Hitachi Magic Wand
The Hitachi Magic Wand is an electric, wall-powered vibrating massager, manufactured in China by the Japanese company Hitachi. It first appeared on the North American market in 1968, and is well known for its use as a sex toy. In 2013, the product was rebranded as the "Original Magic Wand", omitting any reference to Hitachi.
The Magic Wand has found great commercial success as a vibrator, a masturbation aid for women. Its popularity for this purpose is associated with the American artist and sex educator Betty Dodson, who used it in demonstrations and instructional classes to teach women about masturbation. Valued by users for its strength, versatility and staying power, the device has garnered attributes such as "the Cadillac of vibrators" and "the most recognizable sex toy on Earth", based also on its appearance in many pornographic films. In 2014, 250,000 Magic Wands were sold in the U.S. by its primary importer, Vibratex.
Because the device was not originally designed as a vibrator, it exhibits some deficiencies when used for this purpose. Apart from its size and bulk and its reliance on a mains power supply, which limit its portability, it is not waterproof or water-resistant, and overheats when used for more than 25 minutes.
Hitachi's concerns about having its name attached to a popular sex toy caused the company to decide to cease production of the Magic Wand in 2013. However, Vibratex convinced Hitachi to continue manufacturing the device as the "Original Magic Wand", using lighter and more durable materials, and omitting any reference to Hitachi.
The stated use of the Magic Wand is for the soothing and relaxing of sore muscles and nerves, relieving tension, and rehabilitation after sports injuries. Muscle and nerve stimulation is provided by the rubberised, 2.5 inches (64 mm) head of the device; it is attached to the main body of the massager via a flexible neck. Owing to its popularity various aftermarket attachments, differences in colour, pattern of studs, and material, are available to purchase. Out of the box, the massager provides two vibration rates, controlled by a switch on its body: 5,000 and 6,000 rpm. An additional aftermarket accessory is also available (via a potentiometer) which provides a continuously variable speed selector for finer control.
Availability and copies
The Magic Wand is manufactured exclusively for the North American market. It is UL approved and requires a 110V AC supply. Hitachi never made a version for the European market, which requires a CE mark and a 230V AC supply. Many copies and imitations exist, both for the North American market and for the European market.
- Stuart, Laura Anne (19 April 2013). "The Rebirth of the Magic Wand". Express Milwaukee. Archived from the original on 23 April 2013. Retrieved 6 May 6, 2013.
- Trout, Christopher (28 August 2014). "The 46-year-old sex toy Hitachi won't talk about". Wired. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
- Godson, Suzi (11 December 2004). "The Vibrator Comes of Age". Times Online (London). Retrieved 8 March 2008.