A good children’s program is a more important part of household dynamic than you might think. Children can cause enough discord without you also hating the things they watch. Unfortunately children’s programming frequently ranks as the cheapest, ill thought out, cash-in garbage there is. It’s funny how we use our children as a precious resource to justify giving in to any demands made by teachers unions but accept as a matter of course that modern programming would do well to live up to the standards of Thomas and Friends, you know back before they were CGI animated. A children’s show that is not just tolerable, but that the parents enjoy watching with their children is rarer than it ought to be.
That takes us to an entertainment company in France called Ankama. They’re known for an MMORPG called Dofus and Wakfu is an animated program based on it. Typically, this is the last sort of situation you’d expect anything worth watching to come out of. So just how enjoyable is Wakfu anyway? Well, let’s put it this way, the show being quite old was shown to me by my at-the-time 24 yearold roommate because he enjoyed it thoroughly. You see he was a fan of Japanese anime and Wakfu managed to penetrate that fandom to a certain extent. Fan-made subtitles were done to translate it out of French, and in the last couple of years it’s received an official English translation on Netflix. It got there through a kickstarter fundraiser to fund the translation. Yeah, this show was good enough that a kickstarter campaign actually worked and a product came out of it.
I’ve watched Wakfu’s first season with my children at least six times now (I really recommend leaving it to the first season and we’ll get to that later). It’s that enjoyable. The main villian is convincing and genuinely dangerous. Encounters with him go badly, often in ways that last most of or the whole way through the ending of the first season, his motivations are relatable, and his goals are clear. Silver screen villains rarely get the formula as correct as this. Character flaws of the protagonists often result in permanent consequences for the group and they become such trouble that they have to overcome those flaws and grow to proceed. One of the main characters literally starts the show unable to control his demons, that remains a serious issue for most of the first season. The show can get very serious, but it doesn’t stay that way long enough to be detrimental, nor does it stick to the innocuous for too long. Wakfu gets extra points from me for being brave with consequences for bad decisions. This isn’t one of those shows where the reset button gets hit at the end of every episode. There are a lot of shows for adults that can’t seem to get over that trap. It takes most of the first season for the narrative arc to really find its footing, and prior to that the pacing can seem a bit off, but once it hits that stride mid season it just does not let up for a moment and the experience is immensely enjoyable.
The voice acting by the French cast is competent, energetic, and expressive. The English cast, not so much. Depending on the age of your kids you may have to bear with it, but I used it as a motivator to get them reading faster. That’s something you’ll have to feel out but use the original audio if at all possible. Though not as strong a recommendation, I also don’t recommend going past season one, not just because season one is the strongest season but because season two ruins one of the best endings in any children’s show ever. Season one, on it’s own, is simply a better story. I’d say, as a target, the optimal age group for this show is 9-14, most of the cast is dealing with the troubles of early adolescence. Between finding your nerve, liking who you see in the mirror, dropping your facade, learning how to take risks, and of course love, the show deals with many issues in that age group without using kid gloves, and I absolutely love the lack of coddling. I don’t know if this show represents French television well, but if it does they are worlds ahead of the United States in figuring out that treating your children like infants will cause them to stay that way.
If you can’t tell by now, or by the title, I really do adore this show, and you should do yourself a favor and stop suffering through dreadful children’s television and watch Wakfu instead. It’s just that good, you may end up enjoying it as much as they do.
So we did it, we pulled the trigger on that Mystic from Bad Dragon I told you about here. That brings our Bad Dragon collection to oh, eight, once it arrives. There are a lot of you in my audience that may think that’s a large number, and as far as the median toy collection goes you’re probably right, but we’re talking about Bad Dragon here, and while I’ve touched on it lightly in the past you need to know your first Bad Dragon toy probably won’t be your last. These things are like pringles, I’ve never seen someone buy just one. But why is that?
Emily and I have our own reasons for growing our Bad Dragon collection, but I got real curious about why others were doing the same thing. The community is scattered, but it exists, and whether it’s on the Bad Dragon official forums, or the subreddit, or the many other communities across the internet, a crowd we now feel a part of, one trend blazes brightly—photos of gigantic collections of Bad Dragon and other fantasy dildo manufacturer’s toys. Everyday people like Emily and I dropping several grand on brightly-colored vaguely-phallic hunks of silicone are a staple of these communities. Emily and I are well on our way and our modest collection—sometimes referred to as a family photo—is growing and is pictured below. Update: Banner image has been replaced with a more recent picture.
I decided to ask other members of the community how they felt about it. The following comment from this thread is from u/KittyLordSavior is something I found especially interesting.
Ya know… I actually hated dildos before I was introduced to bad dragon. Traditional dildos that I’ve used were boring, too firm, and made of potentially harmful materials. They never turned me on or made me feel good while using them.
I initially bought my first toy, a small ika, because i love tentacles and I thought it would be hilarious to own. Once it arrived I was blown away by the craftsmanship, quality, and over all aesthetic of the toy. That ika totally hooked me, I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to try every model Bad dragon offered.
The color and accessory options add another layer of depth to collecting for me. Not only do I want one of every model but it also has to be pretty and have a suction cup. For some reason the “hunt”, if you will, for the perfect toy is really satisfying for me. I enjoy browsing their weekly inventory drops and checking out their special promotional color options.
Collecting fantasy themed dicks is a hobby that I greatly enjoy. I’ve started to branch out to other indie toy makers as well, so many cool and unique designs are out there!
That’s just an amazing statement to me. I know Emily and I grew out of low-end toys because of how unsatisfactory and potentially unsafe they were, but to think they were so bad that someone willing to build this stunning collection thought that they hated dildos as a matter of course! This is a classic example of why I call our love of Bad Dragon toys the “fetish that isn’t”. These toys have a broader, mainstream, I dare say universal appeal that just isn’t being appreciated yet. Also, totally jealous of that table and I love the normalcy that it brings to the photo. You have this giant collection of out-there sex toys sitting on top of one of the most normal of objects.
Let’s break down that not-a-fetish thing. First, let’s get our definitions straight, otherwise we get nowhere. A fetish is “a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc. ” Emphasis mine. I’m actually pretty on the fence on this. If you limit the scope of this to fantasy dildos, guilty as charged. If these are just sex toys then this is normal enough to be a PornHub category. Statements like LordKittySavior’s and my own experience with them leans me towards the latter interpretation. The bulk of the responses in that thread reinforces the normalcy sentiment. It might be abnormal if they weren’t just superior sex toys in both form and function to mainstream offerings. If they weren’t we could just call this a fantasy fetish and be done with it but mainstream dildos simply provide inferior stimulation—which is why weak vibrators are crammed into most of them—and don’t look near as gorgeous. Photos don’t do them justice either. They aren’t quite Kantian disinterest beautiful, they have a utility after all, but sometimes I just look at some of the things we own just to look at them for a minute. Some of these pieces easily rival some of the pathetic things passed as art in trendy galleries. These items are hand poured, gorgeous, and intrinsically unique—that’s a collection motivator on its own.
I think a lot of us, even inside the community, are reluctant to admit the appeal these have outside their targeted niche group. The subreddit is full of reluctant first time buyers discovering that they’re now hooked and looking for advice in taking the first admittedly confusing steps. Is that abnormal? Emily and I were the same way and went through a period of asking ourselves “are we that odd? are we strange? is this kink?”. Now I don’t even feel like this qualifies as unusual. In fact, yeah, let’s share that story.
Emily and I have a mutual friend of the equine persuasion. That is, she actually cares for, rears, and trains horses. One day she came complaining to us out of the blue that she was really a size queen but there was just nothing at the local sex shops remotely big enough for her that weren’t outright gag gifts, poor quality ones at that. Emily and I lit up. We joked about her love of horses and how exactly it was she came to know she was a size queen, and when she was completely unembarrassed by that joke we showed her Chance, Tyson, and Bumble Hooves on the website—for those of you who don’t know, these are all horse shaped offerings. That’s her nickname now, Bumble Hooves. She wants a Bumble Hooves in large as soon as she has the funds. Emily and I think we’re gonna send her some store credit to get her started. Why store credit? Because gifting someone a custom dildo as a surprise gift is weird; her husband would not be about that. Yep, that’s the part of this story that’s weird to us. Not the group shopping, not the toys themselves, just the general notion that gifting someone a custom sex toy may be crossing some personal boundaries. The fetish that isn’t. By all other measures, we’re a bit conservative. Did I mention “Bumble Hooves” is a devout salt of the earth country catholic girl? This story has echoes of how we got our first Bad Dragon dildo. Abnormal? You be the judge.
u/Lapras_Lass has an enormous and gorgeous collection of her own, over 50 of them! But she reports in the same thread that her reasons for starting were remarkably similar to ours.
Haha, you sound like me and my husband! We definitely have fetishes, but we collect because we love the variety of shapes, textures, sizes, and colors.
My husband and I were once unable to even imagine affording one BD toy. Then our situation changed, our careers took off, and we were able to afford a little luxury. We bought three to start with, and that grew to about 12 in less than a year. Now, we have over 50. (blush)
We do have other hobbies, but they don’t cost much money at all. We like browsing thrift shops for used books; I enjoy birdwatching around the neighborhood; we do play video games, but we’re the type who buys a game and plays it for years. Our entire video game collection can fit on a single small shelf (plus we usually buy used). Collecting and using sex toys is our primary recreational activity, and it’s awesome. We’re now branching out to other toy-makers, and finding some definite new favorites!
Congrats on your newfound hobby!
The unique shapes, colors, textures, sizes, craftsmanship, all the primary reasons Emily and I started collecting. Lapras is very busy in the subreddit helping the community out with their questions about the overwhelming variety of options available and also runs a blog where she reviews the items she’s collected. I’m especially a fan of the post for beginners. I highly encourage you to check it out. One of the reasons we started talking about fantasy toys on this blog was because we felt we had experience it would otherwise take a non-trivial amount of money and risk to make a guess on and we felt obligated to start sharing those experiences. I asked Lapras if that’s why she started reviewing hers as well and we share that experience. When it comes to experience though I think it’s very safe to say that Lapras has us beat by a country mile. Check out this collection!
As you go through the thread comments you start to notice a theme. Sample size not withstanding there’s overwhelming support for the idea that the thing that really makes these toys attractive are the shapes and aesthetics. A few people also mention the functionality perks—suction cups and cumtubes are wonderful things, those suction cups can manage on slightly textured walls and there’s just nothing like a toy that can creampie you—and a few actually are into the fantasy fetish itself, which, I’d have expected more of if it was primarily the fantasy fetish crowd buying these things. But that’s kinda the point, I don’t think it is primarily that crowd doing the buying—at least not based on the composition of reddit and forum posts. In serving that community Bad Dragon seems to have stumbled on a formula that speaks to a much broader group of people. I think that’s awesome, and I think it’s high time sex toys were pleasure focused rather than focused on being a facsimile for a person. In the latter case, you have a superior option in the person in every way, in the former case the person may still insist on using the toy and without the person the experience is nonetheless unique. Apparently a lot of other people agree.
It’s not just the thread we created to ask the question either—that was just a way to get a few of those responses in one place. You can see this all over the community if you hang out long enough. There are constantly threads about reluctant first time buyers taking the plunge after having looked into it a while, waffling. It seems for every thread showing a very large toy being conquered (size is something these toys are famous for) there’s a thread about someone worried that going bigger than a mini might be too much. Buttressed against the nervous newbies are the people like us that have a few models already but want details to make an informed decision about the next one. They already know what they’re into and what they want out of the toy, but they have questions about whether or not the model they’re looking into actually does that. Many very experienced buyers still get the ‘big eyes’ phenomenon and buy more than they can handle—that was another reason we started using D-score, and it’s another reason collections grow.
People also use these toys to explore preferences they didn’t know they had. Some discover they’re size queens, some discover they certainly are not! Some figure out they really love texture and others really enjoy a smooth ride. Some, Emily being one, discover they can orgasm off of sheer size—no thrusting required, thanks Apollo. Many have purchased several toys in pursuit of the Goldilocks size, we sure did, that alone can start a collection, it’s yet another reason we devised D-score, and it’s one of the reasons fantasy dildos have a vibrant second hand market—though the ability to 100% sanitize a silicone toy is another big reason. There’s so much to learn about yourself, your body, there’s the thrill of the chase for the next great experience, and some sell their previous toys to help them keep chasing, keep hunting, for that perfect toy, with the perfect texture, the perfect size, the perfect shape, the perfect color and pattern, and the perfect pour. The gaming community once made sending people ‘Dragon Dildos’ a meme, and some of these people started with a ‘gag’ gift that turned out to be more pleasurable than a comedy club. It’s why we collect.
If none of that’s your thing, that’s perfectly fine. Not everyone is into spanking or being tied up either (we call that a fetish too even though it seems a plurality of us are into that, I guess 50 Shades sold so well for being too weird eh?). Some people just don’t like toys—though, as mentioned above, that could be due to unfairly poor experiences. Some people can’t get over the animalistic aesthetic. Heck, there are shapes we find to be a turnoff, like the ones that look a little too much like a dog. I personally don’t dig the sheathes either and I’ve never once wanted for a masturbator, much less one that reminded me of a horse. That however, is the point. I’m not saying that all of Bad Dragon, or all of the fantasy dildo scene is for everyone. That certainly isn’t the case with us. What I am saying is that inside the fantasy toy scene, there’s something for everyone (maybe a lot of somethings), and of that I am absolutely sure.
We’ll end on a couple of imgur galleries just for fun, in order: Individual shots of u/lapras_lass’s collection, u/ainaakjama’s collection, and u/a_dirty_account’s collection.