While the vibrator market is saturated with countless pink, sparkly “rabbits” and cute, discrete little “bullets,” the most famous vibrator of all time is large, cumbersome and almost medically ugly. Despite those downsides, the Magic Wand vibrator has dominated the clitoral orgasm market — and people’s hearts — for decades. As The Cut reported last month, it’s consistently been a top seller at retailers like Adam & Eve and Good Vibrations, and it has a reputation for working on just about anyone. “The Wand’s ROI is clear,” they wrote. “It works. Every time. For everyone. If you can’t have an orgasm with this tool, check your pulse.”
Most sex shops offer multiple offshoots of the wand — some of which are updated with brighter colors, cordless functions or smaller sizes — but the original looks much the same as it did when it was first sold in 1968 by Japanese electronics brand Hitachi. With a nearly foot-long white plastic handle and bulbous white head, it looks more like a big microphone than a sex toy. But hey, it doesn’t need to look good when it works so well.
Still, there’s a problem: Lots of companies claim to be the maker of the original Magic Wand. There are numerous websites with names that play on a different variation of the words “Hitachi Magic Wand Original” like “hitachimassager.com” or “hitachimagic.com,” and it’s unclear which of these belongs to the creator. So then, who’s the real Magic Wand OG?
Well, Hitachi, of course, who first debuted the product as a back massager. But though they still manufacture the wand, they no longer associate the Hitachi name with the product. Instead, that honor has been relegated to an American vibrator company, Vibratex. Prior to that, Hitachi Magic Wands had been distributed through the Appliance Corporation of America (ACA). But in 2000, whatever deal Hitachi had with ACA dissolved, and for a short time, the wand was nowhere to be found. That same year, the New York Observer described this absence as causing a “panic in bedrooms.”
At the time, Vibratex was selling other types of vibrators under their CMO, Shay Martin. “Our industry went into an uproar,” she tells me. “[It was] like ‘Oh my gosh, where are we going to get the Magic Wands now?’ because the ACA wasn’t carrying them anymore. A lot of the interested parties reached out to us because they knew that we had ties to Japan.”
With this, Martin and her husband began pursuing talks with Hitachi, but were told they were already deep in negotiations with another U.S. distributor interested in taking on numerous Hitachi appliances, not just the wand. Vibratex, meanwhile, was only interested in the wand. Months passed, and still no new wands were available in stores. But then, just as Martin and her mother were in Japan visiting manufacturers of other vibrator products, they received a fax from Hitachi saying the other deal had fallen through.
“We went to the headquarters for Hitachi in Japan and met with them, which was totally intimidating,” she says. “At the time, the major Hitachi Corporation was all men in dark suits, with no smiles, and they lined up as we pulled up to the driveway of the headquarters. We went in and had a discussion with them. My mom did all the translating. Basically, we told them, ‘We want the Magic Wand, and we want to be the distributor for the United States.’”
This straightforwardness worked. Apparently, part of the reason the previous deal had fallen through was because at the last minute, the other company revealed they were only actually interested in the wand, rather than Hitachi’s other products, as they originally stated. Vibratex, on the other hand, had been honest about their interests from the get-go.
And so, thanks to Vibratex’s truthfulness and the luck of their timing, the deal was secured. Vibratex has been the sole distributor of the Magic Wand ever since, though they no longer utilize the Hitachi name in any form.
But what about all those other websites claiming to be the original?
According to Vibratex’s CEO Ken Herskovitz, some of these random websites like “hitachimassager.com” may actually be selling the real thing — they likely just acquired those products through Vibratex. “In most cases, anybody who’s selling an actual Magic Wand, one with our branding and our packaging, is an authorized reseller,” he tells me. “We have thousands of authorized resellers all over North America.”
By “our branding,” Herskovitz is referring to the name “Magic Wand Original.” Vibratex has two teams whose sole job it is to seek out counterfeits and trademark infringement, meaning that despite the existence of knock-off versions, if it says “Magic Wand Original” on it, it’s most likely the real thing. Also, if you paid the appropriate price for it, you know you’re golden.
“You’ll find Magic Wands priced the same from all of our authorized resellers,” Herskovitz says. This is generally around $70 for the original corded version, and $140 for a rechargeable one. The actual, official Magic Wand website also has a short list of approved retailers, so you can know for sure the one you’re getting is legit.
While it’s rather confusing that there are so many different websites branding themselves as sellers of the “Original” or “Hitachi” Magic Wand, it’s really just a mark of the power of the brand. Hitachi doesn’t even associate themselves with the wand anymore, and yet many people still seek it out by their name.
Despite all the flashy, modern neon sex toys on the market, it’s still the unsexy, heavy baseball bat-like one that people want the most.