video, music and kinetic interaction and safe medical grade silicone. Not a huge fan of a few words in the copy: “superior motor” and “orgasm button”: definitely not the best way to call things, but more on that later.
Underneath lies a layer of wrapping paper that closes with a little sticker with the logo of the brand. And then, showcased is the toy, the attachment and the cord. I am in love, don’t judge me. It doesn’t come with a storage case or bag included, but even far more expensive toys (Je Joue or Fun Factory) don’t offer one either.
Gazelle is an external vibe that looks like a mini wand and comes with one attachment with animal-like “ears” included. It’s rechargeable via a magnetic charging cord you can plug in a USB drive or the outlet. The magnet is really strong and keeps really good contact with the toy, unlike a number of other toys that constantly move around and are a pain to charge. Shall we take a minute to acknowledge the gorgeous cord? I know I am going overboard with my femme side, but… the cable matches the color and the material of the vibe! It’s the most gorgeous pale pink and it gives such a nice finish of the whole experience. You can always pick out the proper cord for this vibe, because it will stand out between all the other black and white cords. No fishing around and wasting time. I love attention to detail and the Zoo line gets extra points in that category.
The toy is completely waterproof (and to this day a lot of external vibes are not: puzzling, I know). This one is a darling: it’s even dust proof! It repels lint and little particles. Very (VERY!) successfully. The silicone is the softest one I’ve even touched. This is not an exaggeration. I own Lelo, Je Joue, Fun Factory, b-Vibe and We-Vibe toys. This one cannot compare to anything I’ve felt or touched. Maybe only the Iroha+ series has such a soft silicone. I’m not talking about squishiness, but the softness and the velvetiness of the material. I want to hold it, and run my fingers over it, and touch it all day long. I want to live in a magical kingdom where everything is made of this silicone. Gazelle is also very lightweight and easy to hold. The shape is great and ergonomic. The only issue I have with the design is that it’s a one button only toy. Which means you have to cycle through all the settings in order to go back or find something you’re looking for. Clearly, the app solves that issue, but still, I want to be able to control a toy with buttons. I don’t use the app all the time. I feel that the app drains the battery much faster. Also, because the toy is entirely symmetrical, and the button is fairly small, in many cases I have no idea where the heck it is at this very moment.
One problem I have with Gazelle is the battery life: 2 hrs of charging give you only 45 min of play (I am assuming that if you use it on highest setting paired with the app. Hopefully app-free and on lower settings it lasts longer). I haven’t timed it, but on several occasions I’ve used it for more than 30 min and it hasn’t died or indicated that it needs charging. I hope in the future they would come up with longer lasting batteries.
The little ears are made of the same wonderfully soft silicone and definitely make the toy more versatile. You can have the ears on both sides of your clit, or tilt the toy sideways and have a very direct pinpoint stimulation by just using one ear, or you can place it on just one side of your clit, for less direct stimulation. My clit is a lefty (overall the left side of my vulva is more sensitive) and I prefer having a toy next to it, direct pinpoint clitoral vibration (or touching) can be a bit too much for me. Without the attachment the toy has a broader round head that makes clitoral stimulation less unbearable, and it’s quite pleasant on my vulva too.
The app gives you a bunch of options and functionalities, which, to be honest I am rarely going to use. Clearly, you can just go through the settings, or control the speed in a much more precise manner than with the button. You have the little rocket icon which is their “orgasm button”. It simply takes you straight to the highest speed of the vibrator, which might not be at all the preferred one for different people. Not to mention that some bodies might not get off with it at all. So calling it an “orgasm button” is simply incorrect. I’d be much happier if it was literally called “rocket” button or “take off” button. It’s handy if you don’t wanna bother with lower settings and just want to jam it all up. Their “bomb” icon has an interesting feature, if you like patterns. It’s a complicated unpredictable one, which might not make you cum, but is good for teasing or keeping things interesting. You can even draw your own vibration pattern, which I think is not a completely useless feature.
The app will allow you to control the vibe with voice, music or even video (I didn’t even bother with this one, because I like the predictability and dependability of personally being in charge), as well as kinetically (the harder you shake your mobile device, the stronger the vibration). I don’t see how the last one can be handy, but the voice one can be useful for some power play. The harder the receiver screams, the stronger the toy vibrates. It can encourage people who’re quiet and have been sex or masturbation shamed, to be more vocal and expressive. I am a huge fan of moaning and screaming even during masturbation, and I think everyone should try doing it. The feedback that your body receives actually helps you experience more pleasure and perceive sex or solo time as more enjoyable.
The vibrator is almost silent on lower settings and gets a bit more buzzy on its highest, but is still on the quieter side of things. It’s really rich and rumbly on lower speeds, and can give you a very nuanced experience in these lower and mid-range vibrations. Unfortunately it gets buzzy on highest settings and makes me numb if I’m continuously using it for more than 15-20 min. If I am using cascading or pulsating patterns the numbing subsides and I can use the toy for longer. The attachment combined with the abundance of patterns makes it very versatile.
The neck is a little bendy, so if you like pressing a toy really hard and close to your body, this might be a downside for you, but it actually makes it more pleasant for me, because it has a give and it doesn’t feel as rigid against my body.
Using it on your clit alongside with a dildo or during intercourse is really easy, because the toy is not a vulva hog, doesn’t block off your vaginal opening and is ergonomic and easy to hold. The long handle makes it much more easy and natural to use than a small clit vibe.
And clearly, because I know you’d wonder, it could be used internally. It’s roughly the size of an internal vibrator. The shape is not ideal and you will need a lot of lube. If you don’t insert it all the way, it can give you enough g-spot stimulation and somewhat work well, but bear in mind that it’s not created for internal use, so it doesn’t have an optimal shape. You might like the curves and like it exactly because it’s different from what you usually introduce inside your vagina. Depending on how deep you slide it, the control button might end up being inside you, you’ll simply have to go with the app, if you want to change settings.
- comes in just one color and as much as I like that particular color, probably 90% of people won’t feel the same way
- it gets buzzy on highest speed
- not for power queens
- short battery life
- just one button, no way to go back and forth in settings
- the app is not super easy to use, hard to beat the We-Connect app
- it’s lacking something to get me off, I use it more as a starter toy
- affordable for what you get
- can be app controlled
- plenty of patterns if you’re into that
- rich and rumbly lower speeds
- versatile, can be used with or without the ear attachment
- easy to hold and ergonomic for clitoral or external stimulation
- super soft silicone
- luxurious packaging
- design that is gender neutral, doesn’t look like a particular body part, can be used on any body part and by anyone
Gazelle is a little hard to judge. I am not sure if I it will be a good fit for you. If you still don’t know whether you want clitoral or internal stimulation, I would suggest you start off with IMTOY Giraffe, because it can be used as vaginal vibrator or you can hold it and apply it to your clit. If you know that you prefer clitoral or overall external vibration (on different parts of your vulva), Gazelle is probably a good choice, because it can feature more pinpoint, as well as broader stimulation, giving you several different sensations from one vibe. It’s also a good first or second sex toy, it’s not going to overwhelm you with power, the way a Hitachi can.
Disclaimer: IMTOY Gazella was generously provided to me by the company in exchange for my honest review. But my opinions and thoughts in this post reflect my experience with the product and are not altered in any way.