VENUS Berlin closed its doors last Sunday and once again attracted almost 30,000 spectators to Germany’s biggest adult fair. A lavish festival from Thursday to Sunday, numerous possibilities for discoveries, shopping, networking, sensuality and celebrity hunting. For our first interview from this year’s fair we met Manfred Scholand, the managing director of RS Dolls Germany.
For thousands of visitors, VENUS Berlin offers year after year countless insights into the different facets of the adult industry, from sex toy manufacturers to cam providers to erotic and porn stars, from fashion companies to dominatrixes, strip shows, great food and beverages as well as cosmetics and beauty services: Whatever promises sensual joie de vivre is to be found at VENUS.
A special focus this year again was on sex dolls, which are becoming more and more lifelike. They seem to be magical crowd-pullers. This is especially true for the booth of RS Dolls Germany. Whenever you walk past it, you’ll find clusters of visitors who want to see and touch the lifelike sex dolls of the company based in the Harz region. This regularly leads to marvel and much laughter at the booth.
In the middle of the hustle and bustle, Managing Director Manfred Scholand took a moment to chat with us a little about his company and its products
RS Dolls Germany is one of the few European manufacturers of sex dolls. How would you describe your product line and your core business?
We embody lifelike sex dolls of the new generation or Real Dolls. Here at the VENUS we are showcasing our RSD premium series. These are completely lifelike Real Dolls ranging in size from 1,50m to 1,70m. You will find our bestsellers directly at our booth, as well as our latest models. We’ve worked hard on improving quality, materials and design to bring out our new series. Both success and popularity are very strong at the fair.
We are from the Harz and our headquarters are situated in Ilsenburg, where we have a permanent showroom with 200 products on stock. There we also offer a fast repair service.
Do you think the ratio between the general audience and professional retailers at the fair is balanced?
This is the 5th time we’ve been to the VENUS and we’re always very happy here. We are delighted with the great response from the public in Berlin. For us, it is important that we can show our products and present ourselves. Of course, there are mostly end customers at the fair, but as you have just seen, you had to wait a bit for the interview because I had a retailer at my booth, a sex shop owner. This happens quite frequently and is one of the reasons why we are here.
The trade fair is the ideal opportunity for us to meet very different people. The details are then discussed after the fair. But we find both end customers and professional customers here.
Do you have any feelings about this year’s somewhat stronger division between the live show offerings and the business hall? Many people wished for a quieter hall at the VENUS. Is that working for you?
Yes, definitely. Those who really want some action can go to Hall 20 and really let off steam there. But of course, we also need the opportunity to talk to end customers and talk business. Too much hustle and bustle are therefore not always helpful. And we put a lot of emphasis on an impeccable presentation. And this is what is guaranteed in this hall. I think the concept and mixture is the right one now.
Which materials do you work with?
We work with silicone, but above all with TPE, the so-called thermoplastic elastomer, which we have been developing since 2014. It’s softer, it has even better vibrational behavior, and it offers many advantages in terms of production and handling. Every year you see further development of RS Dolls in terms of design and material. But also with regard to the skeleton and vibration behavior of breasts and bodies and the overall design. And we are very proud that we can present the dolls like this.
Which models are particularly successful?
We have the premium model here on the sofa, that’s our Diana. She is 1.64m. We developed the model in-house. It’s neither too big, nor too small, not too heavy, it doesn’t have oversized breasts, it actually has the ideal dimensions and is very well-liked. I think we have hit the European beauty ideal quite well and are getting a lot of support for it.
However, the RSD line between 1.50 and 1.70m is also set up in such a way that we also have the right weight for everyone. Weight is another important topic for lifelike love dolls so that they can be used accordingly, and that movement does not simply lead to the product being displaced. The weigh is between 25 and 35 kilos. They are very manageable, but not too light either.
How do you design the face? Do you have a special development team? How do you decide which facial features to choose?
Obviously, today we have a lot of possibilities. We can take a photo from the front, right and left and with 3D technology, we can actually create models from photos with the 3D printer. Of course, this is continuously optimized, but we can also reproduce the photo of the respective person in a lifelike 1:1 fashion, so Madame Tussaud in London could learn a lot from us.
You are also offering more male dolls. Is there a lot of demand or is there more groundwork to be done as a dealer and manufacturer?
I think we sell 95% female models. Our 3-5% sales in male dolls often derive from gay customers… I would guess up to 90% – and half of it comes from Cologne… Male love dolls have the disadvantage that they are often not active enough for women. They do vibrate, but with a 1.60 model the ladies say: »But it’s a little light and small…«. But if we offer a 1.75 model, they say: »It’s too heavy for me.«
I would say that the level of activity of male dolls remains too restricted. But in the gay scene, these dolls are extremely popular. And women already have many pleasure products on the market, the vibrators f.ex., but men don’t have so many toys that are truly interesting. And I hope that the dolls will be as popular with men as the vibrators are with women.
We are basically a German company, although we are internationally positioned. The biggest markets for lifelike love dolls for us are Germany, Switzerland and America. But in Germany, there is already an important market for our offer. But other regions are also interesting for us, Asia in any case. But we do concentrate on Germany, Switzerland and the USA.
You emphasize the German roots of your company. Is your base helpful or rather obstructive in the face of competition from Asia?
Yes, I wanted to make it very clear from the get-go that we are a German company. Apart from us, you almost only see foreign companies at erotic fairs. And we position ourselves as a company from the Harz region rooted in Germany. There you have our headquarters, our employees live and work there, our warehouses are there. And that’s where we offer our service. We currently have seven employees. But we are really looking for employees. So anyone who would like to join RS Dolls Germany is very welcome. We are an innovative company, the requirements are primarily an education in business administration.
Thank you very much for the interview!
Further information about RS Dolls Germany can be found on the company’s website.